Neil Simon, Broadway’s master of comedy, dies at 91

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FILE- In this Nov. 23, 1981, file photo playwright Neil Simon, left, and actor James Coco pose for a photo in New York during the New York announcement of a Broadway bound musical comedy, "Little Me." Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as "The Odd Couple," "Barefoot in the Park" and his "Brighton Beach" trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, died on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. He was 91. (AP Photo/Lederhandler, File)

NEW YORK — Playwright Neil Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park” and his “Brighton Beach” trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, has died. He was 91.

Simon died early Sunday of complications from pneumonia at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, said Bill Evans, a longtime friend and spokesman for Shubert Organization theaters.

In the second half of the 20th century, Simon was the American theater’s most successful and prolific playwright, often chronicling middle class issues and fears. Starting with “Come Blow Your Horn” in 1961 and continuing into the next century, he rarely stopped working on a new play or musical.

Simon’s stage successes included “The Prisoner of Second Avenue,” “Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” “The Sunshine Boys,” “Plaza Suite,” “Chapter Two,” “Sweet Charity” and “Promises, Promises.” But there were other plays and musicals, too — more than 30 in all.

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FILE- In this Sept. 22, 1994, file photo, american playwright Neil Simon answers questions during an interview in Seattle, Wash. Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as "The Odd Couple," "Barefoot in the Park" and his "Brighton Beach" trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, died on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. He was 91. (AP Photo/Gary Stuart, File)

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FILE- In this Dec. 29, 1964, file photo american playwright Neil Simon, 37, is photographed in front of his typewriter in New York. Simon, a master of comedy whose laugh-filled hits such as "The Odd Couple," "Barefoot in the Park" and his "Brighton Beach" trilogy dominated Broadway for decades, died on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. He was 91. (AP Photo/Dan Grossi, File)

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