Neil Simon

Neil Simon

Highest Rated: 100% The Odd Couple (1968)

Lowest Rated: 0% The Slugger's Wife (1985)

Birthday: Jul 4, 1927

Birthplace: Not Available

As the most financially successful playwright in history, Bronx-born Neil Simon hardly needs TV and movies to enhance his reputation -- though at least one-third of his output has been geared exclusively to non-theatrical projects. Upon graduating from New York University, Simon began penning comedy material for nightclubs and revues, then signed on as a staff writer for TV comedian Sid Caesar. During his years with Caesar, and his later tenure on Phil Silvers' military sitcom "You'll Never Get Rich" (1955-59), Simon became skilled in the art of allowing jokes to flow naturally from the situation and the characters, rather than merely inserting gags arbitrarily for quick, cheap laughs. After an ignoble Broadway debut as librettist for the shortlived musical The Adventures of Marco Polo (1959), Simon scored a hit with his play Come Blow Your Horn (1961), which later became a successful Frank Sinatra film vehicle. Simon's first script written directly for the screen was After the Fox (1966), an uneven "international" comedy suffering from too many cooks (including star Peter Sellers and director Vittorio de Sica). Simon's next movie original, The Out of Towners (1969), was far more successful both financially and artistically. While his stage plays of the 1970s and 1980s were almost invaribly hits, Simon's film scripts of the same period fluctuated wildly in quality. There are few if any faults in The Heartbreak Kid (1972), The Goodbye Girl (1977), and Seems Like Old Times (1979). Conversely, Simon's movie-genre spoofs Murder by Death (1975) and The Cheap Detective (1978), while frequently uproarious, are little more than elonganted Sid Caesar sketches. And The Slugger's Wife (1983) is not only Simon's weakest screenplay, but also one of the worst big-budget pictures ever made. However, in the final analysis, Simon has hit the mark far more often than not -- in addition to his Pulitzer Prize for the 1991 play Lost in Yonkers, his scripts for The Odd Couple (1968), The Goodbye Girl (1977), and California Suite (1978) have been honored with Academy Awards. As he entered the 1990s, Simon suffered one major cinematic setback with 1991's The Marrying Man, then -- as always -- regained lost ground with still another Broadway smash, 1993's Laughter on the 23rd Floor.

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet The Goodbye Girl Producer Executive Producer Screenwriter 2004
No Score Yet Neil Simon's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor' Executive Producer Screenwriter 2001
27% The Out-of-Towners Screenwriter 1999
27% The Odd Couple II Director Screenwriter 1998
No Score Yet The Sunshine Boys Screenwriter 1997
No Score Yet Pitch Actor 1997
71% Lost in Yonkers Screenwriter 1993
No Score Yet Broadway Bound Screenwriter 1992
10% The Marrying Man Executive Producer Screenwriter Producer 1991
81% Biloxi Blues Screenwriter 1988
No Score Yet The AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards: Jack Lemmon Actor 1988
69% Brighton Beach Memoirs Screenwriter 1986
0% The Slugger's Wife Screenwriter 1985
48% The Lonely Guy Screenwriter 1984
69% Max Dugan Returns Producer Screenwriter 1983
No Score Yet I Ought to Be in Pictures Screenwriter Producer 1982
57% Only When I Laugh Screenwriter Producer 1981
72% Seems Like Old Times Screenwriter 1980
50% Chapter Two Screenwriter 1979
57% California Suite Screenwriter 1978
47% The Cheap Detective Screenwriter 1978
83% The Goodbye Girl Screenwriter 1977
63% Murder by Death Screenwriter 1976
72% The Sunshine Boys Screenwriter 1975
57% The Prisoner of Second Avenue Screenwriter 1975
33% Last of the Red Hot Lovers Screenwriter 1972
92% The Heartbreak Kid Screenwriter 1972
No Score Yet Star Spangled Girl Screenwriter 1971
63% Plaza Suite Screenwriter 1971
60% The Out-of-Towners Screenwriter 1970
83% Sweet Charity Screenwriter 1969
100% The Odd Couple Screenwriter 1968
84% Barefoot in the Park Screenwriter 1967
75% After the Fox (Caccia alla volpe) Screenwriter 1966


No Score Yet The Odd Couple
Screenwriter 2017
94% Frasier
Guest 2001


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