American actor/director Robert Moore gained fame in 1968 for his direction of the pioneering gay-life Broadway hit The Boys in the Band (1968). A five-time Tony Award nominee, Moore also worked steadily in TV, where he was best known for his sitcom work on both sides of the camera (he was a regular on the 1973 Diana Rigg comedy Diana); he came to movies in the flashy role of a disabled homosexual in Tell Me that You Love Me Junie Moon (1970). Moore wouldn't direct his first film until he was past 50, when he made the plunge at the request of playwright Neil Simon, who'd liked Moore's staging of such Simon plays as The Gingerbread Lady. Luck of luck, Moore turned out to be the best thing that had happened cinematically to Neil Simon since the advent of director Herbert Ross. Moore guided Simon's detective spoof Murder by Death (1979) through a series of hilarious paces, deftly juggling a cast of sensitive superstars like David Niven, Maggie Smith, Peter Sellers and James Coco, and never losing sight what makes a parody work: playing the action with dead-serious honesty rather than self-conscious camp. Moore pulled off the same trick twice in a row with The Cheap Detective (1979), a marvelous lampoon of Bogart films starring Peter Falk, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise, Ricardo Montalban and a host of similar high-profile talent. Neil Simon was so pleased with the results that he entrusted Moore with a less spoofy, more personal project, Chapter Two (1979), a fictionalized account of Simon's period of adjustment following the death of his wife. Sadly, Chapter Two proved to be the final Simon-Moore collaboration; Robert Moore died in 1984 at the age of 56.