Neil Simon (1927 – 2018)
Neil Simon was born and lived in New York. He was a prolific writer – his IMDb page lists more than 100 writing credits – and a producer of his own works.
Having gained much experience writing for American television shows in the 1950s, Neil spread his wings with stage plays and screenplays for movies.
Among his many popular comedies are The Odd Couple, The Sunshine Boys, Barefoot in the Park, California Suite and The Goodbye Girl.
He also made two hit films based on Willy Russell plays, Educating Rita (1983) and Shirley Valentine (1989), which gave career-break leading roles to Julie Walters and Pauline Collins respectively.
His scripts received two BAFTA nominations and four Oscar nominations, mainly in the 1970s, and in 1979, when the Writers’ Guild of America honoured him with its Laurel Award for Screen Writing Achievement, it was well deserved.