On August 27, CBS This Morning remembered Pulitzer Prize– and Tony–winning playwright Neil Simon, who passed away August 26 following complications from pneumonia.
Simon made his Broadway playwriting debut with Come Blow Your Horn in 1961and followed that up with the book to his first Broadway musical Little Me in 1962, which earned him a Tony nomination for Best Author of a Musical and a Tony nomination for Best Musical. But it was The Odd Couple in 1965 that won him his first Tony Award. He received three additional Tony Awards over his career: a Special Award for his contribution to the theatre in 1975, Best Play for Biloxi Blues in 1985, and Lost in Yonkers in 1991, which also won him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Friend and colleague Carl Reiner told CBS, “He never spoke up. He spoke up when he wrote it down. He became the force of nature.”
His friend Bill Evans hopes he leaves a legacy of “the comedy and that there's a humanity there.”
Having touched 47 Broadway productions, and with a Broadway house named for him, Simon will remain a household name for years to come, but, as he told CBS Sunday Morning back in a 2006 interview: “Making a connection with millions of people is pretty good.”