Gentle humor was the lifeblood of playwright Neil Simon

  • 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)

  • In this July 2, 1977, file photo, playwright Neil Simon, right, poses for a photo on the set of “The Cheap Detective” with Dom DeLuise. 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, File)

  • In this April 21, 2008, file photo Neil Simon, center, his wife Elaine Joyce, left, and Lucie Arnaz pose for a picture at the reception for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s Monte Cristo Award 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/Seth Wenig, 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)

NEW YORK — When master playwright Neil Simon accepted the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2006, he was visibly nervous. But his gentle humor was evident.

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