Writer Danny Simon dead at 86

July 28, 2005 at 10:08 PM
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PORTLAND, Ore., July 28 (UPI) -- Veteran TV comedy writer Danny Simon, the older brother of playwright Neil Simon, has died in Portland, Ore., at age 86.

Simon's family told the Los Angeles Times he died at the Robinson Jewish Health Center Tuesday from complications of a stroke.

The talented brothers worked together in the 1940s and wrote material for top comics, radio and TV shows until 1954. As Neil pursued his plays, Danny became head writer for "The Colgate Comedy Hour" and Danny Thomas' "Make Room for Daddy," The Times said.

Danny Simon was on the writing team for Sid Caesar's legendary "Your Show of Shows" and added his touch to "My Three Sons," "The Carol Burnett Show," "The Mac Davis Show," "The Kraft Music Hall," "The Facts of Life" and "Diff'rent Strokes." He also wrote jokes for Joan Rivers' guest-host appearances on "The Tonight Show."

Characters in Neil's plays -- "Come Blow Your Horn," "The Odd Couple," "Plaza Suite," "Chapter Two," "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and "Broadway Bound" -- were modeled after his older brother.

Danny would often joke "there have been more plays written about me than about Abraham Lincoln, Joan of Arc and Julius Caesar all put together," The Times said.

In addition to Neil, Simon is survived by a son, Michael, of Portland; a daughter, Valerie, of Sherman Oaks; and two grandchildren.

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