On the surface, playwright Neil Simon and Edward de Vere (aka: “Edward Oxenford”) might seem to have little in common. Simon was born on the 4th of July 1927 in New York City and passed away in 2018 while Oxenford was born April 12, 1550 at Hedingham Castle, England and died in 1604.
Oxenford was the author of 37 plays whose authorship has long been attributed to William Shakespeare. I could list the details of Oxenford’s life to show how his life parallels the plays of William Shakespeare but others have already done that and “Stratfordians” dismiss it. Instead, they claim that an author with a “great imagination” like Shakespeare does not need to rely upon the experiences of his life to write great plays.
So let us look at the life of Neil Simon.
During his lifetime, Neil Simon wrote about 30 plays and almost as many screenplays. He based nearly ALL his plays on his own life and/or people he personally knew. His credits include:
COME BLOW YOUR HORN (1961), followed by the book of the musical LITTLE ME (1962). Other plays include:
BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (1963)
THE ODD COUPLE (1965)
THE STAR-SPANGLED GIRL (1966)
PLAZA SUITE (1968)
LAST OF THE RED HOT LOVERS (1969)
THE GINGERBREAD LADY (1970)
THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE (1971)
THE SUNSHINE BOYS (1972)
THE GOOD DOCTOR (1973)
GOD’S FAVORITE (1974)
CALIFORNIA SUITE (1976)
CHAPTER TWO (1977)
I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES (1980)
BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (1983)
BILOXI BLUES (1985)
BROADWAY BOUND (1986)
LOST IN YONKERS (1991)
JAKE’S WOMEN (1992)
LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR (1993)
and LONDON SUITE (1994)
Neil Simon also wrote the books for the musicals SWEET CHARITY; PROMISES, PROMISES; THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, and THE GOODBYE GIRL.
Besides adapting several of his plays for the movies, Simon wrote the screenplays for “The Out-of-Towners”; “The Heartbreak Kid”; “Murder by Death”; “The Cheap Detective”; “Seems Like Old Times”; “Only When I Laugh”; “Max Sugan Returns”; “The Slugger’s Wife”; and “The Marrying Man.”
If you examine the plays of Neil Simon, you will see that he wrote plays involving real people – not from his imagination. Also, his plays are full of wit and humor and heart. Sound familiar?