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Stars react to Neil Simon's passing

Stars react to Neil Simon's passing
Pulitzer and Tony winner Neil Simon, shown in 1994, wrote "The Odd Couple," "Barefoot in the Park," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," among many others. (Gary Stuart / Associated Press)

Following the news that famed playwright Neil Simon died Sunday at the age of 91, stars and fans of the Pulitzer-prize winning writer took to social media to pay their respects.

Broadway actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein said Simon’s loss is a loss for “the entire entertainment industry.”

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“He could write a joke that would make you laugh, define the character, the situation and even the world’s problems,” he tweeted. “First time I met him he looked at me and said, ‘Where the hell did they find you?’ What a gent.”

Emmy-nominated actor Henry Winkler called him a “giant … one of the most prolific playwrights in history.”

“Neil Simon was a genius,” tweeted Vincent D’Onofrio, who shared a photo of Art Carney and Walter Matthau on Broadway in one of Simon’s greatest hits, “The Odd Couple.”

He “brought a unique eye for life to stage and screen,” wrote legendary newsman Dan Rather. “Through sharp characters and dialogue, he prodded us — in laughter and tears — to contend with the traits that make us human. Another voice who understood the power of art in our American story now belongs to eternity.”

Actor and Tony Award producer Wendell Pierce likened Simon’s death to the passing of an era. “Culture is the intersection of life itself and how people engage it,” he tweeted. “It’s a time to reflect on what our personal contribution will be to the culture of our days.”

Former “Scandal” stars Tony Goldwyn and Joshua Malina also tweeted in appreciation of the playwright, with Malina expressing disappointment that he’d never had the chance to work with Simon after growing up watching his plays.

Simon’s death comes on the heels of Sen. John McCain's death yesterday and the recent loss of soul legend Aretha Franklin. Comedian Yvette Nicole Brown shared a link reporting news of Simon's death adding, “A lot of my heroes are dying. What a sad few weeks this has been.”

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