Gene Saks Is Dead At 93; Directed Neil Simon’s ‘Barefoot In The Park,’ ‘Odd Couple’ Films


Gene Saks, an actor-turned-director whose long kinship with Neil Simon led to the film versions of two of the most successful comedies of their time, Barefoot in The Park (1967) and The Odd Couple, as well appearing in the Jason Robards film of Herb Gardner’s A Thousand Clowns, died Saturday of pneumonia at his home in East Hampton, Long Island. He’s survived by his wife, Keren Saks, whom he married in 1980.

Saks, who was formerly married to the late Broadway and Maude star Bea Arthur, staged Simon’s autobiographical “double-B” trilogy (Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, and Broadway Bound), plays that went far in redefining the country’s most successful gag-smith as a playwright whose humor could have a serious bent. He also staged Simon’s Lost in Yonkers, whicih won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1991. Along with Mike Nichols, who had staged the Broadway…

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