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The Sunshine Boys

From Academic Kids

"The Sunshine Boys" is a comedy play by Neil Simon. It tells the story of two elderly vaudevillians, formerly partners known as "Lewis and Clarke", who grew to hate each other over the years, and for their last year together never spoke to each other off stage. When a nephew tries to bring them together and perform their old act to television, they have to learn how to get along with each other. It derives much of its appeal from the audience wondering if this is what it was really like between some real life comedy duos.

In 1975, it was made into a movie, starring Walter Matthau, George Burns, Richard Benjamin, Lee Meredith, Carol DeLuise, F. Murray Abraham, Howard Hesseman and Ron Rifkin.

The movie was adapted by Simon, and directed by Herbert Ross.

It won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (George Burns) and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Walter Matthau), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material.

Jack Benny had been signed to appear in the movie, but was forced to withdraw after being diagnosed with the pancreatic cancer that would soon kill him. Burns took the role, which is generally credited with reviving his almost dead career.

In 1995, a television version aired. It starred Woody Allen, Peter Falk, Michael McKean, Liev Schreiber, Edie Falco and Sarah Jessica Parker.

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