Sam Simon, who was mostly known for helping develop The Simpsons for Fox television, passed away today at 59. But his contribution toward The Simpsons wasn’t the only interesting fact about the man. Born in Beverly Hills, way before The Simpsons occured, he had accomplished more before 40 than most would in their entire life. Here are 15 wild facts about Sam Simon’s amazing life.
15. He grew up next door to Groucho Marx. His family were friends. One time he caught his mom sitting with Groucho on Groucho’s bed.
14. Elvis Presley once returned his lost dog.
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13. He drew storyboards at Filmation Studios for The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse.
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12. In 1979, his first TV writing job was for the cartoon Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.
11. He was later hired as a staff writer on Taxi because he mailed in an episode he wrote. That episode was eventually filmed and aired.
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10. Simon was promoted as Taxi‘s show runner…at 23. He then was hired to write for Cheers thereafter writing five episodes.
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9. Simon was both Drew Carey and Norm MacDonald’s life line during their Who Wants To Be A Millionaire appearances.
8. He was married to actress Jennifer Tilly for 7 years, later divorcing in 1991.
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7. He’s credited for making The Simpsons three-dimensional. He’s also credited for hiring Conan O’Brien to write for the show.
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6. He directed The Drew Carey Show‘s series finale, not to mention episodes for Friends, The Norm Show and The George Carlin Show.
5. George Carlin didn’t have kind words to say about his partnership with Simon, stating: “Always check mental health of creative partner beforehand. Loved the actors, loved the crew. Had a great time. Couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of there.”
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4. Simon continued to be nominated and earn Emmy wins even after having left The Simpsons in 1993. He struck a deal to keep his name credited as Executive Producer on the show as well as earn steady royalties as long as the show continued.
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3. After making his mark (and millions), Simon retired from show business at the young age of 38. He was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer 18 years later.
2. In Oct. of 2014, he mentioned to Vanity Fair that he had a vegan pot chef to aid his treatments.
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1. Simon began focusing on his love of animals, donating millions to charities and organizations until the day he died. He gave advice on how you know when its time to put down your pet, stating “List the three things he loves to do. When he can’t do those any longer, it’s time.”
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To donate to The Sam Simon Foundation, head HERE.
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