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March 29, 2013

Don Payne, Primetime Emmy-Winning Writer and Producer

In addition to his award-winning work for The Simpsons, Payne wrote for several other comedy series and also wrote such feature films as Thor.

Don Payne, a Primetime Emmy-winning writer and producer for The Simpsons who also wrote such feature films as Thor and its forthcoming sequel, died March 26, 2013, in Los Angeles. He was 48.

According to news reports, the cause was bone cancer.

Anative of WIlmington, North Carolina, Payne attended University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, then UCLA, where he studied film & television and befriended John Frink, who became a writing partner and fellow Simpsons colleague.

He first joined The Simpsons in 1998, and shared four Emmys for his work on the long-running animated comedy. Over the years he wrote more than a dozen episodes, including two that will air this coming fall, the show's 25th season. He was also a consulting producer for many years, and in 2005 he won the Writers Guild of America's Paul Selvin Award for his Simpsons script “Fraudcast News.”

His other TV credits included Hope & Gloria, Pride & Joy, Can’t Hurry Love, Men Behaving Badly, Veronica’s Closet and The Brian Benben Show.

Payne brought his lifelong enthusiasm for comic books to his work as a feature film writer. His screenplays included My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Thor and Thor: The Dark World, which is scheduled to be released in November.

In a statement, Al Jean, showrunner for The Simpsons, said: "Don was a wonderful writer and an even more wonderful man. He was beloved in the Simpsons community, and his untimely passing is terrible news to us all. I know he is up with Thor now looking down at us and smiling.”

More about Payne's life and work is available at:


Hollywood Reporter

New York Daily News

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