Don Payne, who’s known for his work writing episodes for The Simpsons and screenwriting the film Thor, passed away on Tuesday night, March 26. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Don died in his L.A. home at the age of 48. Here are some quick facts you need to know about the late writer/producer.
1. He Died of Bone Cancer
Payne succumbed to his struggle with bone cancer. Bone cancer is an insidious disease that often spreads throughout the body. The writer is survived by his wife Julie and three children.
2. Co-stars of Thor Paid Tribute to Payne on Twitter
Thor stars Kat Dennings and Jaimie Alexander tweeted in the wake of Payne’s death, describing the scribe’s funny personality. Alexander wrote:
Don, may you rest in peace and may peace and love be with your family. You are in my heart always.
Dennings, the 2 Broke Girls star, tweeted:
A wonderful, beautiful man has passed away. Don Payne, I am lucky to have known you. You are so missed.
3. He Was a Renowned Writer for The Simpsons
Don Payne penned episodes for shows like Hope & Gloria and Veronica’s Closet before joining The Simpsons in 1998. The writer shared four Emmy awards for the animated comedy and won the WGA‘s Paul Selvin Award for his working writing the 2005 episode “Fraudcast News.” Before his death, Payne was a consulting producer for the series and penned two future episodes to debut this fall: the Christmas special “White Christmas Blues” and “Labor Pains,” to air on November 3. Executive producer Al Jean commented on his dear friend’s death, saying:
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.
Fellow writer Mike Scully Tweeted:
Great writer, sweet guy, gone way too soon RIP Don Payne.
4. He Wrote For Several Films, Including Thor
Besides his work in television, Don Payne followed his passion of writing for films as well. His first job as a story writer was for the action comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend in 2006 starring Luke Wilson and Uma Thurman. He went on to write films for Marvel like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Thor.
5. He Was Working on Two Films Before His Death
The first was the forthcoming sequel to Thor titled Thor: The Dark World, which will release on November 8. The second one is James Patterson’s adaptation of his young adult novel Maximum Ride, which was in development before Don’s passing.