Don Payne, Wilmington native, lost his courageous 3-year battle with an extremely rare and aggressive cancer on March 26, 2013, in Los Angeles, CA.
Don was born in Wilmington on May 5, 1964, and although he was a military brat and moved often, he attended public schools in Wilmington from 9th grade through 12th grade. He graduated in 1982 from New Hanover High School, where he was Senior Class president, editor of the yearbook, and the recipient of the most outstanding student award. He also attended Governor's School for drama and appeared in many NHHS and Thalian productions.
He attended UNC-CH for two years and then transferred to UCLA
, where he received his BA cum laude and his MFA degrees. After graduating, he wrote for several sitcoms. Then from 1998 until his death, he wrote for The Simpsons and won 4 Emmys and the prestigious Writers' Guild Paul Selvin award. He branched out into movies and wrote My Super Ex-Girlfriend and the screenplays for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Thor. He received a star on the Wilmington Walk of Fame in 2005.
He was predeceased by his father, Colonel Ken Payne, USMC. He is survived by his mother, Barbara McKee Payne of San Antonio, TX, his brother, John Payne of Westford, VT, his sister, Suzanne Fanning of Madison, WI, his wife, Julie, his sons, Nathaniel and Joshua, and his daughter, Lila, of Los Angeles. His last days were spent surrounded by all his family and his good friends, Todd Weeks, Lisa Patten and Evita Castillo.
Sweet dreams, Renaissance man.
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