Playwright Neil Simon has reaped the fruits of Broadway hits, but 30 years of commercial success isn't the kind of respect he likes to bank on, he says. "I know how the public sees me because people are always coming up to me and saying, `Thanks for the good times,' " Simon, 63, told the New York Times Magazine. "But all the success has demeaned me in a way.."

His 27th play, "Lost in Yonkers," opens Thursday on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theater. "Even if my play is successful, I will never win the Pulitzer," he said. There are other rewards. He's worth more than $30 million, thanks to such hits as "The Sunshine Boys," "The Odd Couple" and "Barefoot in the Park."