Don Payne Has Died

Thor & Simpsons writer was 48

Don Payne, a writer whose work has encompassed sitcoms, The Simpsons and big movies for several Marvel characters, has died at the age of 48.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Payne harboured a desire to be involved with TV and, in particular, film, from a young age. He met writing partner John Frink while at UCLA and the pair worked together on the staffs of several unsuccessful sitcoms.

But more high profile work was to follow when they joined the team behind The Simpsons, writing several episodes including two Treehouse Of Horror entries and The Bart Wants What It Wants.

Yet Payne had big screen ambitions. “I've always wanted to write features. That's why I moved to Los Angeles in the first place,” he told Cinematical. “I started writing with John Frink when I was in college at UCLA. And I've been a comic book geek from way back.” After the disappointing My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Payne got to live the dream, working on Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer and contributing drafts to Thor and its sequel, The Dark World which is out this year.

He was developing James Patterson’s Maximum Ride novel series as a film when he died today from bone cancer. Payne is survived by his wife and three children.