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'Simpsons' Producer Dead at 48 TheWrap

A longtime producer and writer for the Fox animated hit “The Simpsons” has died. TheWrap.com reports that co-executive producer Don Payne died at 48 after a battle with cancer.

Payne, who earned four Emmys with "The Simpsons" after joining its writing staff in 1998, wrote 16 episodes of the series. One of them, "Fraudcast News," was awarded the 2005 Writers Guild Paul Selvin Award.

Payne also worked as a screenwriter, working on 2006's "My Super Ex-Girlfriend," 2007's "Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and 2011’s "Thor."

"Don was a wonderful writer and an even more wonderful man," said "Simpsons" showrunner Al Jean in a statement. "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.”

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Don Payne