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Woody Allen

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Match Point DVD "A Marvelously Sexy Thriller." - Logan Hill, New York MagazineMatch Point is "a... more info $8.99was $8.99 Buy Now

Scoop DVD Mystery, murder, and hilarity collide in Oscar-winning director Woody Allen's... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Sleeper DVD Woody Allen directed, co-wrote and stars in this hilarious sci-fi comedy set in... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Hannah & Her Sisters DVD This 1986 comedy-drama, written and directed by Woody Allen, follows the... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Radio Days DVD Woody Allen's heartfelt tribute to the Golden Age of Radio features a stellar... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Zelig DVD A purposely-patronizing narrator details the life and times of Leonard Zelig,... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Allen Stewart Konigsberg, Heywood Allen Died:
Born: December 1, 1935 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: comedian, screenwriter, actor, director, author, musician, publicist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

With at least four distinct phases throughout his long career, writer-director-actor Woody Allen was one of the few American filmmakers rightly labeled an auteur. From the irreverent absurdity of his early satires like "Bananas" (1971) and "Sleepers" (1973) to his chronicles of neurotic New Yorkers in "Annie Hall" (1977), "Manhattan" (1979) and "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986), Allen's obsessions with beauty, psychiatry, intellect and relationships existed in all his work. Unique among filmmakers, Allen made highly personal films with mainstream money while managing to exert creative control over the product - all the while earning a high-level of critical respect and numerous Academy Awards. By keeping budgets low, the prolific filmmaker reached his mostly urban audience on a regular basis, churning out one movie practically each year. His creative fires never extinguished, as he directed dramas like "Interiors" (1978), morally ambiguous tragicomedies like "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989) and period comedies like "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994). Even when stepping outside of his comfort zone with "Everyone Says I Love You" (1996) and "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999), Allen had the creative acumen to pull it...

With at least four distinct phases throughout his long career, writer-director-actor Woody Allen was one of the few American filmmakers rightly labeled an auteur. From the irreverent absurdity of his early satires like "Bananas" (1971) and "Sleepers" (1973) to his chronicles of neurotic New Yorkers in "Annie Hall" (1977), "Manhattan" (1979) and "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986), Allen's obsessions with beauty, psychiatry, intellect and relationships existed in all his work. Unique among filmmakers, Allen made highly personal films with mainstream money while managing to exert creative control over the product - all the while earning a high-level of critical respect and numerous Academy Awards. By keeping budgets low, the prolific filmmaker reached his mostly urban audience on a regular basis, churning out one movie practically each year. His creative fires never extinguished, as he directed dramas like "Interiors" (1978), morally ambiguous tragicomedies like "Crimes and Misdemeanors" (1989) and period comedies like "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994). Even when stepping outside of his comfort zone with "Everyone Says I Love You" (1996) and "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999), Allen had the creative acumen to pull it off. Though he suffered personal scandal over his romantic involvement with adopted daughter, Soon Yi Previn, as well as a professional nadir with "Small Time Crooks" (2000) and "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion" (2001), Allen regained his critical stature with "Match Point" (2005), "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" (2008) and "Midnight In Paris" (2011), which cemented his place in cinema history as one of its finest directors.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
6.
9.
  Scoop (2006)
10.
  Match Point (2005)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Fading Gigolo (2014)
3.
 Casting By (2013)
4.
 Paris Manhattan (2013)
5.
7.
 Scoop (2006)
8.
 Outsider, The (2006)
10.
 Anything Else (2003) David Dobel
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
At age 15, began sending jokes to columnists Walter Winchell and Earl Wilson
:
Worked at a public relations firm supplying comedy material to Bob Hope and Arthur Murray
1953:
After flunking out of NYU, joined the NBC Writer's Program; contributed to "The Colgate Comedy Hour"
1955:
Hired as a writer for "Your Show Of Shows" at age 19; began writing gags for Herb Shriner, Buddy Hackett and Art Carney
1960:
Stage writing debut for revue, "From A to Z"
1960:
Debut as stand-up comedian at The Blue Angel in NYC (October)
:
Became staff writer on "The Tonight Show" (NBC)
1964:
First guest-host to replace Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" (NBC)
1965:
Feature film acting and writing debut, "What's New Pussycat?"; helmed by Clive Donner
1966:
First play produced on Broadway, "Don't Drink the Water"
1966:
Made feature film, "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" using existing footage of a Japanese film, creating new story by dubbing in voices
1969:
TV writing and acting debut with the short film, "Cupid's Shaft"
1969:
Headlined "Woody's First Special" (CBS) and "The Woody Allen Special" (NBC)
1969:
Feature film directing debut (also screenwriter; actor), "Take the Money and Run"
1969:
Broadway acting debut in "Play It Again, Sam"; also playwright
1970:
Debut as TV series regular on the NBC children's show "Hot Dog"
1971:
Published first collection of comic material "Getting Even"
1972:
First of six films opposite Diane Keaton, "Play It Again, Sam"
1976:
Rare acting appearance in a film which he did not direct, "The Front"
1977:
Breakthrough film, "Annie Hall"; film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director
1978:
Directed first film drama, "Interiors"
1979:
Last film opposite Diane Keaton for 14 years (except for her cameo in 1987's "Radio Days"), "Manhattan"
1981:
Wrote the full-length stage comedy "The Floating Light Bulb"
1982:
First film with Mia Farrow, "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy"
1986:
Won third Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for "Hannah and Her Sisters"
1987:
Had cameo in Jean-Luc Godard's "King Lear"
1991:
Co-starred with Bette Midler in Paul Mazursky's "Scenes from a Mall"
1991:
Signed an agreement with Italy's National Association of Consumer Cooperatives (COOP) to write and direct of series of five TV commericials (his first); fee for the package rumored to be 3 million lire ($2.5 million)
1991:
Signed deal with TriStar Pictures (September); began first film for them, "Husbands and Wives"
1993:
Completed a second film for TriStar, "Manhattan Murder Mystery" (reteaming him with Diane Keaton); ended multi-picture deal with the company; signed with Sweetland Films in July
1994:
Had modest success with the period comedy "Bullets Over Broadway"
1994:
Made rare TV acting appearance in small screen remake of "Don't Drink the Water" (ABC); also directed and wrote
1995:
Wrote, directed, and co-starred with Mira Sorvino and F. Murray Abraham in "Mighty Aphrodite"
1996:
Co-starred with Peter Falk in TV remake of Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys" (CBS)
1997:
First film distributed by Fine Line, "Deconstructing Harry"; nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar; Allen's 20th Academy Award nomination and 13th for screenwriting, making him the most nominated screenwriter in Academy history
1998:
Made unbilled cameo appearance in Stanley Tucci's film "The Imposters"
1998:
Voiced the characters of the worker ant Z in the DreamWorks-produced animated film "Antz"
1998:
Released his 30th film as director, "Celebrity"
1999:
Wrote and directed "Sweet and Lowdown," starring Sean Penn as a 1930s jazz guitarist
2000:
Wrote and directed the comedy "Small Time Crooks"
2000:
In March, signed distribution deal with DreamWorks
2001:
Helmed (also wrote) "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion"
2002:
Wrote, directed and starred in "Hollywood Ending"
2003:
Directed (also wrote and co-starred in) the comedy "Anything Else," starring Christina Ricci and Jason Biggs
2004:
Helmed the play "A Second Hand Memory" at the Atlantic Theater Company
2005:
Directed (also wrote and starred in) "Melinda and Melinda," a comedic storyline which is one of two (one comic and one tragic) that revolve around the titular character played by Radha Mitchell
2005:
Helmed the dark themed "Match Point," starring Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers; the first four films under the DreamWorks SKG banner and first film shot in England; earned Golden Globe nominations for Directing and Screenplay
2006:
Once again directed Scarlett Johansson in the comedy "Scoop"; also wrote and co-starred
2008:
Directed Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor in "Cassandra's Dream"
2008:
Directed first film in Spain, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"; once again collaborated with Scarlett Johansson
2008:
Directed "Gianni Schicchi," the comic third part of Puccini's "Trittico" in Los Angeles
2009:
Returned to New York with the offbeat comedy "Whatever Works," starring Larry David
2010:
Wrote and directed his fourth film shot in London, "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger"
2010:
Earned a Grammy nomination for Best Spoken Word for the album, <i>The Woody Allen Collection: Mere Anarchy, Side Effects, Without Feathers, Getting Even</i>
2011:
Directed "Midnight in Paris," his first feature shot entirely in Paris; starred Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Kathy Bates
2012:
Wrote and directed an ensemble cast in the romantic comedy "To Rome with Love"; also acted in his first film since 2006's "Scoop"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Midwood High School: Brooklyn , New York -
New York University: New York , New York - 1953

Notes

As of 2000, Allen has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards: once for Best Actor; six times for Best Director and 13 times for Best Screenplay

"I just keep my nose to the grindstone. I don't listen to people who criticize me, don't listen to them tell me my films are bad, or listen to people who tell me I'm a comic genius. I don't worry about getting rich or about what people say. I focus on the work with the same fanaticism that a Muslim fundamentalist might focus on religion. If I was giving advice to younger people, I would tell them to not listen to anything, not read what's written about you, don't listen to anybody, just focus on the work."---Allen quoted in New York's Daily News, October 22, 1995.

Allen has played New Orleans jazz clarinet with his group, the New Orleans Funeral and Ragtime Orchestra, almost every Monday at Michael's Pub in New York since 1971 (and skipped the 1978 Oscar ceremonies so as not to miss a Monday night set).

"I didn't want to play Bogart. I didn't want to play John Wayne. I wanted to be the schnook. The guy with the glasses who doesn't get the girl, who can't get the girl but who's amusing."---Woody Allen to John Lahr in The New Yorker, December 9, 1996.

"Denis Hamill: What are your feelings toward Mia Farrow now?

Woody Allen: I haven't had any contact with her for years. Although we've had our many conflicts, I have no further or lingering feelings about it. I wish her well. No, I haven't read her book, don't intend to. Not interested in the whole thing. To me, it's history. I know what happened and what she thinks. As it turned out, in that period of my life, more people that I care about became closer to me than became estranged. People I thought of as acquaintances became friends. Some rose to the occasion in heroic fashion for me. Which was great. My relationship with Soon-Yi is the best one of my life. So it wasn't all bad."---Allen quoted in the article "Deconstructing Woody", Daily News, October 5, 1997.

"After the treadmill and breakfast, I lie down on the bed with a pad and pencil or pad and pen and write for two hours and then have a shower. Write for another two hours and break for lunch, Then write all afternoon. I could write all the time. I love to write. All I need are little breaks to practice the clarinet and to get a breath of fresh air. Then I can't wait to get back to it because I'm refreshed. I'd be happy to write all day and all night. If I didn't make movies, I could easily write four screenplays a year."---Allen to Denis Hamill in Daily News, October 7, 1997.

"I've been blessed. It's like fool's luck. From the day I made my first film, nobody at United Artists and then Orion expected anything. I've had nothing but support, freedom, final cut, nobody tells me who to cast. It's nothing that I did to earn it. It was given to me by magnanimous people."---Woody Allen in conversation with Martin Scorsese, The New York Times Magazine, November 16, 1997.

"Working with Woody is like holding a puppy. It's warm and nice, but you know if you hold on too long he's going to piss all over you."---an unnamed source quoted in Marion Meade's biography, "The Unruly Life of Woody Allen" (Scribner's, 2000).

About his break up with Mia Farrow, Allen told London's The Daily Telegraph (March 18, 2002): "It was big and messy and it could have been handled better and had better consequences. But I didn't have any choice. I was put in that position and I had to respond. Normally I like to handle everything quietly and discreetly and I'm a, you know, a friendly and forgiving private type. But I will always ... There are certain situations where you are forced to act."

"It was a terrible, terrible, terrible situation. My not having access to the children is completely cruel and unfair. Not in their best interests. But these dreadful things happen in life. To balance that I had parents with good longevity [his father lived to 100, his mother was 95]. I've been healthy. I've been blessed with a talent."

In June, 2002, Allen sued longtime friend and producer sued Jean Doumanian and her business partner and boyfriend, Jacqui Safra, saying they cheated him out of his share of profits on eight movies made since 1993. Allen said the pair owed him more than 12 million dollars. The parties reached an undisclosed settlement after 9 days in court.

"I feel less comfortable when I'm doing dramatic things. But that's my real aspiration, my secret dream. I wish I had been a tragic poet instead of a minter of one-liners.

So whenever I get a chance to do something dramatic, I do it with such passion for it. But I don't move as gracefully in those circles as an Ingmar Bergman does or Tennessee Williams did."---Allen to CNN.com, March 23, 2005.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Harlene Rosen. Born c. 1939; married in 1956; divorced in 1962.
wife:
Louise Lasser. Actor, comedienne. Married on February 2, 1966; divorced in 1969; appeared in Allen's "Bananas" (1971); best remembered in the title role of the TV comic soap opera, "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman".
companion:
Diane Keaton. Actor, director. Lived together for three years in the 1970s.
companion:
Stacey Nelkin. Actor. Reportedly had relationship when she was a teenager around the time of the filming of "Annie Hall"; thought to be model for character played by Mariel Hemingway in "Manhattan"; later married to actor Barry Bostwick fron 1987 to 1991.
companion:
Mia Farrow. Actor. Began relationship in 1980; mother of Allen's son Satchel/Seamus; separated in 1992 after Allen admitted to a romantic involvement with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn in the winter of 1991.
wife:
Soon-Yi Previn. Just before Allen's suit to gain custody of his three children with Mia Farrow came to court, it was revealed that Allen had fallen in love with Previn at the end of 1991; she is one of the children Farrow adopted while married to conductor Andre Previn during the 1970s; born October 8, 1970; married on December 23, 1997 in Venice, Italy.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Martin Konigsberg. Waiter, jewelry engraver. Born in December 1900; died on January 8, 2001 at age 100.
mother:
Netty Konigsberg. Bookkeeper. Born c. 1906; died in January 2002 at age 95.
sister:
Letty Aronson. Executive. Born in 1943; worked at the Museum of Television and Radio; later became a vice president of Sweetland Films, with which Allen signed in July 1993.
son:
Moses Amadeus Farrow. Born c. 1979; adopted with Mia Farrow; Korean; has cerebral palsy.
daughter:
Malone Farrow. Born c. 1985; adopted with lover Mia Farrow; born in Texas; asked to change her name to Eliza June in 1993; later adopted name Malone.
son:
Seamus Farrow. Born on December 19, 1987 in New York; mother, Mia Farrow; named after baseball pitcher Satchel Page; name changed to Seamus by Mia Farrow.
daughter:
Bechet Dumaine Allen. Born c. 1999 in China; adopted with Soon-Yi Allen; named after jazz clarinetist Sidney Bechet;.
daughter:
Manzie Tio Allen. Born in 2000 (circa February) reportedly in Texas; adopted with Soon-Yi Allen; named after jazz musicians Manzie Johnson and Lorenzo Tio.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Getting Even" Random House
"Without Feathers" Random House
"Woody Allen: Clown Prince of American Humor" Pinnacle Books
"On Being Funny: Woody Allen and Comedy" Charterhouse
"Non-Being and Somethingness" Random House
"Woody Allen: A Biography" Drake
"Side Effects" Random House
"Woody Allen: His Films and Career" Citadel Press
"Woody Allen on Location" William Morrow
"Woody Allen" Alfred A. Knopf
"Woody Allen at Work: The Photographs of Brian Hamill" Harry N. Abrams Inc.
"Woody: Movies From Manhattan" Overlook Press
"Reconstructing Woody: Art, Love and Life in the Films of Woody Allen" Rowman & Littlefield
"Woody Allen: A Biography" HarperCollins
"The Unruly Life of Woody Allen" Scribner
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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