Woody Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, 1.12.1935)
Woody Allen is an American film director from New York City, USA.
Woody Allen: Childhood
Woody Allen was born in New York City. He was raised in New York and has lived there his whole life.
Woody's mother, Nettie was a bookkeeper at her local delicatessen and his father, Martin, was a waiter, as well as a jewellery engraver. His Jewish parents spoke Yiddish, German and English. His sister, Letty, was born in 1943.
As a teenager, Allen would write gags for newspaper columnists and was eventually discovered by Milt Kamen, who brokered Allen's first writing deal, with Sid Caesar.
Woody Allen: Comedy Career
When he was 19, Allen started writing scripts for The Ed Sullivan Show, Caesar's Hour and The Tonight Show.
In his late 20's, Woody Allen started doing stand up comedy, in Greenwich Village, New York as well as writing for Candid Camera. He appeared on the show a few times and developed his neurotic, yet intellectual persona.
In addition to his TV writing, Allen also became a well-respected playwright. In 1966, his play, Don't Drink the Water, opened on Broadway and in 1969, a film adaptation of the play was released, as well as a 1994 version, in which Allen starred along with Michael J. Fox. In 1969, he starred in his own play, Play It Again, Sam, which also featured Diane Keaton.
Woody Allen: Film Career
Woody Allen's first film production was What's New Pussycat?, which stars Peter O'Toole and Peter Sellers, followed by the James Bond spoof, Casino Royale. On both of these productions, Woody became frustrated with the egos of the stars involved and the meddling producers. He made a decision to go it alone and make films his own way.
Woody's first film as a director was What's Up, Tiger-Lily? The film was a Japanese spy movie that Allen re-dubbed with a new comic script, in English.
In 1969, he directed Take The Money and Run, which was followed by Bananas and, one of his most notorious films, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Too Afraid To Ask).
In 1977, Woody Allen released Annie Hall, which was something of a turning point in his film career. The film won four Academy Awards, including a Best Actress gong for Diane Keaton.
Woody Allen released Manhattan in 1979. The film was a black and white homage to New York City and mocks the pretentiousness of intellectuals, whilst simultaneously being full of obscure intellectual references that alienated many of its potential fans.
In the 1980s, Woody Allen's films became somber and philosophical. September and Stardust Memories are influenced by the work of European directors such as Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman. Later in the decade, Hannah and Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanours returned to the comic elements for which Allen had become known. His film Radio Days is considered one of his finest and is about the importance of the radio whilst he was growing up in Brooklyn.
Of the films that Woody Allen made in the 1990s, the highlights were Husbands and Wives, which earned two Academy Award nominations and Manhattan Murder Mystery, which starred Angelica Huston and Diane Keaton. In 1994, Allen released Bullets Over Broadway and received an Academy Award nomination for his efforts. In 1999, his film Sweet and Lowdown also got two Oscar nominations, this time for its stars Samantha Morton and Sean Penn.
In the early 2000s, Allen's films such as Melinda and Melinda and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion were trounced by the media and performed badly at the box office. 2005's Match Point, starring Scarlett Johansson, fared far better and earned Allen a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination.
In 2007, Allen filmed Vicky Cristina Barcelona, starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.
Woody Allen: Personal Life
Woody Allen's personal life has been the subject of great tabloid speculation. For some time, he dated the actress Mia Farrow. He has one child with her and two adopted children. The relationship broke down when she discovered Woody was having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, the daughter that she adopted when she was in a relationship with Andre Previn.