Film director, actor, writer. Born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, on December 1, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York, to Martin and Nettie Konigsberg. Allen is known best as the creator of films infused with self-deprecating, intellectual banter. His films typically parody the neuroses of the social class of New York sophisticates to which Allen himself belongs. Allen briefly attended New York City College, although he never graduated. During college, he wrote one-liners for the columnist Earl Wilson. It was at this time that he changed his name from Allan Konigsberg to Woody Allen. Soon after, he began writing for television, and in the early ‘60s, he worked as a stand-up comedian. In 1964, Woody Allen, a comedy album featuring his stand-up material, was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 1965, he wrote his first screenplay, What’s New, Pussycat, a film in which he also starred. Following the success of this film, he directed What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966), a James Bond spoof that was not as commercially successful as What’s New, Pussycat, but which nonetheless established Allen as a cutting edge humorist. The cast lists for Allen’s films usually read like a who’s who of Hollywood. His featured stars are often the most established or up-and-coming actors of the day, and he frequently works with the same actors as well as technical crew. Dianne Wiest, for instance, was featured in Radio Days (1987) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994). Judy Davis, another Allen favorite, has appeared in Husbands and Wives (1992), Deconstructing Harry (1997), and Celebrity (1998). Additionally, Allen has a history of casting his significant others for his films. Louise Lasser, to whom Allen was married in the late ‘60s, starred in numerous film and theater projects penned by Allen. Works featuring Diane Keaton, whom Allen dated in the ‘70s, included Sleeper (1973); Annie Hall (1977), which earned Allen an Oscar for Best Director; Manhattan (1979); and Radio Days (1987). Mia Farrow, for whom Allen wrote numerous roles throughout their long-standing relationship, appeared in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), also featuring Wiest; Alice (1990), Shadows and Fog (1992) and Husbands and Wives (1992). Allen is the recipient of numerous awards for his film work. Among his honors, he has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards, winning three; as well as nine Golden Globes—one which he won for the critically acclaimed The Purple Rose of Cairo.
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Allen Woody Biography
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