Woody Allen – One of America’s Leading Filmmakers


Woody Allen

Allan Stewart Konigsberg
(December 1, 1935, Brooklyn, NY)
Nationality: United States of America
Category: Celebrities
Occupation: Film Directors, Actors
Unique distinction: One of contemporary America’s leading filmmakers, the winner of four Academy Awards (24 nominations). Major Genres: Comedy,  Drama.
Gender: Male

Quotes: 1. Eighty percent of success is showing up. 2. What if nothing exists and we’re all in somebody’s dream? 3.I’ve never been an intellectual but I have this look. 4. Life is for the living. 5. Tradition is the illusion of permanance. 6. In my house I’m the boss, my wife is just the decision maker. 7. I tended to place my wife under a pedestal. 8. Your perception of time changes as you get older, because you see how brief everything is. You see how meaningless . . . I don’t want to depress you, but it’s a meaningless little flicker. 9. Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once. 10. What a world. It could be so wonderful if it wasn’t for certain people. 11. I think what I’m saying is that I’m really impotent against the overwhelming bleakness of the universe and that the only thing I can do is my little gift and do it the best I can, and that is about the best I can do, which is cold comfort. 12. My sets are boring. Nothing exciting ever happens, and I barely talk to the actors.
Website: woodyallen

Achievements and contributions:

Social and professional position: Woody Allen is an famous American film director, screenwriter, actor, writer, musician, and playwright.
The main contribution to (what is known): He is widely considered one of America’s greatest filmmakers and famous actors.
Contributions: Allen’s distinctive films, which run the gamut from dramas to screwball sex comedies, have made him a notable American director. He is best known for his bittersweet comic films containing elements of parody, slapstick, and the absurd.
Allen writes and directs his movies and has also acted in the majority of them. He is also distinguished by his rapid rate of production and his very large body of work.
For inspiration, Allen draws heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema, among a wealth of other fields of interest.
Allen came into his own in the 1970s as a writer, actor and director in movie comedies like Bananas (1971) and Sleeper (1973).
He won a best picture Oscar for his ode to modern love in New York, Annie Hall (1977) and since then he’s been considered a major American filmmaker.
Allen has written and directed a new film almost every year since the late 70s.
He has averaged about one movie a year, including serious films such as Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) and Husbands and Wives (1992), and lighthearted comedies such as Zelig (1983) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994), ‘Mighty Aphrodite’ in 1995, which won an Oscar, Best Actress in a Supporting Role Mira Sorvino, ‘Everybody Says I Love You’ in 1996.
Still, he’s widely considered one of America’s greatest filmmakers, and famous actors still speak of being “in a Woody” as if it’s the next best thing to winning an Oscar.
First Major Screen Credit: What’s New Pussycat? (1965).
Career Highlights: Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hannah and Her Sisters, Annie Hall.
Oscar 4 wins and 24 nominations.
Oscar for Best Director 1978 for Annie Hall (1977).
Oscar for Best Screenplay 1978 for Annie Hall (shared).
Oscar for Best Screenplay 1987 for Hannah and Her Sisters(1986).
Oscar for Best Screenplay Midnight in Paris (2011).
Golden Globe  2 wins and 4 nominations.
Golden Globe 1986 for The Purple Rose of Cairo (best screenplay).
Golden Globe 2012  for Midnight in Paris (best screenplay).
British Academy Film Awards 10 wins 13 nominations.
Honors and Awards: Allen has won four Academy Awards: three for Best Original Screenplay (Annie Hall (1978,; Hannah and Her Sisters (1987) and Midnight in Paris (2011), He has 24 Oscar nominations: 16 as a screenwriter, seven as a director, and once as an actor. He also won 2 Golden Globe ten British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards.
Major works: Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanors , Mighty Aphrodite , Hollywood Ending, Deconstructing Harry. Melinda and Melinda, Small Time Crooks (2000, with Tracey Ullman), Anything Else (2002, starring Christina Ricci), Match Point (2005, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson) and Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008, with Johansson and Javier Bardem),  Whatever Works (22-Apr-2009.), Midnight in Paris (2011), Blue Jasmine (2013), Irrational Man (2015), Café Society (2016) Plays: Don’t Drink the Water  (1966),  Play it Again, Sam (1969), The Front (1976, Humourous books : Getting Even (1971)  Without Feathers (1976).

Career and Personal life:

Origin: He was born and raised in New York City, the son of Nettie (née Cherrie) a bookkeeper at her family’s delicatessen, and Martin Konigsberg  a jewelry engraver and waiter. Both of his grandfathers were immigrants, one of Austro-Jewish descent and the other of Russo-Jewish descent. His parents were both born and raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Education: After Midwood High School, Brooklyn, NY (1953), he went to New York University (NYU), where he studied communication and film. He was never committed as a student, so he failed a film course, and was eventually expelled. He later briefly attended City College of New York, and eventually taught at The New School.
Career highlights: Intending to be a playwright, Allen began writing stand-up comedy monologues while still in high school.
At the age of 15, he started selling one-liners to gossip columns, receiving $200 a week.
At the age of 17, he legally changed his name to Heywood Allen.
To raise money he began writing gags to newspaper columnists.
He was always quick with a quip, and by the time he was 18 he was writing one-liners for Guy Lombardo, Danny Kaye, and Bob Hope.
At age 19, he started writing scripts for The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, Caesar’s Hour and other television shows.
In 1961, he started a new career as a stand-up comedian, debuting in a Greenwich Village club called the Duplex.
Through the rest of the 60s and 70s, Allen made hilarious comedies before he decided to “quit clowning around” and began making more serious films.
His first movie production was What’s New, Pussycat? in 1965, for which he wrote the initial screenplay.
He directed his first film a year later, What’s Up, Tiger Lily? in 1966.
He wrote over 40 screenplays for his films, among them:  Stardust Memories (1980), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Match Point (2005), Midnight in Paris (2011). His last works are: Blue Jasmine (2013), mystery drama Irrational Man (2015) with Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey and Jamie Blackley. Café Society (2016) with Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Blake Lively.
Personal life: His childhood wasn’t particularly happy. His parents didn’t get along, and he had a rocky relationship with his stern, temperamental mother. Allen spoke Yiddish during his early years and, after attending Hebrew school for eight years, went to Public School 99 and to Midwood High School.
As a young boy, he became intrigued with magic tricks and playing the clarinet. Later Allen is also an accomplished jazz clarinetist, a hobby featured in the 1998 documentary Wild Man Blues. These two hobbies he continues to do today.
He was married three times.  His wives where Harlene Rosen (1954–1959) and Louise Lasser (1966–1969). Recently He has been married to  Soon-Yi Previn (1997–present). Allen has 2 sons and 3 douhters: Moses Farrow (son), Dylan Farrow (daughter), Ronan Farrow (son), Bechet Dumaine Allen (daughter), Manzie Tio Allen (daughter).
He was also known as a sympathetic director for women, writing strong and well-defined characters for them. Among his featured performers were Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow, with both of whom he was romantically involved.
Five actors have won six Academy Awards for their work in Allen films: Diane Keaton (Best Actress, Annie Hall), Michael Caine (Best Supporting Actor, Hannah and Her Sisters), Dianne Wiest (Best Supporting Actress, Hannah and Her Sisters and Bullets Over Broadway), Mira Sorvino (Best Supporting Actress, Mighty Aphrodite), and Penélope Cruz (Best Supporting Actress, Vicky Cristina Barcelona).
Zest: Has been nominated or won 136 awards, more than Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd combined. Refuses to watch any of his movies once released. He is a vegetarian and  writes his scripts on a typewriter.
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