Woody Allen (1935)
It was on this date, December 1, 1935 that American comedian and film director Woody Allen was born Allen Stuart Konigsberg in Brooklyn, New York. According to his official biography, he was a humorist from age 15, when he started selling one-liners. He graduated high school and spent one semester at New York University before deciding to make a hit with his wit.
Allen worked a time as a stand-up comedian and got his start in film as a writer for the 1965 comedy, What's New, Pussycat? The next year, Allen directed his first feature, What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966). He has written, directed and/or starred in a film almost every year since. His 1977 breakthrough film, Annie Hall, won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Allen has written dozens of comedies and dramas in which his sharp, literate wit play freely with the social angst of his persona, and of society at large. And Allen the atheist is never at a loss for words.
These include: Anything Else (2003), Hollywood Ending (2002), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), Small Time Crooks (2000), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Celebrity (1998), Deconstructing Harry (1997), the musical Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Husbands and Wives (1992), Shadows and Fog (1992), Alice (1990), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Another Woman (1988), Radio Days (1987), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), Zelig (1983), A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982), Stardust Memories (1980), Manhattan (1979), Interiors (1978), Love and Death (1975), Sleeper (1973), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Afraid to Ask (1972), and Play It Again, Sam (1972).
Here are just a few lines from his films:
Other random one-liners include:
How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?Allen also enjoys toying with death:
It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.Speaking seriously to Rolling Stone in 1987, Allen admitted, "I do occasionally envy the person who is religious naturally, without being brainwashed into it or suckered into it by all the organized hustlers." For a man who claims "Eighty percent of success is showing up," Woody Allen has more Academy Award nominations for writing than anyone else in the business: 13. For him, that may be a lucky number!
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