David Mamet
American author, playwright, screenwriter and film director
David Mamet
David Alan Mamet is an American playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and film director. Best known as a playwright, Mamet won a Pulitzer Prize and received Tony nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow (1988). As a screenwriter, he received Oscar nominations for The Verdict (1982) and Wag the Dog (1997).
Biography
David Mamet's personal information overview.
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News
News abour David Mamet from around the web
Barbara Tarbuck, 'General Hospital' Actress, Dead At 74
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Actress Barbara Tarbuck died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare brain disorder, in her Los Angeles home on Monday at age 74. Her daughter, producer Jennifer Lane Connolly, confirmed the news to Variety.  She was known for her long-running role as Lady Jane Jacks on ABC’s “General Hospital,” but she also appeared in TV series including “Dallas,” “NYPD Blue,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Medium,” “CSI: NY” and “Glee,” and as Mother Superior Claudia in “American Horror Story: Asylum.” Tarbuck, born on Jan. 15, 1942, was a native of Detroit, Michigan, and began her career as a regular on AM Radio Station WWJ’s children’s series “Storyland.” She attended Wayne State University before receiving a master’s in theater from the University of Michigan. She then attended Indiana University to take part in its theater touring company and was soon granted a Fulbright Scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Following graduation, Tarbuck moved to New York to pursue acting.  Althou ...
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Huffington Post article
Aisle View: Howls from the Pitch
Huffington Post - 3 months
The Cast of The Wolves Photo: Daniel J. Vasquez Out of the mouths of babes comes strength and wisdom, it has been said. The babes they were talking about weren't, presumably, a suburban soccer team of sixteen-year-old girls. But sit amongst them while they do their warm ups--before matches on a succession of Saturday afternoons--and out of their mouths come strength and weakness, plus assorted words of friendship, hate and bodily functions. This is the world of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves. Take a seat in the bleachers surrounding the wedge of AstroTurf at the Duke on 42nd and you'll get a fascinating, riveting earful. Youth soccer teams work, at their best, like a machine. While the goal keeper and one or two others might stand out, the rest are relatively interchangeable; all are hopefully proficient at the game, and it's the teamwork that you see from the stands. DeLappe and her director Lila Neugebauer have given us a faceless crew of nine girls; all except the ...
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Huffington Post article
How Do You Write About A Man Who Doesn't Know Who He Is?
Huffington Post - 3 months
NEW YORK ― Here’s a mystery. In 2004, a Burger King employee discovered a naked man lying unconscious near the restaurant’s dumpsters. The police brought him to a nearby hospital in Savannah, Georgia. But when the man regained consciousness, he didn’t know who he was. There were some clues. He had cataracts and signs of previous physical trauma to his skull, as well as scars on his neck and arms. Yet a database search of his fingerprints and appearance yielded no results. It seemed no one was looking for him. Who was this “Burger King Doe?” That’s the mystery Matthew Wolfe, a Ph.D. student in sociology at New York University, wrote about in his story “The Last Unknown Man,” which ran in The New Republic in November. The Huffington Post sat down with Wolfe last week to find out more. Your specialty at NYU is missing persons. Why this case? I was interested in the subjective experience of someone who is conscious, but unaware of who they are, where they came from or what t ...
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The genius of Edward Albee and the inner voice that brought difficult truths to the stage
LATimes - 5 months
David Mamet once described two of New York’s leading drama critics as the syphilis and gonorrhea of the American theater. Edward Albee, whose death at age 88 on Friday marked the end of his reign as the greatest living American playwright, chiseled his own choice invectives for reviewers over his...
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LATimes article
9 Modern Grandparents Who Are Breaking The 'Grandparent Mold'
Huffington Post - 6 months
National Grandparents Day is coming up on Sunday, Sept. 11, so Huff/Post50 decided to take a moment to celebrate the incredible contributions grandparents have made to our lives. We asked you to tell us about your grandparents and what they mean to you —and we published many of your inspiring stories on Wednesday.  Now, we’re publishing a second tribute that features stories and photos of grandparents who are breaking the “grandparent mold,” which are modern grandparents who aren’t biding their time in rocking chairs, knitting sweaters and waiting for someone to pay them a visit. Today’s grandparents are active, engaged and involved. They are starting businesses, traveling the world and climbing mountains. They are not feeble, but fearless. And we couldn’t be more impressed. Happy Grandparents Day, everyone!   Doris Lynch, 78, grandmother of eight By Doris Lynch What made me decide to try stand-up comedy? Well, I’ve always enjoyed being the center of attention ...
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Decoding the Mysteries: An Interview with Scott Hawkins, Author of The Library at Mount Char</em>
Huffington Post - about 1 year
I admit it: as a reader I've become jaded. It takes a lot to move or excite me, and I drop many books after 50 pages. When I began The Library at Mount Char, I thought at first that it was going to be a standard thriller. Instead it ended up being one of the most imaginative, darkly funny, and crazy novels I've read. Scott Hawkins's white-hot creativity is one of a kind, and I can't wait to see where he goes next. So of course, I asked him if I could interview him for the Huffington Post, and he generously obliged. Here you'll find behind-the-scenes revelations as well as personal ones about Hawkins's journey to becoming a published author. The Library at Mount Char is a work of incredible complexity. How long did it take to write, and did you know, starting out, that it was going to be such a vast project? Were there any particular ideas that got you started? Most of what made it into print was written in two big bursts. The first one came in July-September 2012. Over about ...
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Huffington Post article
ArtsBeat: Pacino Leads ‘China Doll’ to Broadway Profitability
NYTimes - about 1 year
Despite negative reviews, David Mamet’s play has recouped its investment.
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NYTimes article
Eric Bogosian's 100 Monologues
Huffington Post - about 1 year
monologue: from the Greek μονόλογος; μόνος mónos or "alone, solitary" and λόγος lógos, "speech." The first recorded monologues and soliloquys go back at least as far as ancient Roman and Greek times. But unless you are someone with huge amounts of time on your hands and you love to surf the internet to discover acting gems that don't get theatrical releases-or you happen to live in New York and frequent the theater on a regular basis--It's often hard to see some of our most talented actors in this isolated, most intense form. Eric Bogosian's latest labor of love, which goes by the self-explanatory name of 100Monologues.com is here to remedy that, at least partly. In these one hundred sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic but always revealing monologues written by the three-time Obie award winner and performed by his posse of A-List actors, you get glimpses into his psyche and that of performers that you may never get elsewhere. The themes presented will be familiar to Bogosi ...
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Huffington Post article
Top 10 of 2015
Huffington Post - about 1 year
For me, this has been an interesting year of travels, adventures in distant lands, and new experiences. Wherever I have gone, though, I've taken the opportunity to explore theatre and musical performances, film, art exhibits, and the most intriguing books. Given this peripatetic life, I've missed out on one or two notable events such Nicole Kidman playing research chemist Rosalind Franklin in Photograph 51 in London's West End. Or the new David Mamet play, China Doll, with Al Pacino in NYC, which looks set to become the major disaster of the year!! (Such spectacles are always fascinating.) But, I think I managed to hit many of the highlights. So here is my annual list of the Top 10 of the year. I hope you can still catch some of these. Films Kingsman: The Secret Service Directed by Matthew Vaughan Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson This was such a stylish, wonderful piece of hokum. A Secret Service which is truly secret in that it's not run by any government but instead ...
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Huffington Post article
And, But, Therefore: Randy Olson and the Art of Science Storytelling, Part 2
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Randy Olson, as you may know, is the scientist-turned-filmmaker whose movies include Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus and Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy. Olson also wrote Don't Be Such A Scientist, and now has a new book, Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story, which argues that scientists should incorporate more storytelling and narrative into how they discuss their findings. Olson writes that scientists should recognize that the narrative techniques developed by Hollywood can be used to make their science more engaging to the public. Without sacrificing scientific quality, researchers can bring their findings to life using the elements of drama. Many people misunderstand drama. To remind me and inspire my own writing, I have permanently mounted in my home the famous memo playwright David Mamet sent to the writers of the television series The Unit. You should read the whole memo here, but here's the part most relevant to this discussion (Mam ...
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Huffington Post article
On the Culture Front: Henry IV, El Vy, The Civilians' War on Christmas, and more
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The immersion into Phyllida Lloyd's meticulously crafted reimagination of "Henry IV" begins before the audience steps foot into the new home of St. Ann's Warehouse. I was cutting it close on a recent evening and walking briskly to the theater as I noticed a chain gang of prisoners being led down the street by stern-faced guards. I slipped in the main entrance a few minutes before their arrival and subsequent parade through the lobby, which was prefaced by a thundering announcement of their arrival. Seating is organized in "blocks" to heighten the mood and guards are positioned through the theater as a reminder that the kingdom being fought over exists within the fragile boundaries of the inmates' imagination. This eerie feeling pulsates throughout the play though there are only a handful of moments that exist outside of Shakespeare's text. Clare Dunne is a particular standout in the all-female cast as next-in-line-for-the-throne Hal. When she stands on a makeshift podium, the drivin ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of David Mamet
    FORTIES
  • 2015
    In 2015, the Ransom Center secured a second major addition to Mamet's papers that include more recent works.
    More Details Hide Details Additional materials relating to Mamet and his career can be found in the Ransom Center's collections of Robert De Niro, Mel Gussow, Tom Stoppard, Sam Shepard, Paul Schrader, Don DeLillo, and John Russell Brown.
    His latest feature-length film, a thriller titled Blackbird, is slated for release in 2015.
    More Details Hide Details Blackbird will star James Badge Dale as “a military major who is trying to discover the truth about the political secrets of a woman’s grandfather who worked for the U.S. special ops during the 1960s,” according to Deadline.com. Mamet has also written the screenplays for such classic films as The Verdict (1982), directed by Sidney Lumet, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), The Untouchables (1987) directed by Brian De Palma, Hoffa (1992), The Edge (1997), Wag The Dog (1997), Ronin (1998), and Hannibal (2001).
  • 2014
    Arthur Holmberg in his 2014 book David Mamet and Male Friendship, has reconsidered the gender issue in many of Mamet's plays throughout his career by asserting a prominent and recurrent reversed sexual orientation of portrayed male gender preferences.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2013
    In an essay for Newsweek, published on 29 January 2013, Mamet argued against gun control laws: "It was intended to guard us against this inevitable decay of government that the Constitution was written.
    More Details Hide Details Its purpose was and is not to enthrone a Government superior to an imperfect and confused electorate, but to protect us from such a government." Mamet's style of writing dialogue, marked by a cynical, street-smart edge, precisely crafted for effect, is so distinctive that it has come to be called Mamet speak. Mamet has recognized an association of his edgy narrative style by noting his debt to Harold Pinter, to whom he dedicated Glengarry Glen Ross. He often uses italics and quotation marks to highlight particular words and to draw attention to his characters' frequent manipulation and deceitful use of language. His characters frequently interrupt one another, their sentences trail off unfinished, and their dialogue overlaps. Moreover, certain expressions and figures of speech are deliberately misrepresented to show that the character is not paying close attention to every detail of his dialogue (e.g., or so forth instead of and so forth). Mamet himself has criticized his (and other writers') tendency to write "pretty" at the expense of sound, logical plots.
  • 2012
    In November 2012 Mamet penned an article for the The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles imploring fellow Jewish Americans to vote for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
    More Details Hide Details
    Mamet's feature films, which he both wrote and directed, include in chronological order: his feature directorial debut House of Games (1987) (which won Best Film and Best Screenplay awards at the 1987 Venice Film Festival and "Film of the Year" for the 1989 London Critics Circle Film Awards), Things Change (1988), Homicide (1991) (nominated for the Palme d'Or at 1991 Cannes Film Festival and won a "Screenwriter of the Year" award for Mamet from the London Critics Circle Film Awards and Best Cinematography from Roger Deakins from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards), Oleanna (1994), The Spanish Prisoner (1997), The Winslow Boy (1999), State and Main (2000), Heist (2001), Spartan (2004), Redbelt (2008), and in 2012 a bio-pic TV movie Phil Spector about the American record producer and songwriter Phil Spector starring Al Pacino as Spector, as well as Helen Mirren and Jeffrey Tambor.
    More Details Hide Details
    His play The Anarchist, starring Patti LuPone and Debra Winger, in her Broadway debut, opened on Broadway on November 13, 2012 in previews and was scheduled to close on December 16, 2012.
    More Details Hide Details In 2002, Mamet was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Mamet later received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for Grand Master of American Theater in 2010.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2008
    In a 2008 article for the Village Voice headlined Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal he revealed that he had gradually rejected political correctness and progressivism and embraced conservatism.
    More Details Hide Details Mamet has spoken in interviews of changes in his views, highlighting his agreement with free market theorists such as Friedrich Hayek the historian Paul Johnson, and economist Thomas Sowell, whom Mamet called "one of our greatest minds". During promotion of a book, Mamet was criticized for claiming that the British people had "a taint of anti-semitism," claiming they "want to give Israel away." In the same interview, Mamet went on to say that "there are famous dramatists and novelists the UK whose works are full of anti-Semitic filth," but that he could not specify to whom he was referring for fear of litigation. He is known for his pro-Israel positions; in his book The Secret Knowledge he claimed that "Israelis would like to live in peace within their borders; the Arabs would like to kill them all."
  • 2004
    In 2004 he published a lauded version of the classical Faust story, Faustus, however, the play, when staged in San Francisco during the spring of 2004, was not well received by critics.
    More Details Hide Details On May 1, 2010, Mamet released a graphic novel The Trials of Roderick Spode (The Human Ant). On June 2, 2011, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, Mamet's book detailing his conversion from modern liberalism to "a reformed liberal" was released. Mamet published Three War Stories, a collection of novellas, on November 11, 2013. In an interview with Newsmax TV, Mamet said he wanted to write about war, despite never having served. Moreover, the book allowed Mamet to free characters that had occupied his mind for years. On the subject of characters as a reason for writing, Mamet told the host, “You want to get these guys out of your head. You just want them to stop talking to you." Mamet wrote the "Wasted Weekend" episode of Hill Street Blues that aired in 1987. His then-wife, Lindsay Crouse, appeared in numerous episodes (including that one) as Officer McBride. Mamet is also the creator, producer and frequent writer of the television series The Unit, where he wrote a well-circulated memo to the writing staff. He directed a third season episode of The Shield with Shawn Ryan. In 2007, Mamet directed two television commercials for Ford Motor Company. The two 30-second ads featured the Ford Edge and were filmed in Mamet's signature style of fast-paced dialogue and clear, simple imagery. Mamet's sister, Lynn, is a producer and writer for television shows, such as The Unit and Law & Order.
  • 2000
    In 2000, Mamet directed a film version of Catastrophe, a one-act play by Samuel Beckett featuring Harold Pinter and John Gielgud (in his final screen performance).
    More Details Hide Details In 2008, he directed and wrote the mixed martial arts movie Redbelt, about a martial arts instructor tricked into fighting in a professional bout. Mamet teamed up with his wife Rebecca Pidgeon to adapt the novel Come Back to Sorrento as a screenplay. The film was in development during 2010. He is also director of the TV film Phil Spector. In On Directing Film, Mamet asserts that directors should focus on getting the point of a scene across, rather than simply following a protagonist, or adding visually beautiful or intriguing shots. Films should create order from disorder in search of the objective. In 1990 Mamet published The Hero Pony, a 55-page collection of poetry. He has also published a series of short plays, monologues and three novels, The Village (1994), The Old Religion (1997), and Wilson: A Consideration of the Sources (2000). He has written several non-fiction texts, and children's stories.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1992
    Mamet adapted Glengarry Glen Ross for the cinema in 1992, writing an additional part (including the monologue "Coffee's for closers") for Alec Baldwin.
    More Details Hide Details Mamet remains a writer and director, and has assembled an informal repertory company for his films, including Crouse, William H. Macy, Joe Mantegna, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Ricky Jay, as well as some of the aforementioned poker associates. Mamet has funded his own films with payments he receives for credited and uncredited rewrites of typically big-budget films. For instance, Mamet did a rewrite of the script for Ronin under the pseudonym “Richard Weisz” and turned in an early version of a script for Malcolm X that director Spike Lee rejected.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1987
    In 1987, Mamet made his film directing debut with House of Games, starring his then-wife, Lindsay Crouse, and a host of longtime stage associates.
    More Details Hide Details He uses friends as actors, especially in one early scene in the movie, which featured Vermont poker-playing friends. He is quoted as saying, "It was my first film as a director and I needed support, so I stacked the deck." Two of the four poker friends included in the film were fellow Goddard College graduates Allen Soule and Bob Silverstein. Three of Mamet's own films, House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, and Heist, have involved the world of con artists.
  • 1981
    Mamet's first produced screenplay was the 1981 production of The Postman Always Rings Twice (directed by Bob Rafelson), based upon James M. Cain's novel.
    More Details Hide Details He received an Academy Award nomination one year later for his first script, The Verdict, written in the late 1970s. He also wrote the screenplay for The Untouchables.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1977
    Mamet and actress Lindsay Crouse were married in 1977 and divorced in 1990.
    More Details Hide Details He and Crouse have two children, Willa and Zosia. Willa is a professional photographer and Zosia is an actress. Mamet has been married to actress and singer-songwriter Rebecca Pidgeon since 1991. They have two children, Clara and Noah. The papers of David Mamet were sold to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin in 2007 and first opened for research in 2009. The growing collection consists mainly of manuscripts and related production materials for most of his plays, films, and other writings, but also includes his personal journals from 1966 to 2005.
  • 1976
    Mamet is a founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company; he first gained acclaim for a trio of off-Broadway plays in 1976, The Duck Variations, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, and American Buffalo.
    More Details Hide Details He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for Glengarry Glen Ross, which received its first Broadway revival in the summer of 2005. His play Race, which opened on Broadway on December 6, 2009 and featured James Spader, David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington, and Richard Thomas in the cast, received mixed reviews.
  • OTHER
  • 1947
    Mamet was born in 1947 in Chicago to Jewish parents, Lenore June (née Silver), a teacher, and Bernard Morris Mamet, an attorney.
    More Details Hide Details One of his first jobs was as a busboy at Chicago's The Second City. He was educated at the progressive Francis W. Parker School and at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. At the Chicago Public Library Foundation 20th anniversary fundraiser in 2006, though, Mamet announced "My alma mater is the Chicago Public Library. I got what little educational foundation I got in the third-floor reading room, under the tutelage of a Coca-Cola sign".
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