Woody Allen
Actor, writer, and director
Woody Allen
Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, author, playwright, and musician whose career spans over half a century. He began as a comedy writer in the 1950s, penning jokes and scripts for television and also publishing several books of short humor pieces. In the early 1960s, Allen started performing as a stand-up comic, emphasizing monologues rather than traditional jokes.
Biography
Woody Allen's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Woody Allen from around the web
Everything You Need To Know Before Sunday's Golden Globes, Including Who Will Win
Huffington Post - about 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); It’s Golden Globe weekend! Here’s everything you need to know. How do I watch? Catch the Golden Globes live at 8 p.m. EST on NBC Sunday. E!’s red-carpet special, hosted by Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest, begins at 6 p.m. NBC’s airs at 7 p.m. The awards take place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Who is hosting? Jimmy Fallon, who has teased potential Donald Trump cracks despite rustling the president-elect’s hair like an old chum during Trump’s ...
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Huffington Post article
Got Milk?
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Milk has had a long and intimate relationship with comedy. And it's much more than just jokes about milk. It's the role that milk plays as a reaction to successful humor. Woody Allen explained it best when he said, "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." It's true. When that happens, comedians are way beyond thankful. They're deliriously ecstatic. Why? Any comedian will tell you that a good joke can kill. But only an incredible joke can make milk come out of someone's nose. It's the goal of comedy. That's why I got worried about a story recently broadcast on NPR: "Soy, Almond, Coconut: If It's Not From A Cow, Can You Legally Call It Milk?" The story recounted the latest battle in a long-running war. For many years, the dairy industry has argued that plant-based drinks like soy, almond, rice and coconut shouldn't be labeled milk. Manufacturers of the plant-based drinks have disagreed. But last week, Congressional representatives from many ...
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Huffington Post article
Carnegie Deli - Last of the Latkes
Huffington Post - about 2 months
There's Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Mellon. Dale Carnegie. Carnegie Hill. And then there's Carnegie Deli. From brisket bliss to cloud nine kasha, it's been a heavenly food haven for 79 years. Latkes the size of flying saucers. Plates toppling over with 4" piles of shaved beef and sauerkraut. And now the decades of deli decadence and delight are over. 3D: Disney, Dustin & Deli 1937. The year Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman and Jane Fonda were born; Amelia Earhart disappeared; Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered; Howard Hughes broke his own transcontinental flight record, and the Hobbit was published by J.R.R. Tolkien. Oh yes, and the same year Carnegie Deli opened on Seventh Avenue, just across the street from Carnegie Hall. Remember the old joke: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" "Practice." I would have answered: "First find the Carnegie Deli; then just go two blocks north to 57th Street!" Not Just Another Deli When Milton Parker and Leo Steiner too ...
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Where Are the Heroes? Arab Cinema in the Time of Extremism
Huffington Post - about 2 months
We've recently been witness to the fact that politics can definitely be cinematic. Maybe not always in a good way, but it is. So is cinema political in return? When we watch a film, we make a choice that is oftentimes political, because it involves gender, ethnicity, religion and our own personal beliefs. With our money, we help shape the choices Hollywood, Bollywood and world cinema filmmakers will make in the future. Say you watch the latest Fast & Furious film, or instead choose a cozy viewing of Jeff Nichols' Loving. The first will help perpetuate a certain kind of hyper popular, testosterone filled moviemaking, while the latter will more likely inspire cultural understanding, across gender and race. I believe every movie ticket we buy is a vote, and it may end up counting more in the long run than any vote in the US election. So if we're talking Arab cinema, well that term is undeniably charged, at its very roots. These days, the country of origin of a film and t ...
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Nonfiction: Woody Allen Reviews a Graphic Tale of a Scandalous Starlet
NYTimes - 2 months
“Mary Astor’s Purple Diary,” by Edward Sorel, is a juicy, funny and, in the end, touching look at the actress’s life.
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NYTimes article
Meryl Streep Is About To Add Another Major Award To Her Mantel
Huffington Post - 2 months
Meryl Streep will soon be able to add another prestigious award to her ever-growing résumé.  The Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe-winning star will be honored with the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Ally for Equality Award, in recognition of her longtime support of the LGBTQ community, in February. The actress, who was last seen on the big screen this summer in “Florence Foster Jenkins,” will be presented with the award at the 2017 HRC Greater New York Gala, slated for Feb. 11 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. HRC President Chad Griffin praised Streep, 67, for standing up for the LGBTQ community “throughout her phenomenal career” in a blog post on his organization’s website.  “Whether through her iconic roles that raised the visibility of LGBTQ people, or by boldly speaking out for equality, Meryl Streep embodies the very nature of what it means to be an ally to our community,” he said. In August, Streep opened up about her connection to the LGBTQ community in an interview w ...
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Aisle View: Doo-Wop on the Stoop
Huffington Post - 3 months
Bobby Conte Thornton and Nick Cordero in A Bronx Tale Photo: Joan Marcus The ingratiating, low-brow, mob-infused charms of Chazz Palminteri's one-man play A Bronx Tale, which translated so well into Robert De Niro's expanded, big-screen version of the same title, remain in evidence in the new musical version at the Longacre. Said charms, unfortunately, are interrupted by song after song after song: some doo-wop, some Motown, some jazz-infused and some standard musical comedy. Too many of the songs are inconsequential, which serves to dilute those ingratiating, low-brow, mob-infused charms which won audiences over in the first (and second) place. This is, indeed, a tale oft-told. Palminteri starred in his semi-autobiographical play off-Broadway in the fall of 1989; the film version opened 1993. The star then brought the play back to New York, for a Broadway run in 2007 at the Walter Kerr; a key addition to the project was director Jerry Zaks, who was presumably respon ...
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Kathy Griffin's 'Jaw-Dropping' Story About Woody Allen Will Shock You
Huffington Post - 3 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Get ready to learn a little bit more about Hollywood’s elite in Kathy Griffin’s new book, Celebrity Run-Ins, My A-Z Index. The comedian and actress shares her personal encounters with some of the biggest celebrities of our time, but one tale in particular is, what she calls, “a jaw-dropper.” It’s about filmmaker Woody Allen, who was surrounded by controversy in 2014 after his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow released damning allegations of sexual abuse, claiming ...
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Wonderful Silliness
Huffington Post - 4 months
THEATRE REVIEW: SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER TACT--The Actors Company Theatre Clurman Theatre, Theatre Row 410 West 42nd Street, NYC Through 5 November 2016 Farces were a colorful mainstay of 18th-century theatre. And "She Stoops to Conquer," by the Anglo-Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith, which premiered in 1773 in London, is a celebrated part of the genre. Pity more of these delightfully absurd comedies aren't revived, as if today's producers think the humor is out of fashion. Hard to believe considering it inspired America's Screwball comedic tradition, from the Marx Brothers to Woody Allen. Mistaken identity is at the heart of this story, with the lead gentleman, Charles Marlow (Jeremy Beck), having been intentionally misinformed by the play's jester, Tony Lumpkin (Richard Thieriot), that he has wandered far from his intended destination, where he is to meet Lumpkin's stepsister. Lumpkin's stepfather, Mr. Hardcastle (John Rothman), and Marlow's father have a ...
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I Had My '10 Minutes Of Fame' For Sexual Assault And You Can Have It Back
Huffington Post - 4 months
During Wednesday night’s presidential debate, Donald Trump denied accusations of sexual assault against him by, in part, suggesting that the women accusing him were seeking their “their 10 minutes of fame.” You don’t have to have experienced the attention that public rape accusations can bring to realize it’s not the kind of attention anyone would ever want. But, in a way, I have experienced it. In 2011, I was launching a website with publishing legend Jane Pratt, who had previously created Sassy and Jane Magazines. The very first first piece that I published on the new site was an interview with my adolescent rapist, written after he had attempted to friend me on Facebook.  I was assaulted by a group of teenage boys when I was 14, and I’d spent the following decade both blaming myself for it, and attempting to destroy myself with drugs and alcohol. Then three years sober, at 28, I was working through the trauma for the very first time in therapy, and I had questions about w ...
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New in home entertainment: Woody Allen's romance 'Café Society' and HBO's mystery 'The Night Of'
LATimes - 4 months
New on Blu-ray “Café Society” (Lionsgate DVD, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99; also available on VOD) Woody Allen probably won’t ever hit his ‘70s and ‘80s highs again, but “Café Society” is one of his better later films — a wistful romance set both in Golden Age Hollywood and Prohibition-era New York....
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LATimes article
New in home entertainment: Woody Allen's romance 'Café Society' and HBO's mystery 'The Night Of'
LATimes - 4 months
New on Blu-ray “Café Society” (Lionsgate DVD, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99; also available on VOD) Woody Allen probably won’t ever hit his ‘70s and ‘80s highs again, but “Café Society” is one of his better later films — a wistful romance set both in Golden Age Hollywood and Prohibition-era New York....
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LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Woody Allen
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 80
    In September 2016, Allen started filming his next project, set in 1950's Coney Island and stars Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake.
    More Details Hide Details While best known for his films, Allen has enjoyed a successful career in theatre, starting as early as 1960, when he wrote sketches for the revue From A to Z. His first great success was Don't Drink the Water, which opened in 1968, and ran for 598 performances for almost two years on Broadway. His success continued with Play It Again, Sam, which opened in 1969, starring Allen and Diane Keaton. The show played for 453 performances and was nominated for three Tony Awards, although none of the nominations were for Allen's writing or acting. In the 1970s, Allen wrote a number of one-act plays, most notably God and Death, which were published in his 1975 collection Without Feathers. In 1981, Allen's play The Floating Light Bulb opened on Broadway. The play was a critical success and a commercial flop. Despite two Tony Award nominations, a Tony win for the acting of Brian Backer (who won the 1981 Theater World Award and a Drama Desk Award for his work), the play only ran for 62 performances.
    Amazon Video debuted Allen's first television series production on September 30, 2016.
    More Details Hide Details The series is a comedy which takes place during the 1960s. It focuses on the life of a suburban family after a surprise visitor creates chaos among them. Titled Crisis in Six Scenes, it stars Allen alongside Elaine May and Miley Cyrus. Cyrus plays the part of a radical hippie fugitive who sells marijuana.
    The film is distributed by Amazon Studios, and opened the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on May 11, 2016, marking the third time Allen has opened the festival.
    More Details Hide Details For many years, Allen wanted to make a film about the origins of jazz in New Orleans. The film, tentatively titled American Blues, would follow the vastly different careers of Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. Allen stated that the film would cost between $80 and $100 million and is therefore unlikely to be made.
  • 2015
    Age 79
    At the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, Allen said, in reference to his upcoming Amazon show, "It was a catastrophic mistake.
    More Details Hide Details I don't know what I'm doing. I'm floundering. I expect this to be a cosmic embarrassment."
    On January 14, 2015, it was announced Allen will write and direct a TV series of half-hour episodes for Amazon Studios, marking the first time he has developed a television show.
    More Details Hide Details It will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Amazon Studios has already ordered a full season. Allen said of the series, "I don't know how I got into this. I have no ideas and I'm not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price head of Amazon Studios will regret this."
  • 2014
    Age 78
    From July through August 2014, Allen filmed the mystery drama Irrational Man in Newport, Rhode Island, with Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey and Jamie Blackley.
    More Details Hide Details Allen has said that this film, as well as the next three he has planned, have the financing and full support of Sony Pictures Classics. Allen's next film, Café Society, starred an ensemble cast, including Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Blake Lively. Bruce Willis was set to co-star, but was replaced by Steve Carell during filming.
    In February 2014, Dylan Farrow repeated the allegation in an open letter published by Nicholas Kristof, one of Farrow's friends, in his New York Times blog.
    More Details Hide Details She alleged that Allen had treated her in a way that made her physically uncomfortable "for as long as she could remember", citing occasions when he got in bed with her in his underwear. Allen again repeated his denial of the allegation, calling them "untrue and disgraceful", and followed with his own response in The New York Times. Dylan's brother, Moses, currently a family therapist, told People magazine, "Of course Woody did not molest my sister... She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit." He claimed that their mother had manipulated her children into hating Allen as "a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi." Dylan denies she was ever coached by her mother and stands by her allegations. Several of Farrow's other children have spoken out in support of Dylan.
  • 2013
    Age 77
    Allen co-stars with John Turturro in Fading Gigolo, written and directed by Turturro, which premiered in September 2013.
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    In 2013, in Nice, France, Allen shot the romantic comedy Magic in the Moonlight, set in the 1920s on the French Riviera and starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone.
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  • 2012
    Age 76
    His next film, To Rome with Love, was a Rome-set comedy released in 2012. The film was structured in four vignettes featuring dialogue in both Italian and English. It marked Allen's return to acting since his last role in Scoop. Blue Jasmine debuted in July 2013.
    More Details Hide Details The film is set in San Francisco and New York, and stars Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, and Peter Sarsgaard. Opened to critical acclaim, the film earned Allen another Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and Blanchett went to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress.
  • 2011
    Age 75
    It debuted at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival on May 12, 2011.
    More Details Hide Details Allen said he wanted to "show the city emotionally," during the press conference. "I just wanted it to be the way I saw Paris – Paris through my eyes," he added. Critically acclaimed, the film was considered by some a mark for his return to form. Midnight in Paris won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
  • 2010
    Age 74
    It was released theatrically in the US on September 23, 2010, following a Cannes debut in May 2010, and a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2010.
    More Details Hide Details Allen announced that his next film would be titled Midnight in Paris, starring Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Michael Sheen, Gad Elmaleh and Carla Bruni, the First Lady of France at the time of production. The film follows a young engaged couple in Paris who see their lives transformed.
  • 2008
    Age 72
    In April 2008, he began filming a story focused more toward older audiences starring Larry David, Patricia Clarkson and Evan Rachel Wood. Released in 2009, Whatever Works, described as a dark comedy, follows the story of a botched suicide attempt turned messy love triangle.
    More Details Hide Details Whatever Works was written by Allen in the 1970s and the character played by Larry David was written for Zero Mostel, who died the year Annie Hall came out. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, filmed in London, stars Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Anupam Kher, Freida Pinto and Naomi Watts. Filming started in July 2009.
  • 2007
    Age 71
    After finishing his third London film, Allen headed to Spain. He reached an agreement to film Vicky Cristina Barcelona in Avilés, Barcelona and Oviedo, where shooting started on July 9, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details The movie stars Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall and Penélope Cruz. Speaking of his experience there, Allen said: "I'm delighted at being able to work with Mediapro and make a film in Spain, a country which has become so special to me." Vicky Cristina Barcelona was well received, winning Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globe awards. Penélope Cruz received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. Allen has said that he "survives" on the European market. Audiences there tend to be more receptive to his films, particularly in Spain, France and Italy—countries where he has a large audience (joked about in Hollywood Ending). "In the United States things have changed a lot, and it's hard to make good small films now," Allen said in a 2004 interview. "The avaricious studios couldn't care less about good films—if they get a good film they're twice as happy but money-making films are their goal. They only want these $100 million pictures that make $500 million."
    In June 2007, it was announced that Allen would make two more creative debuts in the theatre, directing a work that he did not write and directing an opera — a reinterpretation of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi for the Los Angeles Opera—which debuted at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on September 6, 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Commenting on his direction of the opera, Allen said, "I have no idea what I'm doing." His production of the opera opened the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, in June 2009. In October 2011, Woody Allen's one-act play called Honeymoon Motel premiered as one in a series of one act plays on Broadway titled Relatively Speaking. Also contributing to the plays are Elaine May and Ethan Coen with John Turturro directing.
  • 2006
    Age 70
    In a 2006 interview with Premiere Magazine, Allen stated this was the best film he has ever made.
    More Details Hide Details Allen returned to London to film Scoop, which also starred Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally and Allen himself. The film was released on July 28, 2006, and received mixed reviews. He filmed Cassandra's Dream in London. Cassandra's Dream was released in November 2007, and stars Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor and Tom Wilkinson.
  • 2001
    Age 65
    Allen was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.
    More Details Hide Details Match Point (2005) was one of Allen's most successful films of the decade, garnering positive reviews. Set in London, it starred Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson. It is markedly darker than Allen's first four films with DreamWorks SKG. In Match Point, Allen shifted focus from the intellectual upper class of New York to the moneyed upper class of London. The film earned more than $23 million domestically (more than any of his films in nearly 20 years) and over $62 million in international box office sales. Match Point earned Allen his first Academy Award nomination since 1998, for Best Writing – Original Screenplay, with directing and writing nominations at the Golden Globes, his first Globe nominations since 1987.
  • 1998
    Age 62
    Allen provided the lead voice in the 1998 animated film Antz, which featured many actors he had worked with and Allen's character was similar to his earlier neurotic roles.
    More Details Hide Details Small Time Crooks (2000) was Allen's first film with the DreamWorks studio and represented a change in direction: Allen began giving more interviews and made an attempt to return to his slapstick roots. The film is similar to the 1942 film Larceny, Inc. (from a play by S.J. Perelman). Allen never commented on whether this was deliberate or if his film was in any way inspired by it. Small Time Crooks was a relative financial success, grossing over $17 million domestically but Allen's next four films foundered at the box office, including Allen's most costly film, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (with a budget of $26 million). Hollywood Ending, Anything Else, and Melinda and Melinda were given "rotten" ratings from film-review website Rotten Tomatoes and each earned less than $4 million domestically. Some critics claimed that Allen's early 2000s films were subpar and expressed concern that Allen's best years were behind him. Others were less harsh; reviewing the little-liked Melinda and Melinda, Roger Ebert wrote, "I cannot escape the suspicion that if Woody had never made a previous film, if each new one was Woody's Sundance debut, it would get a better reception. His reputation is not a dead shark but an albatross, which with admirable economy Allen has arranged for the critics to carry around their own necks." Woody gave his godson Quincy Rose a small part in Melinda and Melinda.
  • 1997
    Age 61
    Allen made one sitcom "appearance" via telephone on the show Just Shoot Me! in a 1997 episode, "My Dinner with Woody" which paid tribute to several of his films.
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  • 1996
    Age 60
    The documentary film Wild Man Blues (directed by Barbara Kopple) documents a 1996 European tour by Allen and his band, as well as his relationship with Previn.
    More Details Hide Details The band has released two CDs: The Bunk Project (1993) and the soundtrack of Wild Man Blues (1997). In a 2011 review of a concert by Allen's jazz band, critic Kirk Silsbee of the L.A. Times suggested that Allen should be regarded as a competent musical hobbyist with a sincere appreciation for early jazz: "Allen's clarinet won't make anyone forget Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard or Evan Christopher. His piping tone and strings of staccato notes can't approximate melodic or lyrical phrasing. Still his earnestness and the obvious regard he has for traditional jazz counts for something." Allen and his band played the Montreal International Jazz Festival on two consecutive nights in June 2008.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1992
    Age 56
    Because Allen and Farrow had never married, Allen was not Soon-Yi's legal stepfather. After his relationship with Mia Farrow ended acrimoniously in 1992, Allen and Soon-Yi continued their relationship and she moved in with Allen. They married on December 23, 1997, and have adopted two daughters.
    More Details Hide Details Allen and Mia Farrow, though unmarried, jointly adopted two children: Dylan Farrow (who changed her name to Eliza and later to Malone) and Moshe Farrow (known as Moses); they also had one biological child, Satchel Farrow (known as Ronan). Ronan's paternity came into question, however, after Farrow claimed in 2013 that he might in fact be the biological child of Frank Sinatra, her first husband, with whom she "never really split up," she said. Allen did not adopt any of Farrow's other children, including Soon-Yi. Following Allen's separation from Farrow, and after a bitter custody battle, she won custody of their children. Allen was denied visitation rights with Malone and could see Ronan only under supervision. Moses, who was then 15, chose not to see Allen but by age 36 he had become estranged from his mother and reestablished his relationship with Allen and his sister. Farrow tried to have Allen's two adoptions with her nullified, but the court decided in Allen's favor and he continues to be their legal father.
    Allen and Farrow engaged in a heated and emotionally damaging custody battle after they broke up in January 1992, during which time Farrow alleged that he once sexually abused their daughter, which he has denied.
    More Details Hide Details In August 1992, Allen visited his children at Farrow's home by mutual arrangement while she went shopping. Dylan, his seven-year-old daughter, later told Mia Farrow that he molested her during that visit. Farrow filed charges with the police. Dylan said that the abuse took place in the attic. In 2014, Dylan's older brother, Moses, denied that abuse in the attic was possible, saying that there were several people present in the house during Allen's entire visit and "no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces". The case was dropped in 1993 after a seven-month probe by a police-appointed medical team concluded that Dylan had not been molested. Among the reasons cited for the team's conclusion were the contradictory statements made by Dylan and that her statements had a "rehearsed quality". The judge eventually found that the sex abuse charges were inconclusive. In addition, investigators with the New York Department of Social Services closed their own 14-month investigation after their similar conclusion, namely that: "No credible evidence was found that the child named in this report has been abused or maltreated." Allen was interviewed by 60 Minutes a few months following the allegation, when he described the custody battle, heated exchanges, and the allegations.
  • 1991
    Age 55
    His 1991 film Shadows and Fog is a black-and-white homage to the German expressionists and features the music of Kurt Weill.
    More Details Hide Details Allen then made his critically acclaimed comedy-drama drama Husbands and Wives (1992), which received two Oscar nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Judy Davis and Best Original Screenplay for Allen. His film Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) combined suspense with dark comedy and marked the return of Diane Keaton, Alan Alda and Anjelica Huston. He returned to lighter movies like Bullets over Broadway (1994), which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Director, followed by a musical, Everyone Says I Love You (1996). The singing and dancing scenes in Everyone Says I Love You are similar to musicals starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The comedy Mighty Aphrodite (1995), in which Greek drama plays a large role, won an Academy Award for Mira Sorvino. Allen's 1999 jazz-based comedy-drama Sweet and Lowdown was nominated for two Academy Awards for Sean Penn (Best Actor) and Samantha Morton (Best Supporting Actress). In contrast to these lighter movies, Allen veered into darker satire toward the end of the decade with Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Celebrity (1998).
  • 1989
    Age 53
    In 1989, Allen teamed with directors Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese to make New York Stories, an anthology film about New Yorkers.
    More Details Hide Details Allen's short, Oedipus Wrecks, is about a neurotic lawyer and his critical mother. His short pleased critics, but New York Stories bombed at the box office.
  • FORTIES
  • 1980
    Age 44
    Around 1980, Allen began a twelve-year relationship with actress Mia Farrow, who starred in 13 of his films from 1982 to 1992.
    More Details Hide Details They never married or lived together, but lived near one another on opposite sides of Central Park in Manhattan. In December 1991, after ten years together, Allen formally adopted two of Farrow's own previously adopted children, Dylan, 7, and Moses, 13. Farrow told the court that Allen was an “excellent father,” although the children lived with her. The New York Times wrote that Allen and Farrow "are constantly in touch with each other, and not many fathers spend as much time with their children as Allen does." He tried to be with them every day. The following month, January 1992, Farrow was at Allen's home and came across nude photos of her other adopted daughter, 21-year-old Soon-Yi Previn, which were taken by Allen. As a result, Farrow realized that Allen was having an affair with Soon-Yi. This caused a bitter breakup of the long-term relationship between Allen and Farrow, with Soon-Yi then moving in with Allen. In her autobiography, What Falls Away, Farrow says that Allen admitted to the relationship with Soon-Yi.
  • 1976
    Age 40
    In 1976, he starred as cashier Howard Prince, in The Front, directed by Martin Ritt.
    More Details Hide Details The Front was a humorous and poignant account of Hollywood blacklisting during the 1950s; Ritt, screenwriter Walter Bernstein, and three of Allen's cast-mates, Samuel "Zero" Mostel, Herschel Bernardi, and Lloyd Gough, had all themselves been actual blacklisting victims. Then came two of Allen's most popular films. Annie Hall won four Academy Awards in 1977, including Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role for Diane Keaton, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for Woody Allen. Annie Hall set the standard for modern romantic comedy and ignited a fashion trend with the clothes worn by Diane Keaton in the film. In an interview with journalist Katie Couric, Keaton does not deny that Allen wrote the part for her and about her. She also explains that Allen wrote the part based on aspects of her personality at the time: The film is ranked at No. 35 on the American Film Institute "100 Best Movies" and at No. 4 on the AFI list of "100 Best Comedies."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1972
    Age 36
    In 1972, Allen wrote and starred in the film version of Play It Again, Sam, directed by Herbert Ross and co-starring Diane Keaton.
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  • 1970
    Age 34
    They divorced in 1970, and Allen did not marry again until 1997.
    More Details Hide Details Lasser appeared in three Allen films shortly after the divorce—Take the Money and Run, Bananas, and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)—and later briefly appeared in Stardust Memories. In 1969, Allen cast Diane Keaton in his Broadway show, Play It Again, Sam. During the run she and Allen became romantically involved and although they broke up after a year, she continued to star in a number of his films, including Sleeper as a futuristic poet and Love and Death as a composite character based on the novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Annie Hall was very important in Allen and Keaton's careers. It is said that the role was written for her, as Diane Keaton's birth name was Diane Hall. She then starred in Interiors as a poet, followed by Manhattan. In 1987, she had a cameo as a nightclub singer in Radio Days, and was chosen to replace Mia Farrow in the co-starring role for Manhattan Murder Mystery after Allen and Farrow began having troubles with their personal and working relationship while making this film. Keaton has not worked with Allen since Manhattan Murder Mystery. Since the end of their romantic relationship, Keaton and Allen remain close friends.
  • 1969
    Age 33
    Allen directed, starred in, and co-wrote (with Mickey Rose) Take the Money and Run in 1969, which received positive reviews.
    More Details Hide Details He later signed a deal with United Artists to produce several films. Those films eventually became Bananas (1971, co-written with Rose), Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (1972), Sleeper (1973), and Love and Death (1975). Sleeper was the first of four films where the screenplay was co-written by Allen and Marshall Brickman.
    For its March 21, 1969, issue, Life featured Allen on its cover.
    More Details Hide Details In 1981, his play The Floating Light Bulb premiered on Broadway and ran for 65 performances. While receiving mixed reviews, it gave an autobiographical insight into Allen's childhood, specifically his fascination with magic tricks. He has written several one-act plays, including Riverside Drive and Old Saybrook exploring well-known Allen themes. On October 20, 2011, Allen's one-act play Honeymoon Motel opened as part of a larger piece entitled Relatively Speaking on Broadway, with two other one-act plays, one by Ethan Coen and one by Elaine May. His first movie was the Charles K. Feldman production What's New Pussycat? in 1965, for which he wrote the screenplay. He was disappointed with the final product, which inspired him to direct every film that he would later write. Allen's first directorial effort was What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966, co-written with Mickey Rose), in which an existing Japanese spy movie—Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kagi no kagi (1965), "International Secret Police: Key of Keys"—was redubbed in English by Allen and friends with fresh new, comic dialogue. In 1967, Allen played Jimmy Bond in the 007 spoof Casino Royale.
    Because he was not particularly happy with the 1969 film version of his play, in 1994, Allen directed and starred in a second version for television, with Michael J. Fox and Mayim Bialik.
    More Details Hide Details The next play Allen wrote for Broadway was Play It Again, Sam, in which he also starred. The play opened on February 12, 1969, and ran for 453 performances. It featured Diane Keaton and Roberts. The play was significant to Keaton's budding career, and she has stated she was in "awe" of Allen even before auditioning for her role, which was the first time she met him. During an interview in 2013, Keaton stated that she "fell in love with him right away," adding, "I wanted to be his girlfriend so I did something about it." After co-starring alongside Allen in the subsequent film version of Play It Again, Sam, she would later co-star in Sleeper, Love and Death, Interiors, Manhattan and Annie Hall. "He showed me the ropes and I followed his lead. He is the most disciplined person I know. He works very hard," Keaton has stated. "I find the same thing sexy in a man now as I always have: humor. I love it when they are funny. It's to die for."
  • 1966
    Age 30
    Allen married Louise Lasser in 1966.
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    In 1966, Allen wrote the play Don't Drink the Water.
    More Details Hide Details The play starred Lou Jacobi, Kay Medford, Anita Gillette and Allen's future movie co-star Tony Roberts. A film adaptation of the play, directed by Howard Morris, was released in 1969, starring Jackie Gleason.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1965
    Age 29
    He also performed stand-up comedy on other venues, including a 1965 TV show in the U.K., while he was there during the filming of Casino Royale.
    More Details Hide Details In 1971 Allen hosted The Tonight Show, which included as guests Bob Hope and James Coco.
    Allen had his own TV show beginning in 1965, called The Woody Allen Show, where he would intersperse humor with interviews of famous people, including Rev. Billy Graham and William F. Buckley.
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  • 1963
    Age 27
    Allen first appeared on the Tonight Show in November 1963.
    More Details Hide Details He subsequently released three LP albums of live nightclub recordings: the self-titled Woody Allen (1964), Volume 2 (1965), and The Third Woody Allen Album (1968) recorded at a fund-raiser for Senator Eugene McCarthy's presidential run.
  • 1960
    Age 24
    Allen made his professional stage debut at the Blue Angel nightclub in Manhattan in October 1960, where comedian Shelley Berman introduced him as a young television writer who would perform his own material.
    More Details Hide Details His early stand-up shows with his different style of humor were not always well received or understood by his audiences. Unlike other comedians, Allen spoke to his audiences in a low-key conversational style, often appearing to be searching for words, although his style was well rehearsed. He acted "normal", dressed casually, and made no attempt to project a stage "personality". And he did not improvise: "I put very little premium on improvisation," he told Studs Terkel. His jokes were created from life experiences, and typically presented with a dead serious demeanor which made them funnier: "I don't think my family liked me. They put a live teddy bear in my crib." The subjects of his jokes were rarely topical, political or even socially relevant. Unlike Bruce and Sahl, he did not discuss current events such as civil rights, women's rights, the Cold War, or Vietnam. And although he was described as a "classic nebbish", he did not tell Jewish jokes. Comedy screenwriter Larry Gelbart compared Allen's style to Elaine May: "He just styled himself completely after her," he said. Like Nichols and May, he often made fun of intellectuals.
    From 1960 to 1969, Allen performed as a stand-up comedian to supplement his comedy writing.
    More Details Hide Details His contemporaries during those years included Lenny Bruce, Shelley Berman, the team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May, and Mort Sahl, his personal favorite. Comedy historian Gerald Nachman notes that Allen, while not the first to do stand-up, would eventually have greater impact than all the others in the 1960s, and would redefine the meaning of stand-up comedy: "He helped turn it into biting, brutally honest satirical commentary on the cultural and psychological tenor of the times." After Allen was taken under the wing of his new manager, Jack Rollins, who had recently discovered Nichols and May, Rollins suggested he perform his written jokes as a stand-up. Allen was resistant at first, but after seeing Mort Sahl on stage, he felt safer to give it a try: "I'd never had the nerve to talk about it before. Then Mort Sahl came along with a whole new style of humor, opening up vistas for people like me."
  • 1958
    Age 22
    And in 1958 he cowrote a few Sid Caesar specials with Larry Gelbart.
    More Details Hide Details After writing for many of television's leading comedians and comedy shows, Allen was gaining the reputation for being a "genius", says composer Mary Rodgers. When given an assignment for a show he would leave and come back the next day with "reams of paper", according to producer Max Liebman. Similarly, after writing for Bob Hope, Hope called him "half a genius". His daily writing routine could go as long as fifteen hours, and he could focus and write anywhere necessary. Dick Cavett was amazed at Allen's capacity to write: "He can go to a typewriter after breakfast and sit there until the sun sets and his head is pounding, interrupting work only for coffee and a brief walk, and then spend the whole evening working." When Allen wrote for other comedians, they would use eight out of ten of his jokes. When he began performing as a stand-up, he was much more selective, typically using only one out of ten jokes. He estimated that to prepare for a 30-minute show, he spent six months of intensive writing. He enjoyed writing, however, despite the work: "Nothing makes me happier than to tear open a ream of paper. And I can't wait to fill it! I love to do it."
  • 1956
    Age 20
    The marriage lasted from 1956 to 1959.
    More Details Hide Details Time stated that the years were "nettling" and "unsettling." Rosen, whom Allen referred to in his standup act as "the Dread Mrs. Allen", sued him for defamation due to comments at a TV appearance shortly after their divorce. Allen tells a different story on his mid-1960s standup album Standup Comic. In his act, Allen said that Rosen sued him because of a joke he made in an interview. Rosen had been sexually assaulted outside her apartment and according to Allen, the newspapers reported that she "had been violated". In the interview, Allen said, "Knowing my ex-wife, it probably wasn't a moving violation." In an interview on The Dick Cavett Show, Allen brought up the incident again where he repeated his comments and stated that the sum for which he was sued was "$1 million."
  • TEENAGE
  • 1955
    Age 19
    As a result of the jokes Allen mailed to various writers, he was invited, then age 19, to join the NBC Writer's Development Program in 1955, followed by a job on The NBC Comedy Hour in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details He was later hired as a full-time writer for humorist Herb Shriner, initially earning $25 a week. He began writing scripts for The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, specials for Sid Caesar post-Caesar's Hour (1954–1957), and other television shows. By the time he was working for Caesar, he was earning $1,500 a week; with Caesar, he worked alongside Danny Simon, whom Allen credits for helping form his writing style. In 1962 alone he estimated that he wrote twenty thousand jokes for various comics. Allen also wrote for the Candid Camera television show, and appeared in some episodes. Along with that show, he wrote jokes for the Buddy Hackett sitcom Stanley and The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom.
  • 1953
    Age 17
    After high school, he attended New York University, studying communication and film in 1953, before dropping after failing the course "Motion Picture Production".
    More Details Hide Details He later briefly studied film at City College of New York in 1954, but did not finish the semester. Later, he learned via self-study rather than in the classroom. He eventually taught at The New School. He also studied with writing teacher Lajos Egri. His status before the Selective Service System was "4-F", a medical deferment, although he later claimed his actual status was "4-P", hostage. Allen began writing short jokes when he was 15, and the following year began sending them to various Broadway writers to see if they'd be interested in buying any. He also began going by the name "Woody Allen." One of those writers was Abe Burrows, coauthor of Guys and Dolls, who wrote, "Wow! His stuff was dazzling." Burrows then wrote Allen letters of introduction to Sid Caesar, Phil Silvers, and Peter Lind Hayes, who immediately sent Allen a check for just the jokes Burrows included as samples.
    While attending Hebrew school for eight years, he went to Public School 99 (now the Isaac Asimov School for Science and Literature) and to Midwood High School, where he graduated in 1953.
    More Details Hide Details At that time, he lived in an apartment at 968 East 14th Street. Unlike his comic persona, he was more interested in baseball than school and his strong arms ensured he was first to be picked for a team. He impressed students with his extraordinary talent at card and magic tricks. To raise money, he wrote jokes (or "gags") for agent David O. Alber, who sold them to newspaper columnists. At the age of 17, he legally changed his name to Heywood Allen and later began to call himself Woody Allen. According to Allen, his first published joke read: "Woody Allen says he ate at a restaurant that had O.P.S. prices – over people's salaries." He was then earning more than both parents combined.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1943
    Age 7
    Allen has a sister, Letty, who was born in 1943; they were raised in Midwood, Brooklyn.
    More Details Hide Details His childhood was not particularly happy; his parents did not get along, and he had a rocky relationship with his stern, temperamental mother. Allen spoke German quite a bit in his early years. He would later joke that when he was young he was often sent to inter-faith summer camps, where he "was savagely beaten by children of all races and creeds."
  • 1935
    Born
    Born on December 1, 1935.
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