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Woody Allen

Woody Allen

Known For: Directing · Birthday: 1935-12-01

108 Movies · 3 TV Series

Biography

Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Konigsberg; December 1, 1935) is an American screenwriter, film director, actor, comedian, writer, musician, and playwright. Allen's distinctive films, which run the gamut from dramas to screwball sex comedies, have made him a notable American director. He is also distinguished by his rapid rate of production and his very large body of work. Allen writes and directs his movies and has also acted in the majority of them. 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 developed a passion for music early on and is a celebrated jazz clarinetist. What began as a teenage avocation has led to regular public performances at various small venues in his hometown of Manhattan, with occasional appearances at various jazz festivals. Allen joined the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the New Orleans Funeral Ragtime Orchestra in performances that provided the film score for his 1973 comedy Sleeper, and performed in a rare European tour in 1996, which became the subject of the documentary Wild Man Blues.

Personal Life

Allen has been married three times: to Harlene Rosen (m. 1956–1959), Louise Lasser, (m. 1966–1970), and Soon-Yi Previn (m. 1997–present). He also had a 12-year relationship with actress Mia Farrow and relationships with Stacey Nelkin and Diane Keaton. Early marriages and relationships. In 1956, Allen married Harlene Rosen. He was 20 and she was 17. The marriage lasted until 1959. Rosen, whom Allen called "the Dread Mrs. Allen" in his standup act, sued him for defamation as a result of comments he made during a television appearance shortly after their divorce. In his mid-1960s album Standup Comic, Allen said that Rosen had sued him because of a joke he made in an interview. Rosen had been sexually assaulted outside her apartment. 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 repeated his comments and said he had been sued for "$1 million."In 1966, Allen married Louise Lasser. They divorced in 1970. Lasser appeared in three of Allen's films: Take the Money and Run, Bananas, and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask). She also appeared briefly 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. Although they broke up after a year, she continued to star in 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's and Keaton's careers. It is said that the role was written for her, as 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 she was chosen to replace Mia Farrow in Manhattan Murder Mystery after Allen and Farrow began having problems with their relationship. In total Keaton has starred in eight of Allen's films. As of 2018 Keaton and Allen remain close friends. In a rare public appearance, Allen presented Keaton with the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2017.According to the Los Angeles Times, Manhattan was based on Allen's romantic relationship with actress Stacey Nelkin. Her bit part in Annie Hall ended up on the cutting room floor, and their relationship, never publicly acknowledged by Allen, reportedly began when she was 17 and a student at Stuyvesant High School in New York. In December 2018 The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Babi Christina Engelhardt, who said she had an eight-year affair with Allen that began in 1976 when she was 17 years old (they met when she was 16), and that she believes the character of Tracy in Manhattan is a composite of any number of Allen's presumed other real-life young paramours from that period, not necessarily Nelkin or Engelhardt. When asked, Allen declined to comment. Mia Farrow. Allen and Mia Farrow met in 1979 and began a relationship in 1980; Farrow starred in 13 of Allen's films from 1982 to 1992. Throughout the relationship they lived in separate apartments on opposite sides of Central Park in Manhattan. Farrow had seven children when they met: three biological sons from her marriage to composer André Previn, three adopted girls (two Vietnamese and one South Korean, Soon-Yi Previn), and an adopted South Korean boy, Moses Farrow.In 1984 she and Allen tried to conceive a child together; Allen agreed to this on the understanding that he need not be involved in the child's care. When the effort to get pregnant failed, Farrow adopted a baby girl, Dylan Farrow, in July 1985. Allen was not involved in the adoption, but when Dylan arrived he assumed a parental role toward her and began spending more time in Farrow's home. On December 19, 1987, Farrow gave birth to their son Satchel Farrow (later known as Ronan Farrow). According to Allen, his intimate relationship with Mia Farrow ceased completely after Satchel's birth and he was asked to return her apartment key; they maintained a working relationship when they filmed a movie, and he regularly visited Moses, Dylan and Satchel, but he and Mia were only "social companions on those occasions where there'd be a dinner, an event, but after the event she'd go home and I'd go home." In 1991 Farrow wanted to adopt another child. According to a 1993 custody hearing, Allen told her he would not object to another adoption so long as she would agree to his adoption of Dylan and Moses; that adoption was finalized in December 1991. Eric Lax, Allen's biographer, wrote in The New York Times that Allen was "there before they [the children] wake up in the morning, he sees them during the day and he helps put them to bed at night". Soon-Yi Previn. In 1977, Mia Farrow and André Previn adopted Soon-Yi Previn from Seoul, South Korea. She had been abandoned. The Seoul Family Court established a Family Census Register (legal birth document) on her behalf on December 28, 1976, with a presumptive birth date of October 8, 1970; according to Maureen Orth, a bone scan in the U.S. estimated that she was between five and seven years old. According to Previn, her first friendly interaction with Allen took place when she was injured playing soccer during 11th grade and Allen offered to transport her to school. After her injury, she began attending New York Knicks basketball games with Allen in 1990. They attended more games and by 1991 had become closer. In September 1991, she began studies at Drew University in New Jersey.In January 1992, Farrow found nude photographs of Previn in Allen's home. Allen, then 56, told Farrow that he had taken the photos the day before, approximately two weeks after he first had sex with Previn. Both Farrow and Allen contacted lawyers shortly after the photographs were discovered. Previn was asked to leave summer camp because she was spending too much time taking calls from a "Mr. Simon", who turned out to be Allen. In an August 1992 interview with Time Magazine Allen said, “I am not Soon-Yi's father or stepfather”, adding, “I’ve never even lived with Mia. I've never in my entire life slept at Mia's apartment, and I never even used to go over there until my children came along seven years ago. I never had any family dinners over there. I was not a father to her adopted kids in any sense of the word.” Adding that Soon-Yi never treated him as a father figure and that he rarely spoke to her before their romantic relationship, Allen seemed to see few or no problems with their relationship.On August 17, 1992, Allen issued a statement saying that he was in love with Previn. Their relationship became public and "erupted into tabloid headlines and late-night monologues in August 1992."Allen and Previn were married in Venice, Italy, on December 23, 1997. They have adopted two children, Bechet and Manzie, and live in the Carnegie Hill section of Manhattan's Upper East Side. Sexual abuse allegation. According to court testimony, on August 4, 1992, Allen visited the children at Mia Farrow's home in Bridgewater, Connecticut, while she was shopping with a friend. During the following day, that friend's babysitter told her employer that she had seen that "Dylan was sitting on the sofa, and Woody was kneeling on the floor, facing her, with his head in her lap". When Farrow asked Dylan about it, Dylan allegedly said that Allen had touched Dylan's "private part" while they were alone together in the attic. Allen strongly denied the allegation, calling it "an unconscionable and gruesomely damaging manipulation of innocent children for vindictive and self-serving motives". He then began proceedings in New York Supreme Court for sole custody of his and Farrow's son Satchel, as well as Dylan and Moses, their two adopted children. In March 1993, a six-month investigation by the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of Yale-New Haven Hospital concluded that Dylan had not been sexually abused. In June 1993, Justice Elliott Wilk rejected Allen's bid for custody and rejected the allegation of sexual abuse. Wilk said he was less certain than the Yale-New Haven team that there was conclusive evidence that there was no sexual abuse and called Allen's conduct with Dylan "grossly inappropriate", although not sexual. In September 1993, the state prosecutor announced that despite having "probable cause,” he would not pursue charges in order "to avoid the unjustifiable risk of exposing a child to the rigors and uncertainties of a questionable prosecution". In October 1993 the New York Child Welfare Agency of the State Department of Social Services closed a 14-month investigation and concluded there was not credible evidence of abuse or maltreatment, and the allegation was unfounded.In 2014, when Allen received a Golden Globe Award & Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, the issue returned to the forefront of media attention, with Mia Farrow and Ronan Farrow making disparaging remarks about Allen on Twitter. On February 1, 2014, New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, with Dylan's permission, published a column that included excerpts from a letter Dylan had written to Kristof restating the allegation against Allen, and called out fellow actors who have continued to work in his films. Allen responded to the allegation in an open letter, also in The New York Times, strongly denying it. "Of course, I did not molest Dylan...No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing", he wrote. Moses Farrow, who was present at Mia's Bridgewater house during Allen's visit, spoke out in an open letter disputing Dylan's story and contradicting Mia and Ronan Farrow, who support her account.

Early Life

Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg at Mount of Eden Hospital in the Bronx, New York City, on November 30, 1935. He and his sister, future film producer Letty (born 1943), were raised in Brooklyn's Midwood neighborhood. He is the son of Nettie (née Cherry; November 8, 1906 – January 27, 2002), a bookkeeper at her family's delicatessen, and Martin Konigsberg (December 25, 1900 – January 8, 2001), a jewelry engraver and waiter. His family is Jewish; his grandparents were immigrants to the U.S. from Austria and the Lithuanian city of Panevėžys. They spoke German, Hebrew and Yiddish. Both of Allen's parents were born and raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.Allen's childhood was not particularly happy; his parents did not get along and he had a rocky relationship with his stern, temperamental mother. He spoke German in his early years. He later joked that he was often sent to inter-faith summer camps when he was young. While attending Hebrew school for eight years, he went to Public School 99 (now the Isaac Asimov School for Science and Literature) and Midwood High School, graduating in 1953. Unlike his comic persona, he was more interested in baseball than school and his strong arms ensured he was picked first for teams. He impressed students with his talent for cards and magic tricks.Allen wrote jokes (or "gags") for agent David O. Alber to make money, and Alber sold them to newspaper columnists. At age 17, he legally changed his name to Heywood Allen and later began to call himself Woody. 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 soon earning more than both of his parents combined. After high school, he attended New York University, studying communication and film in 1953, before dropping out after failing the course "Motion Picture Production". He studied film at City College of New York in 1954, but left during the first semester. He taught himself rather than studying in the classroom. He later taught at The New School and studied with writing teacher Lajos Egri.p.74

Movies & TV Series

2013.

8 Movies
Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine

6.9
2013
After experiencing a traumatic misfortune, Jasmine French, a wealthy woman from New York, moves to San Francisco to live with her foster sister Ginger and the firm purpose of getting a new life, but s...
The Battle of Amfar

The Battle of Amfar

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When AIDS struck in the early 1980s, a scientist and a movie star did not have to respond - but they did. Dr. Mathilde Krim and Elizabeth Taylor joined forces to create amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS ...
Ain't Misbehavin

Ain't Misbehavin

2013
18 years after his last film, (The Troubles We've Seen), Marcel Ophuls emerges from retirement as one of our last masters, the most corrosive, the funniest as well. And the most forceful. The director...
Trespassing Bergman

Trespassing Bergman

2013
In the sixties, Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) built a house on the remote island of Fårö, located in the Baltic Sea, eighty nautical miles off the east coast of Sweden. He left Stockhol...
David Blaine: Real or Magic

David Blaine: Real or Magic

2013
David Blaine's signature brand of street magic mystifies the most recognisable celebrities in the world, such as Jamie Foxx, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Ricky Gervais, Katy Perry, Woody Allen, and Rob...
The Unbelievers

The Unbelievers

2013
Scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss travel the globe promoting a scientific worldview and the rational questioning of religious belief.
Fading Gigolo

Fading Gigolo

2013
Fioravante decides to become a professional Don Juan as a way of making money to help his cash-strapped friend, Murray. With Murray acting as his "manager", the duo quickly finds themselves caught up ...
Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

2013
When Marvin Hamlisch passed away in August 2012 the worlds of music, theatre and cinema lost a talent the likes of which we may never see again. Seemingly destined for greatness, Hamlisch was accepted...
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