Allan Konigsberg

October 21st, 2010

Woody Allen was born as Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 is an American actor, screenwriter, director, comedian, jazz musician, author and playwright. As a young boy, he became intrigued with magic tricks and playing the clarinet, two hobbies that he continues to do today.

He broke into show business at age 15 when received $200 a week writing jokes for the local paper and pumping out an estimated 2000 jokes a day. He then moved on to write jokes for talk shows, but felt that his jokes were being wasted. His agents, Charles Joffe and Jack Rollins convinced him to tell his own jokes through stand-up comedy. He evntually and reluctantly agreed initially performing with such fear of the audience that he would cover his ears when they applauded his jokes he eventually became very successful at this.

After a few years of on stage performance he was approached to write a script for Warren Beatty to star in: “What’s New Pussycat?” and was also offered a minor acting role in film itslef. However as production was ongiong Allen gave himself more and better lines leaving Beatty with less compelling dialogue which led to Beatty quitting the project. Beatty was then replaced by Peter Sellers who made sure to demand the best lines and most screen time. From this Woody learnt that he would not be able to work on a film without complete control over its production.

Woody’s directorial debut was in “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” which was a Japanese spy flick that he dubbed with his own comedic dialogue. Although, his realdirectorial debut came the next year in the mockumentary “Take the Money and Run.” He has written, directed and starred in just about a film every year since then, while simultaneously writing over a dozen plays and several books of comedy.

While best known for his romantic comedies of “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan,” Woody has made many transitions in his films throughout the years, starting with productions like “Love and Death” and “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask” to his more storied and romantic comedies of “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan” and “Hannah and Her Sisters” to the Bergman-esque films of “Stardust Memories” and “Interiors;” and then on to the more recent, but varied works of “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” “Husbands and Wives,” “Mighty Aphrodite,” “Celebrity” and “Deconstructing Harry;” and lastly to his film of the last decade, which vary from the light comedy of “Scoop,” to the self-destructive darkness of “Match Point” and, most recently, to the beautiful tale of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

Although his stories and style has greatly changed over the years, his views on art and his mastery of filmmaking leaves him as one of the best filmmakers of our time.

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