Amy Heckerling biography
Date of Birth: May 7, 1954
A Bronx native, Amy Heckerling attended the High School of Art and Design, before studying film and
television at New York University where her student film, High Finance, won Best Film in the New York,
Bronx and Venice Film Festivals.
She earned her MFA degree from the American Film Institute, where she
was a Directing Fellow.
Serving her apprenticeship with five years' worth of limited-distribution short subjects, Heckerling's
first feature-length effort was the surprise hit Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982), which briefly
typed her as a "youth market" director.
The film also launched the careers of actors Sean Penn,
Nicolas Cage, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Forest Whitaker. After spending a year as producer of the TV
spin-off of Ridgemont High, Heckerling directed Johnny Dangerously (1984), an uneven gangster spoof
starring Michael Keaton.
She went on to write and direct Look Who¹s Talking, winner of the People¹s Choice Award for Best Comedy,
and Look Who's Talking Too, both starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.
Along with several other directors, Heckerling appeared on-camera in 1985's Into the Night, playing a
In 1998, Heckerling received the Franklin J. Schaffner Medal from the American Film
Institute, and in 1999, she received the Crystal Award from Women in Film.
She has also worked for television directing the pilot Nineteen, and the series Fast Times.
Recently she produced, along with Lorne Michaels, A Night at the Roxbury . Heckerling has her own production
company, Heckerling/Caplan, at Paramount Studios with her producing partner, Twink Caplan. In 2000,
she directed, wrote and produced with Caplan the teen comedy flick Loser starring Jason Biggs and
Heckerling is married to writer/director Neal Israel (of Police Academy fame), who has acted in or
co-written several of his wife's projects.