Woody Allen biography
Wonder Wheel Director
Date of Birth: December 1, 1935
Born Allen Stewart Konigsberg in Brooklyn, New York, this multi-talented actor, director, writer, and musician began his career as a comedian and playwright. He was a television gag writer before writing and starring in his first feature film, What's New, Pussycat?. Take the Money and Run marked Allen's directorial debut in a hilarious parody of crime films and documentaries.
Allen's films are characterized by their neurotic, urban-Jewish shtick and can be dated by the female lead—who is generally his current lover of choice. Past femmes include Louise Lasser, Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow.
Reclusive and anti-Hollywood, Allen's critical moment in the spotlight was not for his work as a filmmaker, but for his affair with Farrow's (college-age) adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. In 1992, Allen filed for custody of their three children and later made shocking headlines when Farrow accused him of molesting their adopted daughter Dylan. While experts found no evidence to substantiate these allegations, Allen's reputation had already been trashed in the tabloids. After a lengthy and very public court battle, Allen lost custody of the three children. He married Soon-Yi in December 1997 and the two now have two children together.
"If you're an entertainer," Allen says, "your private life is public, that's what happens. Over the years, I've got used to that. Sometimes they write wonderful things, sometimes they write what a fool you are. That's part of what it is to be in the public eye."
Over the years, Allen has won an astounding number of awards, including three Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. His most recent Golden Globe was for his Midnight in Paris screenplay. He's also received two Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for his work on the film. Allen followed up Midnight in Paris with To Rome With Love (2012), which follows the intersecting stories of both foreigners and Italians in Rome.
He then went on to direct films such as Blue Jasmine (2013), starring Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett, Magic in the Moonlight (2014) starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, Irrational Man (2015) starring Joaquin Phoenix, and Café Society (2016) starring Steve Carell and Jesse Eisenberg. His latest directorial credit is the drama Wonder Wheel (2017) starring Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake.