Heywood Allen, popularly known as Woody Allen, was born on November 30, 1935. He is a celebrated film director, actor, writer, and comedian. His flourishing career spans over six decades, with several Academy Award-winning works. Allen started his career by writing humor pieces for newspaper columns and material for television. Thereafter, he began performing as a stand-up comic before writing plays and screenplays. He began writing and directing films during the late 1960s, thereby marking the peak of his career. So today, let’s celebrate his birthday by learning more about the legendary filmmaker!
Heywood Allen, popularly known as Woody Allen, was born in the city of New York, U.S., to a Jewish family. His father, Martin Konigsberg, worked as a waiter and jewelry engraver while his mother, Nettie, served as a bookkeeper at the family’s deli. Allen also has a sibling — a younger sister named Ellen Letty Aronson, who is a film producer.
Growing up, he would attend several summer camps. He went to Hebrew school for a period of eight years before attending Isaac Asimov School for Science and Literature (then Public School 99). Thereafter, he attended Midwood High School and graduated from the institution in the year 1953. During this time, he grew interested in baseball and was part of the school team.
He began writing short jokes at age 15. When he was 17, Allen legally changed his name from Allan Stewart Konigsberg to Heywood Allen. Later, he started calling himself ‘Woody.’ After finishing high school, he went to New York University in 1953 to pursue a degree in film and communication. However, he decided to drop out of university and began studying film at the City College of New York in the subsequent year before dropping out again. When he was 19, Allen was invited to join the writer’s development program by NBC. In 1960, he began performing as a stand-up comedian. He started writing plays in 1966 and wrote the screenplay for his first film. He began directing films during the 1970s, which included “Bananas,” “Sleeper,” “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*,” and “Love and Death.”
Allen starts writing for “The NBC Comedy.”
Allen begins performing comedy routines on stage.
Allen writes the screenplay for “What’s New Pussycat?”
Allen pens a play titled “Don’t Drink the Water.”
His film “Husbands and Wives” wins two Oscar nominations.
Why We Love Woody Allen
He is self-taught
As discussed earlier, Allen did not undertake formal studies in filmmaking. Moreover, he even failed a course on the subject. So, he took the road less traveled and taught himself rather than studying the craft in a classroom.
The story behind his name
As a fan of jazz, Allen admired Woody Herman, the jazz clarinetist. As a result, he changed his name as a tribute to his idol.
Allen has won a total of 136 awards (as of 2022). He has 24 Oscar nominations to his name, alongside five wins! He is also a proud recipient of the Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards.
5 Surprising Facts
His childhood was difficult
Young Allen faced hardships as his parents did not get along.
His hidden talents
Growing up, Allen impressed other kids with magic and card tricks.
His first job
Allen wrote jokes for newspaper columns.
Allen’s ironic failure
He failed a course on motion picture production.
His love for music
Allen loves music and can play the jazz clarinet.
Woody Allen FAQs
Why is Woody Allen so famous?
Allen’s fame comes from his romantic comedy films known for their slapstick style of humor and parody.
Who is Woody Allen's ex-wife?
Allen has been married to Louise Lasser and Harlene Rosen.
What is considered Woody Allen's best movie?
His best works include “Sleeper,” “Stardust Memories,” “Midnight in Paris,” “Take the Money and Run,” and “Love and Death.”
Woody Allen’s birthday dates