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Woody Allen

Real name: Allen Stewart Königsberg
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single
Partner: Harlene Rosen (1956-1962)

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Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Königsberg on December 1, 1935) is a three-time Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, actor, jazz musician, comedian, and playwright.

After his false starts at NYU and City College, he became a full-time writer for Herb Shriner, earning $75/week at first. At age 19, he started writing scripts for The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, Caesar's Hour and other television shows. By the time he was working for Sid Caesar, he was making $1500/week; with Caesar he worked alongside Danny Simon, whom Allen credits for helping him to structure his writing style.

In 1961, he started a new career as a stand-up comedian, debuting in a Greenwich Village club called the Duplex. He contributed sketches to the Broadway revue From A to Z, and began writing for the popular Candid Camera television show, even appearing in some episodes. Together with his managers, Allen turned his weaknesses into his strengths, developing his neurotic, nervous, and intellectual persona. He quickly became a successful comedian, and appeared frequently in nightclubs and on television. Allen was popular enough to appear on the cover of Life in 1969 when Play It Again, Sam opened on Broadway.

Stardust Memories features a main character, a successful filmmaker played by Allen, who expresses resentment and scorn for his fans. Overcome by the recent death of a friend from illness, the character states, "I don't want to make funny movies any more," and a running gag throughout the film has various people (including a group of visiting space aliens) telling Bates that they appreciate his work, "especially the early, funny ones".

At age 19, Allen married 16-year-old Harlene Rosen. The marriage lasted five "nettling, unsettling years."

In 1970, Allen cast Diane Keaton in his Broadway play Play It Again, Sam, which had a successful run. During this time she became romantically involved with Allen and appeared in a number of his films, including Annie Hall. Keaton starred in Play It Again, Sam as Tony Roberts's lover. Although Allen and Keaton broke up after a year, she starred in a number of his films after their relationship had ended including Sleeper as a futuristic poet; and in Love and Death as a female character from any Russian novel by Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. Annie Hall was very important in Allen and Keaton's careers. Not only that, but it is said that the role was written especially for her, and even the title speaks to this as Diane Keaton's given name is Diane Hall. She then starred in Interiors as a poet again, followed by Manhattan. Later, she had a cameo in Radio Days, and later, she starred in Manhattan Murder Mystery, because Allen wanted to do it when he did Annie Hall. She has not worked with Allen since Manhattan Murder Mystery, although they are good friends.

In a 2005 Vanity Fair interview, Allen estimated that, despite the scandal's damage to his reputation, Farrow's discovery of Allen's attraction to Soon-Yi Previn, by accidentally finding nude photographs of her, was "just one of the fortuitous events, one of the great pieces of luck in my life. It was a turning point for the better." Of his relationship with Farrow, he said "I'm sure there are things that I might have done differently. Probably in retrospect I should have bowed out of that relationship much earlier than I did."


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