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Summary Article: Allen, Woody
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US film writer, director, and actor. One of the true auteurs of contemporary US cinema, Allen has written, directed, and frequently acted in a number of comic and dramatic works which are informed by his personal aesthetic and passion for New York City, as well as his religious and sexual preoccupations. One of his most successful and critically acclaimed works is Annie Hall (1977), which won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actress. His later works include Match Point (2005), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), Whatever Works (2009), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), and Midnight in Paris (2011; Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay).

Allen was born in Brooklyn, New York, into a middle-class Jewish family. In the early 1960s he began performing on the comedy circuit in New York, using a neurotic, angst-ridden persona. He then began to write and perform in plays and films, his first being What's New Pussycat? (1965). He went on to make a large number of comedies, combining light-hearted humour with increasingly serious themes of romantic and family relationships. These included Play It Again, Sam (1972), Sleeper (1973), Manhattan (1979), Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986; Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay), Radio Days (1987), Crimes and Misdemeanours, (1989) and Deconstructing Harry (1997). He has also made more serious drama films such as Interiors (1978), Another Woman (1988), and Husbands and Wives (1992). Actors particularly associated with his work include Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow.

Other films include Take the Money and Run (1969), Bananas (1971), Love and Death (1975), Stardust Memories (1982), Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982), Zelig (1983), Broadway Danny Rose (1984), Alice (1990), Shadows and Fog (1992), Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Celebrity (1998), and Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Small Time Crooks (2000), The Curse of The Jade Scorpion (2001), and Hollywood Ending (2002).

Allen is also a professional clarinettist and has played with his New Orleans Jazz Band every week in Manhattan since the late 1960s. He is married to Soon-Yi Previn (1970– ), the adopted daughter of his former wife, Mia Farrow, and André Previn.

quotations

Allen, Woody

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