Woody Allen
Copyright Michael D. Robbins 2006


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Woody Allen—Screenwriter, Actor, Comedian

December 1, 1935, Brooklyn, New York, 10:55 PM. (Source: Birth Certificate)

(Ascendant, Virgo with Neptune in Virgo; MC in Taurus; Sun, Mercury and Jupiter all conjunct in Sagittarius; Moon in Aquarius; Venus is Libra; Mars and NN in Capricorn; Saturn in Pisces conjunct DSC; Uranus in Taurus; Neptune in Virgo; Pluto in Cancer)

Known to be a compulsive worker and neurotic, prone to paranoia and depression, and an inability to enjoy himself, Allan has produced much acclaimed work, especially with his former partner Mia Farrow (qv).  He was discovered in 1964 and wrote a screenplay for his first film in June 1965, 'What's New Pussycat'.  One of his masterpieces, 'Annie Hall' opened in April 1977.  In August 1992, Allen and Farrow were embroiled in a law suit, and Allen was alleged to have sexually abused his child.  He began an affair with his adopted teenage daughter in December 1991.  The split and court case (Farrow was triumphant) was one of the ugliest in recent times.


A ''Bay Area Bisexual'' told me I didn't quite coincide with either of her desires.

A fast word about oral contraception. I asked a girl to go to bed with me, she said 'no'.

Dying is one of the few things that can be done as easily lying down.

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Eternal nothingness is fine if you happen to be dressed for it.

How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?

I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens.

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.

I am two with nature. I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.

I think being funny is not anyone's first choice.

I'm astounded by people who want to 'know' the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.

I've never been an intellectual but I have this look.

If my films don't show a profit, I know I'm doing something right.

If my films make one more person miserable, I'll feel I have done my job.

In my house I'm the boss, my wife is just the decision maker.

Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right.

Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television.

Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon.

Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty interesting questions.

Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.

My luck is getting worse and worse. Last night, for instance, I was mugged by a quaker.

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.

Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing.

There are two types of people in this world, good and bad. The good sleep better, but the bad seem to enjoy the waking hours much more.

“Everytime I hear Wagner I feel liked.


Woody Allen is one of the most well known names in the movie industry. His career as writer, director, actor and producer spans over 30 years and still thrives. His films linked drama and comedy. A very quiet man, Woody frequently declines promoting his films. Allen has produced a large body of films in a cerebral style that has made him one of the most widely respected and prolific filmmakers in the modern era. He writes and directs his own movies and has acted in many of them as well.

Woody was born on December 1st, 1935 in Brooklyn New York and was given the name Allen Stewart Konigsberg. His parents were both Orthodox Jews of Austrian and Russian ancestry, Martin Königsberg (born on December 25, 1900 in New York; died on January 13, 2001) and Netty Cherrie (born in 1908 in New York; died in January, 2002). He has one sister, Letty (born 1943). He attended Hebrew school for eight years, and then Public School. His father changed jobs frequently, from waiter to cab driver and even organized crime for a time. His mother was a bookkeeper in a flower shop.

Even as a little child, before he could even read, he was making up stories. The first film he saw was Disney’s Snow White, and he recalls his parents taking him to movies around age five. He lived in a lower-middle class section of Brooklyn within walking distance of 25 movie theaters. He spent hours at theaters, taking in the classics with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and the Marx Brothers. At the age of 7 or 8 while watching The Black Swan, it first occurred to Woody that he could make a film. What he really wanted to do was write, and even as a little child, before he could read, he was making up stories. The only subject in school that really interested him was English Composition. In his teens, Woody grew more conscious of the role of directors, especially foreign directors and films. With friends from school he became interested in European Cinema and more mature themes, as well as film history.

At the age of 15, he changed his name to Woody Allen. At the age of 16, while still in school, Woody was hired to write jokes for radio and television performers. In 1957 he joined the cast of Sid Caesar. From 1961-1964, Woody worked the cabaret circuit as a stand-up comedian, writing his own material along with a few short stories. While performing in a club, a producer approached him and asked him to write a film script. He was hired and in 1965 Woody wrote and acted in his first film, What’s New, Pussycat? After writing what he felt was a pretty good script, the producers took it and rearranged it, making it into a film that Woody was very unhappy with but could not do anything about. Although he had no experience in directing films, Woody decided he would never write another script unless he was the director.

After high school, he went to New York University where he studied communication and film but, never much of a student, he soon dropped out due to poor grades. He later briefly attended City College of New York.

At nineteen, he started writing scripts for The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show, Your Show of Shows and others. In 1957, he won his first Emmy Award. He started writing prose and plays, and in 1960 was a stand-up comedian and began writing for Candid Camera and appeared in some episodes.

With his managers he turned his weaknesses into his strengths and developed the neurotic, nervous, and shy figure famous from his later movies. His first conventional directing effort was Take The Money and Run (1969), followed by Bananas, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), Sleeper, and Love and Death. In 1972, he starred in the film version of his own play called Play It Again. All of Allen's early films were pure comedies that relied heavily on slapstick, inventive sight gags, and non-stop one-liners.

Allen's most successful movies were produced in a 10-year period starting with Annie Hall, Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo (named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best films of all time, and one of Allen's self-proclaimed three best films, along with Stardust Memories and Match Point) and Hannah and Her Sisters (winner of three Academy Awards). Most of his 1980's films, even the comedies, have somber and philosophical undertones. Stardust Memories had the main character, played by Allen, expressing resentment and scorn for his fans. The film was influenced by a recent death of a friend, and Allen stated "I don't want to make funny movies any more." However, by the mid-1980s, Allen had begun to combine his love of both tragic and comic elements..

Allen's films tend to be more popular in Europe, particularly France, a country where he has a large fan base; in fact, he himself has said that he "survives" on the European market.

In 1956, at age 20, Allen married Harlene Rosen, a philosophy student. The two acrimoniously divorced in 1962. Allen later married Louise Lasser in 1966 in what began a pattern of romantic involvement with his leading ladies. Allen and Lasser were divorced in 1969 and Allen would not marry again until 1997. In 1970, Allen cast Diane Keaton in Play It Again, Sam, and they became romantically involved, but never married. Around 1980, Allen began a 12-year relationship with actress Mia Farrow, who had leading roles in several of his movies. The two never married, but they adopted two children together: Dylan Farrow and Moses Farrow; and had one biological child, Seamus Farrow. Allen did not adopt Farrow's older adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. Allen described their relationship as having a "more paternal feeling."

Allen and Farrow separated in 1992 after Farrow discovered nude photographs Allen had taken of Soon-Yi and Allen admitted to an affair. During a protracted legal battle, Farrow accused Allen of sexually abusing their seven-year-old adopted daughter Dylan. The case never went to trial and Allen was never indicted, but his personal life became very public. Allen and Previn married in 1997 and later adopted two daughters, naming both (Bechet Allen and Manzie Tio Allen) after jazz musicians (Sidney Bechet and Manzie Johnson). The revelations had a negative impact on Allen's reputation for several years, and his subsequent works had only mediocre success until his 2005 film Match Point.

Allen has spent at least 30 years undergoing psychoanalysis, sometimes as often as three days a week. Most of his films contain a psychoanalysis scene. A biographer has written that "Allen obviously found analysis stimulating, even exciting."



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