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Who is Woody Allen?

by Ratan Srivastava
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Woody Allen

Woody Allen is indeed an Academy Award-winning American film director, writer, actor, as well as comedian with a career spanning more than six decades and several Academy Award nominations. Within the 1950s, he started his career as a television writer, working with Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbart, and Neil Simon. He also penned funny articles for The New Yorker and released many anthologies of short tales. He was a stand-up comic in Greenwich Village inside the early 1960s, with Lenny Bruce, Elaine May, Mike Nichols, and Joan Rivers.

He developed a monologue style as well as the character of an uncomfortable, smart, and worried nebbish when he was there. During the mid-to-late 1960s, he made three comedy albums, gaining a Grammy Award nomination for his 1964 comedy album, simply named Woody Allen. Allen was named fourth on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 best stand-up comedians in 2004, even when he was placed third in a UK poll.

Allen began writing as well as directing movies inside the mid-1960s, specialising in slapstick comedies like Take the Money and Run (1969), Bananas (1971), Sleeper, and Love and Death (1975), before transitioning to dramatic material influenced by European art cinema inside the late 1970s with Interiors (1978), Manhattan (1979), and Stardust Memories (1980), and alternating between comedies and dramas until the present.

Allen is sometimes grouped with Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, and Sidney Lumet as part of the New Hollywood movement of filmmakers from the mid-1960s through the late 1970s. He frequently appears in his own movies, usually in the persona he acquired as a stand-up comedian. Annie Hall, a romantic comedy starring Allen and Diane Keaton, received four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress for Keaton. His work from the 1980s has been dubbed his most mature phase by critics.

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