At PublicPeople, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Who is Woody Allen?

Woody Allen is an iconic filmmaker and comedian whose career spans over six decades. Known for his witty dialogue and neurotic characters, he's directed classics like "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan." Despite acclaim, his personal life controversies have sparked debate. How do these complexities shape our view of art and artist? Join the conversation and explore the intersection of talent and morality.
Garry Crystal
Garry Crystal

Woody Allen is a film director, comedian, writer, actor and musician. He is known as a prolific film director who releases at least one film each year. Allen is widely recognized as a master of character-driven humorous films. Nearly all of his films are set in his home town of New York City and concern the lives and relationships of neurotic New Yorkers.

In most of his films, Woody Allen casts himself as the protagonist, usually playing a neurotic writer or some other off-beat character. The films typically focus on his problems with women and his work. Woody Allen's films can be seen as a way for him to work out his mental problems and present them humorously to the world.

New York figures prominently in most Woody Allen movies.
New York figures prominently in most Woody Allen movies.

Woody Allen was born in New York on 1 December 1935. His early years in Brooklyn were mostly spent alone in his room learning to play the clarinet. When Woody Allen discovered films, the cinema became his second home. Nicknamed Red as a child because of his hair, Allen has also worn his trademark thick, black glasses since childhood.

At the age of 19, Allen began writing comedy scripts for television shows. From there, he began writing Broadway plays and tuned his skills as a stand up comedian. Since his directorial debut in 1966 with What's Up, Tiger Lilly? Woody Allen has been inundated with Oscar nominations and awards.

Woody Allen is known as the king of the one-liner comedy quip. His cerebral brand of comedy has since influenced many television shows, such as Seinfeld. Allen himself has been heavily influenced by European cinema, literature and philosophy.

Woody Allen has received numerous Oscar awards and nominations.
Woody Allen has received numerous Oscar awards and nominations.

Allen's personal life has created miles of newspaper gossip fodder. His relationships with women and with his adopted daughter created both scandal and a backlash that may have ultimately harmed his reputation. Many film critics have claimed that his films are now just a well-worn retread of familiar themes and plots. Even so, Allen can still call and receive attention from the biggest stars in Hollywood for his films.

Among Allen's most famous and loved films are Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and her Sisters and The Purple Rose of Cairo. Annie Hall is widely regarded as a modern classic, and Allen's films still fill the top 100 film lists that appear every year. Match Point, released in 2005, saw Woody Allen filming in London instead of New York. It has been one of Allen's most successful films in a decade and has been hailed by many film critics as his come-back.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


Easily one of the most accomplished writers and directors of Hollywood who churned out some very entertaining and thought provoking movies based on man/woman relationships. "Midnight in Paris," which came out a couple of years back, is the best of the lot. His latest "Blue Jasmine" is eagerly awaited in India.


I can't stand Woody Allen. I think his earlier movies weren't too bad like Annie Hall and Stardust Memories but everything since has been typical and overwrought, and the comedies aren't that funny.

I do like some of his jokes though, like "Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends."


It seems like people either love or hate Woody Allen. Personally I think he's made a lot of good movies, like Crimes and Misdemeanors and Annie Hall. Who else is or is not a fan? Which movies are your favorites?

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • New York figures prominently in most Woody Allen movies.
      By: Mihai Simonia
      New York figures prominently in most Woody Allen movies.
    • Woody Allen has received numerous Oscar awards and nominations.
      By: FrameAngel
      Woody Allen has received numerous Oscar awards and nominations.