An eclectic and acclaimed film maker, renowned comedian, jazz musician, and a man with more accumulated pussy than the red light district, Woody Allen is...well, he's some kind of living legend.
Born and raised in New York City, Allen Stewart Konigsberg was (well slap my ass and call me a mormon!) part of a large Jewish family, complete with German-Yiddish grandparents. He grew up alongside his younger sister with a set of parents who didn't get along all too well (later a theme in one of his films).
Following an eight year spell at a Hebrew school, Allen moved to Midbrook High School where he impressed students with his "extraordinary ability for card and magic tricks" - it could be assumed that that's also how he impressed his most recent wife.
A highly gifted young comedian, he began to call himself Woody Allen. He began to write jokes for an agent who then sold them on to columnists - according to Allen, his first published joke read: "Woody Allen says he ate at a restaurant that had O.P.S. prices-over people's salaries".
It was a laugh riot at the time
After failing to "commit" (hey, there's another theme for one of his films - this reminder could get tedious) to a film course at NYU, he was expelled - probably too busy using that Jewish charm/penchant for magic trick/urban neuroticism of his to bag the ladies.
In a career that spans the same length of time as Allen's, Steven Speilberg has directed 30 films, some remakes, some adaptations, few written by the man himself. As stated before, since 1965 Allen has made at least one movie every year. All are based on his original screenplays. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Allen_filmography" rel="nofollow" >Every year. Every damn freaking year. Count them up if you have to.</a>
Let it sink in. I can wait.
"That is some shit I can barely comprehend right there"
They've been a hell of a mixed bag with his more recent work getting more criticism than praise <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardust_Memories rel="nofollow" > (hey wait a minutre...there's another theme for one of his movies!) </a>. There's a fuck load of comedies with the odd "Match Point" (I don't know, something to do with tennis) and "Interiors" (presumeably a jump off point for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition").
But you've got to appreciate the fact that this man is like some kind of geyser that is just constantly EXPLODING with ideas.
A MAN SWITCHES PLACES WITH HIS DOG.
LOVES THE SEX. BOOK IT.
In total, Allen has been nominated 21 times for the Academy Award. 1 for Actor in a Lead Role in Annie Hall, six for directing and 14 times for best original screenplay. He has more screenwriting nominations than anyone else in academy history. Suck it...sucky screenwriters?
Not that Woody Allen even gives a crap about any of this. He has consistently refused to attend the Oscars bar one occasion following 9/11 when he presented a tribute to New York City.
In spite of Annie Hall almost making a clean sweep at the 1979 Oscars (winning for Best Actress for Diane Keaton, Best director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture), Allen barely gave a rats ass. In an interview with Total Film, he revealed he was playing clarinet at a pub the night of the awards. He took himself home, had himself 40 winks, got up and made his breakfast of ...museli(?) and picked up his New York Times. The headline of Annie Hall winning four Oscars and Allen's response was (and this is a verbatim quote) "'Oh, that's nice.' And it was nice. But it didn't change anything."
He's not even sure where his Oscars are. He's letting two perfectly good sets of bookends or four door-stops go to waste. Come on, get it together.
Academy Awards: like Ikea for the A-list.
On top of all them shiny blokes, he also has eight BAFTA awards (and keep in mind the British are really snobby about those damn yanks) and a Golden Globe. Just the one as they were probably too busy giving Tom Cruise as much recognition as possible.
Five actors have won six academy awards for their work in his films (two for Diane Wiest, you go Diane Weist). His films have garnered 11 acting nominations for a variety of others. Apparently "There's no secret. I hire wonderful actors and get out of their way. What do you think will happen when you have Michael Caine or Meryl Streep in front of the camera?". I'll tell you what happens, a new hood ornament is what happens.
Hollywood's two favourite things to be smug about.
It should be pointed out before we go any further that Woody Allen spent at least 30 years undergoing psychoanalysis. Just a reference point for when things get real messed up.
Early, less interesting Relationships
In 1954, a 19 year old Woody Allen married a 16 year old Harlene Rosen (awesome 40's-50's rockabilly name right there). It lasted 5 "unsettling" years and ended in "the Dread Mrs. Allen", as she was so affectionatly called, suing Allen for defemation due to a joke made in his stand up. After Rosen was sexually assaulted outside of her apartment, newspapers reported she had "been violated". Allen said "Knowing my ex-wife it probably wasn't a moving violation".
Allen was sued for $1 million.
He married Louise Lasser in 1966. It lasted 3 years. The split was amicable with her appearing in four of his films after their divorce including Take the Money and Run, Banana's and Sleeper.
Ah, Diane Keaton. After being cast in Allen's broadway play Play It Again, Sam (the man just never stops writing or shagging), he and Keaton became romantically involved, breaking up after a year. Though she starred in many of his films after their breakup (there's that amicable split theme again), Annie Hall is by far her most famous Allen role. Hell, he even named the thing after her - Diane Hall is Diane Keaton's maiden name, her nickname being Annie. Bagged herself a Best Actress Oscar in the late 70's which if anything proves that it pays to get on well with your ex, so long as he's not wielding an axe. She even replaced Mia Farrow in his 90's film Manhattan Murder Mystery after he and Mia Farrow split for...well...we'll get on to that right now.
By 1980, Allen had began a 12 year relationship with Mia Farrow, aka that meek looking one from Rosemary's Baby. Automatically, she garnered several leading roles in his movies from '82 - '92. Farrow already had a farm's worth of children, but together they adopted two children, Dylan and Moshe Farrow. Artist names indeed. They also had a biological child which they named...sigh...Satchel Farrow. It's not even artistic, it's just a NOUN (thankfully "Satchel" changed his name to Ronan Seamus Farrow).
Yeah, they weren't married and yeah he didn't adopt any of Farrow's other kids including the eponymous Soon-Yi Farrow (the adopted daughter of Mia and Andre Previn) but what followed was...you almost couldn't write it (well, Woody probably could). Any excuse after this point is just like sprinkling glitter on a dog turd.
Thank you, Google.
Allen and Farrow seperated in 1992 when Farrow discovered nude photographs that he had taken of Soon-Yi.Try using your awkward charm to get out of that. He then admitted to Farrow that he'd been having a relationship with Soon-Yi. Farrow could have got worse news at that point, but only marginally.
So, who's up for a threesome?
No biological ties!..
So then came a long legal battle for the custody of their three children. Farrow threw in some sexual molestation accusations about their daughter Dylan for good measure (Mia was really going for blood). The judge eventually ruled these allegations as inconclusive but - in the understatement of the year - called the Allen-Previn relationship "grossly inappropriate".
Eventually, he was denied visitation rights with Dylan and Moses chose not to see him. Suprise all around. He could only see Ronan (I'm not calling him Satchel) under supervision, though Ronan Farrow later said:
"He's my father married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression. I cannot see him. I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent...I lived with all these adopted children, so they are my family. To say Soon-Yi was not my sister is an insult to all adopted children."
In 2005, Allen said "in retrospect I should have bowed out of the relationship [with Farrow] much earlier than I did" - hey, another understatement of the year!
After all that "fuss", Allen and Previn continued their relationship, even getting married in Venice in 1997. It is at this point that Allen states he stopped seeing a psychoanalysist - perhaps he thought "I really don't need anyone's help to make things more fucked up than this." They attempted to Jolie-Pitt their way out of scandal and adopted two children.
Despite Previn claiming time and time again that Allen was never a father figure to her, the relationship remains a scandal - by this time, Allen was 56 and Previn 22. What could they possibly have had in common? He looks like the headmaster, she the pupil.
Good luck getting THAT fantasy out of your heads.
Allen stated "The heart wants what it wants. There's no logic to those things. You meet someone, you fall in love, that's that." He forgets to mention that you can fight against these urges. I'm sure those with a penchant for beastiality don't straight up fuck the horse in the field...they tempt it back to a barn with a candlelit carrot for two with Celine Dion playing softly in the background.
Annnnnd good luck getting THAT image out of your head.