Ten Fascinating Things About Birthday Man Woody Allen
Movie icon Woody Allen hits 75 on Wednesday, December 1, marking a Hollywood career which has taken him from writing jokes for "The Tonight Show" to directing and starring in Academy Award-winning classics. The veteran film-maker, actor and comedian has earned his place in movie history as one of the most prolific directors of his generation - shooting and releasing roughly one film every year for the last three decades.
And Allen shows no signs of slowing down - he shot his latest project, "Midnight in Paris", in the French capital with an A-list cast including Rachel McAdams, Adrien Brody and Marion Cotillard. To mark his milestone, WENN has trawled through the archives and put together 10 fascinating facts about the legend himself.
- He was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg in New York City and took his stage name from the clarinet player Woody Herman.
- He studied film at New York University but was thrown out after failing a film course in his first year.
- Allen got his start in showbiz when he was just a teenager - at 19, he was writing scripts for several TV shows, including "Candid Camera", "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Tonight Show".
- He has won three Academy Awards and been nominated a total of 21 times, holding more Oscar screenwriting nominations than any other writer.
- Allen has had romantic relationships with his actress muses Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow and was once married to actress Louise Lasser.
- The director is his own harshest critic and refuses to watch his movies after they are released, although he's hailed 2005's "Match Point", starring Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as lovers, as his best work.
- A life-size statue of Allen stands in his favorite Spanish city, Oviedo. He shot his 2008 movie "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" there.
- Jazz is one of Allen's greatest passions - he has been playing the clarinet since he was a child and now performs weekly at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.
- Allen provided the voice of the neurotic worker ant, Z, in the 1998 animated hit "Antz".
- A devoted New York Knicks fan, Allen is a season-ticket holder and has four courtside seats.
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