Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #7

Woody Allen (b. 1935)


No filmmaker, novelist, playwright, or painter has his finger as firmly on the pulse of New York City culture as Woody Allen. Born Allen Konigsberg in the Bronx, and raised in Brooklyn, Allen began earning money as a comedy writer when still a teenager and has never stopped. Beginning with gags in newspapers, proceeding to a staff writing job on Sid Caesar’s TV show, spending time doing standup and moving on to Broadway theatre, Allen directed his first film in 1966. Using a light touch and romantic themes, Allen made his name with films that are not merely set in New York, but use the city as a character and so richly evoke life in the Big Apple that they cannot be imagined in any other setting. These include Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Radio Days, Another Woman, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Husbands and Wives, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Bullets Over Broadway, Mighy Aphrodite, and Small Time Crooks. Allen has directed a staggering record of one movie per year for half a century. He has won 10 BAFTA Awards plus the BAFTA Fellowship, 2 Golden Globes, 5 WGA Awards, and 4 Oscars. He has never shown up to any of the ceremonies to collect a single trophy, but came to the Oscars in 2002 to make a speech inviting audiences everywhere to come visit New York City in the wake of 9/11, where he said “It’s still a great place to come and work and make your movies because it’s still a thrilling and very, very exciting city.”


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