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David Mamet

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and two-time Oscar nominee, director, essayist, novelist and poet David Mamet (writer/director) has been a force in American theater since 1976, when his first staged plays immediately won Obie and New York Drama Critics Circle Awards.

His 2008 release, Redbelt, will be his tenth film as writer-director. His critically acclaimed debut feature, House of Games, was selected to close the New York Film Festival in 1987. Other films as writer-director include, Things Change, co-written with Shel Silverstein, for which Joe Montegna and Don Ameche shared Best Actor honors at the 1988 Venice Film Festival; Homicide, which opened the 1991 Cannes Film Festival; The Spanish Prisoner, his acclaimed Hitchcockian thriller, which became one of the most popular independent films of 1998; The Winslow Boy, an adaptation of the famed Terrence Rattigan play; State and Main, starring William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rebecca Pidgeon; and his most recent film, Spartan, starring Val Kilmer.

Mamet has also won acclaim for numerous screenplays, including The Verdict for Sidney Lumet and Wag the Dog for Barry Levinson, which were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, and he was the 2005 receipt of the prestigious Screen Laurel Award from the Writers Guild of America, west.

His other screenplays include The Postman Always Rings Twice for Bob Rafelson; The Untouchables for Brian DePalma; We're No Angels, with Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn for Neil Jordan; Hoffa, directed by Danny DeVito and starring Jack Nicholson in the title role; and The Edge, with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin.

The writer first won recognition with his plays, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and American Buffalo (later filmed with Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Franz). When both plays opened in New York in 1976, Mamet won the Obie Award for distinguished play writing and American Buffalo was voted Best Play by the New York Drama Critics Circle. In 1978, he received the Outer Critics Circle Award for his contribution to American theater.

In 1984, Mamet won another Best Play award from the New York Drama Critics Circle as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Glengarry Glen Ross. The play also received four Tony Awards and was made into a major motion picture in 1992. His other plays include Edmond and The Cryptogram, both Obie Award winners, as well as The Water Engine, A Life in the Theatre, Lakeboat, Speed the Plow and The Old Neighborhood, Boston Marriage, Dr. Faustus, and Romance. His latest play, November, opens on Broadway in January 2008.

In related work, he has adapted four works by Chekhov: Vint, The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya, and recently adapted Harley Granville Barker's play The Voysey Inheritance. He has written children's plays and books, seven volumes of essays and three novels, numerous magazine articles, and collaborated on many songs with his wife, songwriter and actress Rebecca Pidgeon.

Mamet also acted in the TV adaptation of his play, The Water Engine, and played a gambler in Bob Rafelson's movie Black Widow. He taught acting at his alma mater, Goddard College, as well as at the University of Chicago, Yale School of Drama and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where, with William H. Macy, he established a repertory company in 1988, the Atlantic Theater Company.

Currently, he is co-creator and executive producer of the hit CBS TV series THE UNIT, for which he also writes and directs.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
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David Mamet Facts

Birth Name Richard Weisz
OccupationDirector, Screenwriter
BirthdayNovember 30, 1947 (76)
BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA

Selected Filmography

Phil Spector
The Shield: The Complete Collection
The Unit: Season 2
The Unit
House of Games
Beckett on Film DVD Set
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