David Mamet

Playwright / Filmmaker

Born: 30 November 1947
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Best known as:

The playwright who wrote Glengarry Glen Ross

Name at birth: David Alan Mamet

 

David Mamet is a playwright and filmmaker, best known for the plays American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross. Raised in Chicago, Mamet graduated in 1969 from Vermont's Goddard College, where he returned to teach early in his career (1971-73). There he wrote plays and formed a theater company, which then moved to Chicago. His early plays included Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1973) and American Buffalo (1975), both of which became Off-Broadway successes. Mamet moved into screenwriting in the 1980s, first writing the script for the 1981 remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice, then earning an Oscar nomination for his next script, The Verdict (1982, starring Paul Newman). His 1984 play Glengarry Glen Ross won a Pulitzer in 1984; it was made into a star-studded 1992 movie (not by Mamet), and a wider audience was exposed to Mamet's distinctive style of profanity-laced dialogue and his preoccupation with machismo. Mamet made his filmmaking debut with 1987's House of Games, a con-within-a-con movie that starred his then-wife Lindsay Crouse and a crowd of frequent collaborators, including actors William H. Macy and Joe Montegna. Since then he's continued to write plays and screenplays and occasionally directing his own films. Mamet wrote the scripts for The Untouchables (1987), The Edge (1997) and Wag the Dog (1997, another Oscar nomination), and movies he's directed include Homicide (1991), Heist (2001, starring Gene Hackman and Mamet's second wife, Rebecca Pidgeon) and Redbelt (2008, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor). He also created the TV series The Unit (2006-09).

Extra credit:

 

David Mamet's daughter, Zosia Mamet, is a star of the TV series Girls.

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