Woody Allen

A triple threat as an actor, writer and director, Woody Allen was born Allen Konigsberg on Dec. 1, 1935, in Brooklyn, N.Y. After dropping out of film school, he began writing for television but ultimately found the work inhibiting and segued to stand-up comedy.

Allen's first Hollywood writing and acting job came in 1965 with the farce What's New, Pussycat? A year later, he helmed his first feature, the ingenious spoof What's Up, Tiger Lily? His career started to soar in 1969 with the gangster parody Take the Money and Run, but it was 1977's Annie Hall, which garnered Allen an Academy Award for Best Director, that cemented his A-list status.

Subsequently shifting between stark dramas and intelligent comedies full of hilarious wordplay and incisive characterizations, Allen collected Best Original Screenplay Oscars for the box-office smash Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Midnight in Paris (2011).