Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Konigsberg; December 1, 1935) is an American film director, screenwriter, actor, comedian, writer, musician, and playwright.
Allen’s distinctive films, which run the gamut from dramas to screwball sex comedies, have made him one of the most respected living American directors. He is also distinguished by his rapid rate of production and his very large body of work. Allen writes and directs his movies and has also acted in the majority of them. For inspiration, Allen draws heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Ancient Greece, Jewish identity, European cinema and New York City, where he was born and has lived his entire life.
Allen is also a jazz clarinetist. What began as a teenage avocation has led to regular public performances at various small venues in his Manhattan hometown, with occasional appearances at various jazz festivals. Allen joined the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the New Orleans Funeral Ragtime Orchestra in performances that provided the film score for his 1973 comedy Sleeper, and a rare European tour in 1996 featuring Allen was the subject of the documentary Wild Man Blues.