Woody Allen (born Allen Stewart Konigsberg; December 1, 1935) is an American screenwriter, film director, actor, comedian, writer, musician, and playwright.
Allen's distinctive films, which run the gamut from dramas to screwball sex comedies, have made him a notable American director. 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, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema, among a wealth of other fields of interest.
Allen developed a passion for music early on and is a celebrated jazz clarinetist. What began as a teenage avocation has led to regular public performances at various small venues in his hometown of Manhattan
, 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 performed in a rare European tour in 1996, which became the subject of the documentary Wild Man Blues.