David Mamet Biography

(One of the Most Prolific Filmmakers of the Modern Era Who Was Known for His Psychological Dramas)

Birthday: November 30, 1947 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Chicago, Illinois, United States

His unique style of clipped dialogues became so famous that it was popularity called ‘Mamet Speak’. He is none other than the celebrated and widely renowned playwright, screenwriter, author and film director, David Mamet. This Pulitzer Prize winning playwright is best known for his distinctive style of writing with witty, clever and edgy dialogues that leave a lasting impression on the minds of the audience. He gained fame and recognition with the plays, ‘Sexual Perversity in Chicago’, ‘The Duck Variations’ and ‘American Buffalo’. These plays were dark dramas that created a thrilling sense of dramatic tension among its audiences. The plays portrayed the lives of people and the different con games they played with the innocent. His other two immensely successful plays include the Pulitzer Prize winning play, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ and ‘Boston Marriage’. He is also a successful award winning director. Some of his films include, ‘Homicide’, ‘Spartan’ and The Winslow Boy’. He is also an author and has authored, ‘The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, and a study of Jewish self-hatred.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: David Alan Mamet

Age: 76 Years, 76 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Rebecca Pidgeon (m. 1991), Lindsay Crouse (m. 1977–1990)

father: Bernard Morris Mamet

mother: Lenore June (née Silver)

children: Clara Mamet, Noah Mamet, Willa Mamet, Zosia Mamet

Born Country: United States

Quotes By David Mamet Screenwriters

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Males

Ancestry: Polish American

City: Chicago, Illinois

Grouping of People: Jewish Writer

U.S. State: Illinois

More Facts

education: Goddard College

Childhood & Early Life
David Mamet was born in Chicago into a Jewish family, to Bernard Morris Mamet, an attorney and Lenore June, a teacher.
He attended the Francis W. Parker School, which was an independent school in Lincoln Park, Chicago, and later in 1964 he went to the Goddard College Plainfield, Vermont.
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In 1970, he wrote the play titled, ‘Lakeboat’, which was a semi-autobiographical play. A revised version of the play was produced on stage almost a decade later.
In 1972, he came out with the play titled, ‘The Duck Variations’, which is the story of two elderly men involved in discussions in a park, where they watch ducks.
In 1974, his play, ‘Sexual Perversity in Chicago’ was first premiered at the Organic Theatre Company, Chicago. The following year, it was made into an off-Broadway play and was showcased at St. Clements Theatre in New York.
In 1974, he directed his one-act play, ‘Squirrels’, whose first production was staged at St. Nicholas Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois. The play was a comedy.
In 1975, his play, ‘American Buffalo’ premiered at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. In 1977, the play opened on Broadway and received immense positive reviews.
In 1976, his play about the suppression of alternative energy technologies, titled, ‘The Water Engine’ was staged for the first time at the The Public Theater by Steven Schachter.
In February, 1977, his play, ‘A Life in the Theatre’, was first staged at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, Illinois.
In 1981, he wrote the screenplay for the film, ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’, which was directed by Bob Rafelson. The film however, did not receive any positive reviews.
In 1982, he wrote the screen play for the Academy Award nominated film, ‘The Verdict’. He earned an Academy Award nomination in the “Best Screenplay” category.
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On September 21, 1983, his play, ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ premiered at London’s Royal National Theatre. The play also opened on Broadway the following year.
In 1985, his four act play, ‘The Shawl’ premiered in Chicago at the Goodman New Theatre Company. The plot of the play is centred on two men who intend to deceive a woman and gain her inherited property.
In 1987, he made his directorial debut with the film, ‘House of Games’, for which he also wrote the screenplay. The film received good reviews and was praised by film critics.
In 1991, he wrote and directed the crime-drama film, ‘Homicide’, which was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival the same year. The film was critically acclaimed.
In 1997, he co-wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award nominated film, ‘Wag the Dog’. The film earned him an Academy Award nomination for the Best Adapted Screenplay category.
He wrote the screenplay for the 1998 crime thriller film, ‘Ronin’, which was directed by John Frankenheimer. The film was well appreciated and positively reviewed by critics.
In 1999, his play, ‘Boston Marriage’ premiered at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That year he also directed the period drama film, ‘The Winslow Boy’.
In 2004, he wrote and directed the political thriller film, ‘Spartan’, which received mixed reviews. Some film critics also claimed the film to be a let-down.
In 2006, he published the book, ‘The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Jewish self-hatred, and the Jews’. The book was a collection of different essays on the topic of Jewish identity.
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In December 2009, his play ‘Race’ premiered on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York. The play also opened across the United States in regional theatres.
In 2012, his play, ‘The Anarchist’ made its debut on the Broadway in New York. The play starred Patti LuPone and Debra Winger, who made her Broadway debut with this play.
Major Works
His debut directorial film, ‘House of Games’ received immense positive reviews and in 1987 the film won the Best Film and Best Screenplay awards at the Venice Film Festival.
His play ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and also received a Tony Award nomination. It was also made into a film of the same name, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Awards & Achievements
In 2010, he was awarded the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for the category of Grand Master of American Theater.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1977, he married Lindsay Crouse, an American actress with whom he had two children. The couple divorced in 1990.
In 1991 he married Rebecca Pidgeon, a British actress and songwriter and they have 2 children together.
This Pulitzer Prize winning screenplay writer initially wanted to be an actor, but after he failed to be an actor, he wrote scripts and screenplays in order to stay in the industry.

David Mamet Movies

1. The Verdict (1982)


2. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

  (Mystery, Crime, Drama)

3. The Untouchables (1987)

  (Drama, Thriller, Crime)

4. Vanya on 42nd Street (1994)

  (Drama, Comedy, Romance)

5. House of Games (1987)

  (Thriller, Crime)

6. The Winslow Boy (1999)

  (Romance, Drama)

7. The Spanish Prisoner (1997)

  (Mystery, Thriller, Drama)

8. Ronin (1998)

  (Thriller, Adventure, Crime, Action)

9. Homicide (1991)

  (Drama, Crime, Thriller)

10. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

  (Drama, Romance, Crime, Thriller)

Recommended Lists:

See the events in life of David Mamet in Chronological Order

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