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David Alan Mamet (; born November 30, 1947) is an American playwright, film maker, and author. He won a
Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph ...
and received Tony nominations for his plays ''
Glengarry Glen Ross ''Glengarry Glen Ross'' is a play by David Mamet that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts ...
'' (1984) and ''
Speed-the-Plow ''Speed-the-Plow'' is a 1988 play by David Mamet that is a satirical dissection of the American movie business. As stated in ''The Producer's Perspective'', "this is a theme Mamet would revisit in his later films ''Wag the Dog'' (1997) and ''St ...
'' (1988). He first gained critical acclaim for a trio of off-Broadway 1970s plays: ''
The Duck Variations ''The Duck Variations'' is a 1972 Play (theatre), play by United States, American playwright David Mamet. The play depicts a discussion taking place between two elderly men sitting on a park bench watching ducks. The dialogue begins with the matin ...
'', ''
Sexual Perversity in Chicago ''Sexual Perversity in Chicago'' is a play written by David Mamet David Alan Mamet (; born November 30, 1947) is an American playwright, film maker, and author. He won a Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an awar ...
'', and '' American Buffalo''. His plays ''
Race Race, RACE or "The Race" may refer to: * Race (biology), an informal taxonomic classification within a species, generally within a sub-species * Race (human categorization), classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, and/or s ...
'' and '' The Penitent'', respectively, opened on
Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions in professional theatres near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City, U.S. ** Broadway (Manhattan), the street **Broadway Theatre (53rd St ...
in 2009 and previewed off-Broadway in 2017. Feature films that Mamet both wrote and directed include ''
House of Games ''House of Games'' is a 1987 American neo-noir Neo-noir is a revival of film noir Film noir (; ) is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English ...
'' (1987), ''
Homicide Homicide is an act of a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structu ...
'' (1991), ''
The Spanish Prisoner ''The Spanish Prisoner'' is a 1997 American neo-noir suspense film, written and directed by David Mamet and starring Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ben Gazzara, Felicity Huffman and Ricky Jay. The plot entails a story of co ...
'' (1997), and his biggest commercial success, '' Heist'' (2001). His screenwriting credits include ''
The Postman Always Rings TwiceThe Postman Always Rings Twice may mean: * The Postman Always Rings Twice (novel), ''The Postman Always Rings Twice'' (novel), a 1934 crime novel by James M. Cain ** The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946 film), ''The Postman Always Rings Twice'' (1946 ...
'' (1981), ''
The Verdict ''The Verdict'' is a 1982 American legal drama A legal drama, or a courtroom drama, is a genre of film and television that generally focuses on narratives regarding legal practice and the justice system. The American Film Institute (AFI) def ...
'' (1982), '' The Untouchables'' (1987), '' Hoffa'' (1992), ''
Wag the Dog ''Wag the Dog'' is a 1997 American political satire black comedy film produced and directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. The film centers on a Spin (public relations), spin doctor and a Hollywood Film produ ...
'' (1997), and ''
Hannibal Hannibal (; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋, ''Ḥannibaʿl''; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded the forces of Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern ...
'' (2001). Mamet himself wrote the screenplay for the 1992 adaptation of ''Glengarry Glen Ross'', and wrote and directed the 1994 adaptation of his play '' Oleanna'' (1992). He was the executive producer and a frequent writer for the TV show ''
The Unit ''The Unit'' is an American Action drama, action-drama television series created by David Mamet that aired on CBS from March 7, 2006, to May 10, 2009 with the total of four seasons and 69 episodes. The series focuses on a top-secret military un ...

The Unit
'' (2006–2009). Mamet's books include: '' On Directing Film'' (1991), a commentary and dialogue about film-making; ''The Old Religion'' (1997), a novel about the lynching of
Leo Frank Leo Max Frank (April 17, 1884August 17, 1915) was an American factory superintendent who was convicted in 1913 of the murder of a 13-year-old employee, Mary Phagan, in Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. His trial, conviction, and appeals ...

Leo Frank
; ''Five Cities of Refuge: Weekly Reflections on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy'' (2004), a
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Heb ...

Torah
commentary with Rabbi
Lawrence Kushner Lawrence Kushner (born 1943) is a Reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from ...
; '' The Wicked Son'' (2006), a study of
Jewish self-hatred Self-hating Jew or self-loathing Jew, both associated with auto-antisemitism, is a term used to describe Jewish individuals who hold antisemitism, antisemitic views.. The concept gained widespread currency after Theodor Lessing's 1930 book (''Je ...
and
antisemitism Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism. A ...
; ''Bambi vs. Godzilla'', a commentary on the movie business; ''The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture'' (2011), a commentary on cultural and political issues; and ''Three War Stories'' (2013), a trio of novellas about the physical and psychological effects of war.


Early life

Mamet was born in 1947 in Chicago to Lenore June (née Silver), a teacher, and Bernard Morris Mamet, a labor attorney. His family was
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
. His paternal grandparents were
Polish Jews The history of the Jews in Poland dates back at least 1,000 years. For centuries, Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrat ...
. One of Mamet's earliest jobs was as a busboy at Chicago's London House and
The Second City The Second City is an improvisational theatre, improvisational comedy enterprise and is the first ongoing improvisational theater troupe to be continually based in Chicago, with training programs and live theatres in Toronto and Los Angeles. Th ...
. He also worked as an actor, editor for ''Oui'' magazine and as a cab-driver. He was educated at the progressive Francis W. Parker School and at
Goddard College Goddard College is a progressive education private liberal arts low-residency A low-residency program (or limited residency program) is a form of education, normally at the university level, which involves some amount of distance education ...
in
Plainfield, Vermont Plainfield, a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The ...
. At the Chicago Public Library Foundation 20th anniversary fundraiser in 2006, though, Mamet announced "My alma mater is the Chicago Public Library. I got what little educational foundation I got in the third-floor reading room, under the tutelage of a Coca-Cola sign". After a move to Chicago's North Side, Mamet encountered theater director Robert Sickinger, and began to work occasionally at Sickinger's Hull House Theatre. This represented the beginning of Mamet's lifelong involvement with the theater.


Career


Theater

Mamet is a founding member of the
Atlantic Theater Company Atlantic Theater Company is an Off-Broadway Nonprofit organization, non-profit theater, whose mission is to produce great plays "simply and truthfully utilizing an artistic ensemble." The company was founded in 1985 by David Mamet, William H. Mac ...
; he first gained acclaim for a trio of off-Broadway plays in 1976, ''
The Duck Variations ''The Duck Variations'' is a 1972 Play (theatre), play by United States, American playwright David Mamet. The play depicts a discussion taking place between two elderly men sitting on a park bench watching ducks. The dialogue begins with the matin ...
,'' ''
Sexual Perversity in Chicago ''Sexual Perversity in Chicago'' is a play written by David Mamet David Alan Mamet (; born November 30, 1947) is an American playwright, film maker, and author. He won a Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an awar ...
,'' and '' American Buffalo.'' He was awarded the
Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph ...
in 1984 for ''
Glengarry Glen Ross ''Glengarry Glen Ross'' is a play by David Mamet that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts ...
,'' which received its first Broadway revival in the summer of 2005. His play ''
Race Race, RACE or "The Race" may refer to: * Race (biology), an informal taxonomic classification within a species, generally within a sub-species * Race (human categorization), classification of humans into groups based on physical traits, and/or s ...
'', which opened on
Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions in professional theatres near Broadway, Manhattan, New York City, U.S. ** Broadway (Manhattan), the street **Broadway Theatre (53rd St ...
on December 6, 2009 and featured
James Spader James Todd Spader (born February 7, 1960) is an American actor and producer. He has portrayed eccentric characters in films such as the drama ''Sex, Lies, and Videotape ''Sex, Lies, and Videotape'' is a 1989 American Independent film, indepen ...
,
David Alan Grier David Alan Grier (born June 30, 1956) is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his work on the sketch comedy television show ''In Living Color'', as Bernard on ''Damon (TV series), Damon'' (1998), as David Bellows on ''Life with B ...

David Alan Grier
,
Kerry Washington Kerry Marisa Washington (born January 31, 1977) SidebarCertificate of Live Birth: Isabelle Amarachi Asomugha(County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health). Gives Kerry Washington birth dateArchivedfrom the original on May 2, 2016.Note: F ...
, and Richard Thomas in the cast, received mixed reviews. His play ''The Anarchist'', starring
Patti LuPone Patti Ann LuPone (born April 21, 1949) is an American actress and singer best known for her work in stage musicals Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog i ...
and
Debra Winger Debra Lynn Winger (born May 16, 1955) is an American actress. She starred in the films ''An Officer and a Gentleman'' (1982), ''Terms of Endearment'' (1983), and ''Shadowlands (1993 film), Shadowlands'' (1993), each of which earned her a nominati ...
, in her Broadway debut, opened on Broadway on November 13, 2012 in previews and was scheduled to close on December 16, 2012. His 2017 play '' The Penitent'' previewed off-Broadway on February 8, 2017. In 2002, Mamet was inducted into the
American Theater Hall of Fame The American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), ...
. Mamet later received the
PEN/Laura Pels Theater AwardThe PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award, commonly referred to as the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award, is awarded by the PEN America (formerly PEN American Center). It annually recognizes two American playwrights. A medal is given t ...
for Grand Master of American Theater in 2010. In 2017, Mamet released an online class for writers entitled ''David Mamet teaches dramatic writing''. In 2019 Mamet returned to the London West End with a new play, ''Bitter Wheat'', at the
Garrick Theatre The Garrick Theatre is a West End theatre West End theatre is mainstream professional theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present th ...
, starring
John Malkovich John Malkovich (born December 9, 1953) is an American actor. He is the recipient of several accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award The Primetime Emmy Awards are bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences The Academy of T ...

John Malkovich
.


Film

Mamet's first film work was as a screenwriter, later directing his own scripts. Mamet's first produced screenplay was the 1981 production of ''
The Postman Always Rings TwiceThe Postman Always Rings Twice may mean: * The Postman Always Rings Twice (novel), ''The Postman Always Rings Twice'' (novel), a 1934 crime novel by James M. Cain ** The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946 film), ''The Postman Always Rings Twice'' (1946 ...
'', based on 's novel. He received an
Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking F ...

Academy Award
nomination one year later for the 1982 legal drama, ''
The Verdict ''The Verdict'' is a 1982 American legal drama A legal drama, or a courtroom drama, is a genre of film and television that generally focuses on narratives regarding legal practice and the justice system. The American Film Institute (AFI) def ...
''. He also wrote the screenplays for '' The Untouchables'' (1987), '' Hoffa'' (1992), ''
The Edge David Howell Evans (born 8 August 1961), better known as the Edge or simply Edge,McCormick (2006), pp. 21, 23–24 is an English-born Irish musician, singer, and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist, keyboardist, and backing voca ...
'' (1997), ''
Wag the Dog ''Wag the Dog'' is a 1997 American political satire black comedy film produced and directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro. The film centers on a Spin (public relations), spin doctor and a Hollywood Film produ ...
'' (1997), '' Ronin'' (1998), and ''
Hannibal Hannibal (; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋, ''Ḥannibaʿl''; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded the forces of Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern ...
'' (2001). He received a second
Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking F ...

Academy Award
nomination for ''Wag the Dog''. In 1987, Mamet made his film directing debut with his screenplay ''
House of Games ''House of Games'' is a 1987 American neo-noir Neo-noir is a revival of film noir Film noir (; ) is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English ...
'', which won Best Film and Best Screenplay awards at the 1987
Venice Film Festival The Venice Film Festival or Venice International Film Festival ( it, Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia, "International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art of the Venice Biennale") is the world's oldest film fes ...
and the Film of the Year in 1989 from the London Film Critics' Circle Awards. The film starred his then-wife,
Lindsay Crouse Lindsay Ann Crouse (born May 12, 1948) is an American actress. She made her Broadway (theatre), Broadway debut in the 1972 revival of ''Much Ado About Nothing'' and appeared in her first film in 1976 in ''All the President's Men (film), All the ...
, and many longtime stage associates and friends, including fellow
Goddard College Goddard College is a progressive education private liberal arts low-residency A low-residency program (or limited residency program) is a form of education, normally at the university level, which involves some amount of distance education ...
graduates. Mamet was quoted as saying, "It was my first film as a director and I needed support, so I stacked the deck." After ''House of Games'', Mamet later wrote and directed two more films focusing on the world of con artists, ''
The Spanish Prisoner ''The Spanish Prisoner'' is a 1997 American neo-noir suspense film, written and directed by David Mamet and starring Campbell Scott, Steve Martin, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ben Gazzara, Felicity Huffman and Ricky Jay. The plot entails a story of co ...
'' (1997) and '' Heist'' (2001). Among those films, '' Heist'' enjoyed the biggest commercial success. Other films that Mamet both wrote and directed include: '' Things Change'' (1988), ''
Homicide Homicide is an act of a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structu ...
'' (1991) (nominated for the Palme d'Or at 1991
Cannes Film Festival The Cannes Festival (; french: link=no, Festival de Cannes), until 2003 called the International Film Festival (') and known in English as the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual film festival A film festival is an organized, extended presen ...

Cannes Film Festival
and won a "Screenwriter of the Year" award for Mamet from the London Film Critics' Circle Awards), '' Oleanna'' (1994), ''
The Winslow Boy ''The Winslow Boy'' is an English play from 1946 by Terence Rattigan based on an incident involving George Archer-Shee in the Edwardian era. The incident took place at the Royal Naval College, Osborne. Background Set against the strict co ...
'' (1999), ''
State and Main ''State and Main'' is a 2000 comedy film written and directed by David Mamet and starring William H. Macy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin, Julia Stiles, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rebecca Pidgeon, David Paymer, Patti LuPone, Clark Gregg, and Charl ...
'' (2000), ''
Spartan Sparta (Doric Greek: Σπάρτα, ''Spártā''; Attic Greek: wikt:Σπάρτη, Σπάρτη, ''Spártē'') was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity, the city-state was known as Lacedaemon (, ), while the name Sparta refe ...
'' (2004), ''
Redbelt ''Redbelt'' is a 2008 American martial arts film written and directed by David Mamet and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Alice Braga, Randy Couture, Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna, Emily Mortimer, David Paymer, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Rodrigo Santor ...
'' (2008), and the 2013 bio-pic TV movie ''
Phil Spector Harvey Phillip Spector (December 26, 1939January 16, 2021) was an American record producer, musician, and songwriter who is best known for his innovative recording practices and entrepreneurship in the 1960s, followed decades later by his murde ...
''. A feature-length film, a thriller titled ''Blackbird'', was intended for release in 2015, but is still in development. When Mamet adapted his play for the 1992 film ''
Glengarry Glen Ross ''Glengarry Glen Ross'' is a play by David Mamet that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts ...
'', he wrote an additional part (including the monologue " Coffee's for closers") for
Alec Baldwin Alexander Rae Baldwin III (born April 3, 1958) is an American actor, writer, comedian, film producer, and political activist. He is the eldest of the four actor brothers in the Baldwin family The Baldwin family are American relatives, who, by ...

Alec Baldwin
. Mamet continues to work with an informal repertory company for his films, including Crouse, ,
Joe Mantegna Joseph Anthony Mantegna (, ; born November 13, 1947) is an American actor, producer, and director. Mantegna began his career on stage in 1969 in the Chicago production of the musical ''Hair (musical), Hair''. He earned a Tony Award for Best Fea ...

Joe Mantegna
, and
Rebecca Pidgeon Rebecca Pidgeon (born October 10, 1965) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She has maintained a recording career while also acting on stage and in feature films. She is married to American playwright David Mamet. Early life Pidgeon ...
, as well as the aforementioned school friends. Mamet rewrote the script for '' Ronin'' under the pseudonym "Richard Weisz" and turned in an early version of a script for ''
Malcolm X Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) was an African-American Muslim Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God O ...
'' which was rejected by director
Spike Lee Shelton Jackson "Spike" Lee (born March 20, 1957) is an American film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and professor. His production company, , has produced more than 35 films since 1983. He made his with ' (1986). He has since written ...

Spike Lee
. In 2000, Mamet directed a film version of '','' a one-act play by
Samuel Beckett Samuel Barclay Beckett (; 13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and literary translator Translation is the communication of the meaning Meaning most commonly ...

Samuel Beckett
featuring
Harold Pinter Harold Pinter (; 10 October 1930 – 24 December 2008) was a British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. A Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according t ...
and
John Gielgud Sir Arthur John Gielgud, (; 14 April 1904 – 21 May 2000) was an English actor and theatre director whose career spanned eight decades. With Ralph Richardson Sir Ralph David Richardson (19 December 1902 – 10 October 1983) wa ...

John Gielgud
(in his final screen performance). In 2008, he wrote and directed the
mixed martial arts Mixed martial arts (MMA), sometimes referred to as cage fighting, no holds barred (NHB), and ultimate fighting, is a full-contact combat sport based on strike (attack), striking, grappling and ground fighting, incorporating techniques from var ...

mixed martial arts
movie ''
Redbelt ''Redbelt'' is a 2008 American martial arts film written and directed by David Mamet and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Alice Braga, Randy Couture, Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna, Emily Mortimer, David Paymer, Rebecca Pidgeon, and Rodrigo Santor ...
,'' about a martial arts instructor tricked into fighting in a professional bout. In '' On Directing Film'', Mamet asserts that directors should focus on getting the point of a scene across, rather than simply following a protagonist, or adding visually beautiful or intriguing shots. Films should create order from disorder in search of the objective.


Books

In 1986, Mamet published “Writing in Restaurants” a collection of essays. In 1990, Mamet published ''The Hero Pony'', a 55-page collection of poetry. He has also published a series of short plays, monologues and four novels, ''The Village'' (1994), ''The Old Religion'' (1997), ''Wilson: A Consideration of the Sources'' (2000), and ''Chicago'' (2018). He has written several non-fiction texts, and children's stories, including "True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor"(1997). In 2004 he published a lauded version of the classical
Faust Faust is the protagonist 200px, Shakespeare's ''Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.'' William Morris Hunt, oil on canvas, c. 1864 A protagonist (from grc, πρωταγωνιστής, translit=prōtagōnistḗs, lit=one who plays the first part, chief ...

Faust
story, ''Faustus'', however, when the play was staged in
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
during the spring of 2004, it was not well received by critics. On May 1, 2010, Mamet released a graphic novel ''The Trials of Roderick Spode (The Human Ant)''. On June 2, 2011, ''The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture'', Mamet's book detailing his conversion from modern liberalism to "a reformed liberal" was released. Mamet published ''Three War Stories'', a collection of novellas, on November 11, 2013. On December 3, 2019, Mamet was set to publish a novel, ''The Diary of a Porn Star by Priscilla Wriston-Ranger: As Told to David Mamet With an Afterword by Mr. Mamet.''


Television and radio

Mamet wrote one episode of ''
Hill Street Blues ''Hill Street Blues'' is an American serial Serial may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media The presentation of works in sequential segments * Serial (literature), serialised fiction in print * Serial (publishing), periodical publications a ...
'', "A Wasted Weekend", that aired in 1987. His then-wife,
Lindsay Crouse Lindsay Ann Crouse (born May 12, 1948) is an American actress. She made her Broadway (theatre), Broadway debut in the 1972 revival of ''Much Ado About Nothing'' and appeared in her first film in 1976 in ''All the President's Men (film), All the ...
, appeared in numerous episodes (including that one) as Officer McBride. Mamet is also the creator, producer and frequent writer of the television series ''
The Unit ''The Unit'' is an American Action drama, action-drama television series created by David Mamet that aired on CBS from March 7, 2006, to May 10, 2009 with the total of four seasons and 69 episodes. The series focuses on a top-secret military un ...

The Unit
'', where he wrote a well-circulate
memo
to the writing staff. He directed a third-season episode of ''
The Shield ''The Shield'' is an American crime drama Crime films, in the broadest sense, is a film genre A film genre is a stylistic or thematic category for motion pictures A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, ...
'' with
Shawn Ryan Shawn Ryan (born October 11, 1966 in Rockford, Illinois Rockford is a U.S. city in Winnebago County, Illinois, located in the far northern Illinois, northern part of the state. Situated on the banks of the Rock River (Illinois), Rock River, Roc ...
. In 2007, Mamet directed two television commercials for
Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company (commonly known as Ford) is an American multinational corporation, multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Dearborn, Michigan, United States. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated ...
. The two 30-second ads featured the
Ford Edge The Ford Edge is a range of Crossover (automobile), crossover SUVs manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. Introduced for the 2007 model year, the Edge is the first mid-size CUV marketed by Ford in North America; the model line is currently in it ...

Ford Edge
and were filmed in Mamet's signature style of fast-paced dialogue and clear, simple imagery. Mamet's sister,
Lynn Lynn may refer to: People and fictional characters * Lynn (given name), including a list of people and fictional characters * Lynn (surname) * The Lynns, a 1990s American country music duo consisting of twin sisters Peggy and Patsy Lynn * Lynn (vo ...
, is a producer and writer for television shows, such as ''The Unit'' and ''Law & Order''. Mamet has contributed several dramas to BBC Radio through Jarvis & Ayres Productions, including an adaptation of ''
Glengarry Glen Ross ''Glengarry Glen Ross'' is a play by David Mamet that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts ...
'' for
BBC Radio 3 BBC Radio 3 is a British national radio station owned and operated by the BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London London is the c ...

BBC Radio 3
and new dramas for
BBC Radio 4 BBC Radio 4 is a British national radio station owned and operated by the BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London London is the c ...

BBC Radio 4
. The comedy ''Keep Your Pantheon (or On the Whole I'd Rather Be in Mesopotamia)'' was aired in 2007. ''The Christopher Boy's Communion'' was another Jarvis & Ayres production, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on March 8, 2021.


Other media and political views

Since May 2005 he has been a contributing blogger at ''
The Huffington Post ''HuffPost'', formerly ''The Huffington Post'' until 2017 and sometimes abbreviated ''HuffPo'', is an American news aggregator In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machiner ...
'', drawing satirical cartoons with themes including political strife in Israel. In a 2008 essay at ''
The Village Voice ''The Village Voice'' is an American news and culture paper, known for being the country's first alternative newspaper, alternative newsweekly. Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf (publisher), Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, John Wilcock, and Norman Mailer, th ...

The Village Voice
'' titled "Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'" he revealed that he had gradually rejected so-called
political correctness ''Political correctness'' (adjectivally: ''politically correct''; commonly abbreviated ''PC'') is a term used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in soci ...
and
progressivism Progressivism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...
and embraced
conservatism Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of ae ...
. Mamet has spoken in interviews of changes in his views, highlighting his agreement with
free market In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of pl ...
theorists such as
Friedrich Hayek Friedrich August von Hayek ( , ; 8 May 189923 March 1992), often referred to by his initials F. A. Hayek, was an Austrian-British economist, and philosopher who is best known for his defence of classical liberalism. Hayek shared the 1974 Nob ...
the historian
Paul JohnsonPaul Johnson may refer to: Musicians *Paul Johnson (producer) (1971–2021), American producer and DJ *Paul Johnson (singer), British soul singer of the 1980s *Paul Johnson (guitarist), American *Paul Francis Johnson, Australian bassist, frontman o ...
, and economist
Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell (; born June 30, 1930) is an American economist An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany ...
, whom Mamet called "one of our greatest minds". During promotion of a book, Mamet said British people had "a taint of
anti-semitism Antisemitism (also spelled anti-semitism or anti-Semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an ...
," claiming they "want to give sraelaway to some people whose claim is rather dubious." In the same interview, Mamet went on to say that "there are famous dramatists and novelists
n the UK N, or n, is the fourteenth letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as ...
whose works are full of anti-Semitic filth." He refused to give examples because of British libel laws (the interview was conducted in New York City for the ''
Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a daily newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic Current affairs (news format), current affairs. Based in London, England, the paper is owned by a Japanese ...
''). He is known for his pro-Israel positions; in his book ''The Secret Knowledge'' he claimed that "Israelis would like to live in peace within their borders; the Arabs would like to kill them all." Mamet wrote an article for the November 2012 issue of ''
The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles ''The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles'', known simply as the ''Jewish Journal'', is an independent, nonprofit community weekly newspaper serving the Jewish community of Greater Los Angeles area, greater Los Angeles, published by TRIBE Media ...
'' imploring fellow
Jewish Americans American Jews or Jewish Americans are Americans, American citizens who are Jewish, whether by Judaism, religion, ethnicity, culture, or nationality. Today the Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who desce ...
to vote for
Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
nominee
Mitt Romney Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American politician and businessman serving as the junior Junior or Juniors may refer to: Sport * Junior athletics, age-based athletic training and completion category * Instances of junior ...

Mitt Romney
. In an essay for ''
Newsweek ''Newsweek'' is an American weekly news magazine A news magazine is a typed, printed, and published , radio or , usually published weekly, consisting of articles about current events. News magazines generally discuss stories, in greater de ...
'', published on January 29, 2013, Mamet argued against
gun control Gun control (or firearms regulation) is the set of laws or policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms by civilians. Overview of gun laws by nation, Most countries have a restrictive f ...
laws: "It was intended to guard us against this inevitable decay of government that the Constitution was written. Its purpose was and is not to enthrone a Government superior to an imperfect and confused electorate, but to protect us from such a government." Mamet has described the NFL anthem protests as "absolutely fucking despicable". In a 2020 interview, he described
Donald Trump Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American politician A politician is a person active in party politics A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective reci ...

Donald Trump
as a "great president" and supported his re-election. Mamet is a contributing editor to Flying (magazine), Flying magazine.


Critical reception to Mamet


"Mamet speak"

Mamet's style of writing dialogue, marked by a cynical, street-smart edge, precisely crafted for effect, is so distinctive that it has come to be called ''Mamet speak.'' Mamet himself has criticized his (and other writers') tendency to write "pretty" at the expense of sound, logical plots. When asked how he developed his style for writing dialogue, Mamet said, "In my family, in the days prior to television, we liked to while away the evenings by making ourselves miserable, based solely on our ability to speak the language viciously. That's probably where my ability was honed." One instance of Mamet's dialogue style can be found in ''
Glengarry Glen Ross ''Glengarry Glen Ross'' is a play by David Mamet that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts ...
'', in which two down-on-their-luck real estate salesmen are considering stealing from their employer's office. Glengarry Glen Ross#Characters, George Aaronow and Glengarry Glen Ross#Characters, Dave Moss equivocate on the meaning of "talk" and "speak", turning language and meaning to deceptive purposes: :Moss No. What do you mean? Have I talked to him about ''this'' [Pause] :Aaronow Yes. I mean are you actually ''talking'' about this, or are we just... :Moss No, we're just... :Aaronow We're just ''"talking"'' about it. :Moss We're just ''speaking'' about it. [Pause] As an ''idea.'' :Aaronow As an idea. :Moss Yes. :Aaronow We're not actually ''talking'' about it. :Moss No. :Aaronow Talking about it as a... :Moss ''No.'' :Aaronow As a ''robbery.'' :Moss As a "robbery?" No. Mamet dedicated ''Glengarry Glen Ross'' to
Harold Pinter Harold Pinter (; 10 October 1930 – 24 December 2008) was a British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. A Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according t ...
, who was instrumental in its being first staged at the Royal National Theatre, (London) in 1983, and whom Mamet has acknowledged as an influence on its success, and on his other work."Landmarks,"
on ''Night Waves'' BBC Radio, March 3, 2005, accessed January 17, 2007.


Mamet and gender issues

Mamet's plays have frequently sparked debate and controversy. Following a 1992 staging of '' Oleanna'', a play in which a college student accuses her professor of trying to rape her, a critic reported that the play divided the audience by gender and recounted that "couples emerged screaming at each other". In his 2014 book ''David Mamet and Male Friendship'', Arthur Holmberg examined Mamet's portrayal of male friendships, especially focusing on the contradictions and ambiguities of male bonding as dramatized in Mamet's plays and films.


Awards and nominations


Theatre


Film


Television


Personal life

Mamet and actress
Lindsay Crouse Lindsay Ann Crouse (born May 12, 1948) is an American actress. She made her Broadway (theatre), Broadway debut in the 1972 revival of ''Much Ado About Nothing'' and appeared in her first film in 1976 in ''All the President's Men (film), All the ...
married in 1977 and divorced in 1990. The couple have two children, Willa and Zosia Mamet, Zosia. Willa was a professional photographer and is now a singer/songwriter; Zosia is an actress. Mamet has been married to actress and singer-songwriter
Rebecca Pidgeon Rebecca Pidgeon (born October 10, 1965) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She has maintained a recording career while also acting on stage and in feature films. She is married to American playwright David Mamet. Early life Pidgeon ...
since 1991. They live together in Santa Monica, California. They have two children, Clara Mamet, Clara and Noah. Mamet is a Reform Judaism, Reform Jew and strongly pro-Israel.


Archive

The papers of David Mamet were sold to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin in 2007 and first opened for research in 2009. The growing collection consists mainly of manuscripts and related production materials for most of his plays, films, and other writings, but also includes his personal journals from 1966 to 2005. In 2015, the Ransom Center secured a second major addition to Mamet's papers, including more recent works. Additional materials relating to Mamet and his career can be found in the Ransom Center's collections of Robert De Niro, Mel Gussow, Tom Stoppard, Sam Shepard, Paul Schrader, Don DeLillo, and John Russell Brown.


Works

Mamet is credited as writer of these works except where noted. Credits in addition to writer also noted.


References


Further reading

* * Radavich, David. "Man among Men: David Mamet's Homosocial Order". ''American Drama'' 1:1 (Fall 1991): 46–60. * Radavich, David. "Rabe, Mamet, Shepard, and Wilson: Mid-American Male Dramatists of the 1970s and '80s". ''The Midwest Quarterly'' XLVIII: 3 (Spring 2007): 342–58.


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Mamet, David 1947 births 20th-century American dramatists and playwrights 20th-century American male writers 21st-century American dramatists and playwrights 21st-century American male writers American Orthodox Jews American acting theorists American male dramatists and playwrights American male screenwriters American television directors American television writers Baalei teshuva Film directors from Vermont Film producers from Illinois Goddard College alumni Jewish American dramatists and playwrights Living people American male television writers Members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre alumni People from Plainfield, Vermont Pulitzer Prize for Drama winners Screenwriters from Illinois Screenwriters from Vermont Television producers from Illinois Writers from Chicago American people of Polish-Jewish descent 21st-century American Jews