Woody Allen is the nom de plume, stage and screen name of the American comedian, writer, actor, director, musician, and Manhattan mensch-atheist, Allen Konigsberg, who in 1997 married Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his erstwhile lover Mia Farrow, a tabloid-toasted marriage which predictably ruined his relationship with Farrow (and the children he had with her), but which has prospered despite the ugly scrutiny—or if not prospered (for who knows the heart of another’s marriage?), it has lasted.
For more than 40 years and 40 films, Allen’s bespectacled public persona (and often those of his characters) has been under constant assault by the terrifying triumvirate of anomie, existentialist doubt and desperation for deep meaning—which he abides with humor, forbearance and no small amount of whining. Actors clamor to work with him, and do so cut-rate. His film career is singular for its longevity and independence, and for the fervor it produces in both its admirers and detractors.