Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$20 million
Date Of BirthNovember 30, 1947
SpouseRebecca Pidgeon, Lindsay Crouse
MarkFrequently makes use of William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Joe Mantegna, actors who also headlined his stage productions. Other regulars include 'Ed O'Neill', Lionel Mark Smith, Ricky Jay, Jonathan Katz and the late J.T. Walsh.
FactOccasional co-lyricist for his wife, singer Rebecca Pidgeon.

David Mamet is an American playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and director. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 30, 1947 to Jewish parents Bernard and Lenore Mamet. His father was a labor lawyer and his mother was a teacher. He has two older sisters, Rebecca and Susan. Mamet was educated at the progressive Francis W.

Parker School and later attended Goddard College in Vermont. He began his career as a playwright in the 1970s with plays such as Sexual Perversity in Chicago and American Buffalo. In the 1980s, he wrote the screenplay for the film The Verdict and won an Academy Award for his work on the film The Untouchables. In the 1990s, Mamet wrote and directed the films House of Games, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Wag the Dog.

His most recent work includes the play Race and the television series The Unit. Mamet is married to actress Rebecca Pidgeon and they have two children together.

General Info

Full NameDavid Mamet
Net Worth$20 million
Date Of BirthNovember 30, 1947
Height1.68 m
ProfessionJournalist, Screenwriter, Television producer, Lyricist, Cartoonist, Film producer, Author, Film director, Playwright, Actor, Blogger, Essayist, Television Director
EducationFrancis W. Parker School, Goddard College


SpouseRebecca Pidgeon, Lindsay Crouse
ChildrenZosia Mamet, Clara Mamet, Willa Mamet, Noah Mamet
ParentsBernard Morris Mamet, Lenore June Mamet
SiblingsLynn Mamet, Tony Mamet


AwardsPulitzer Prize for Drama, Virgin Atlantic Best New Play, New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play, Obie Award for Best New American Play, Best Screenplay Award, London Film Critics Circle Award for Screenwriter of the Year, London Film Critics' Circle Award for Film of the Year, W...
NominationsTony Award for Best Play, Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Mo...
MoviesGlengarry Glen Ross, House of Games, The Spanish Prisoner, State and Main, Redbelt, Spartan, The Untouchables, Phil Spector, Wag the Dog, Heist, The Winslow Boy, Things Change, The Verdict, Hannibal, Homicide, The Edge, Oleanna, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Hoffa, Ronin, Vanya on 42nd Street, We'...
TV ShowsThe Unit

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Great attention to realistic dialogue, often the actors in his films stutter or even leave a large portion of their lines unsaid.
2Often casts his wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, in prominent roles in movies he directs. While he was married to Lindsay Crouse, the same was true for her.
3His films feature bursts of fast moving, profane dialog
4The telephone is often a key device or weapon in his works
5Frequently makes use of William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Joe Mantegna, actors who also headlined his stage productions. Other regulars include 'Ed O'Neill', Lionel Mark Smith, Ricky Jay, Jonathan Katz and the late J.T. Walsh.


1[on why he writes] It beats thinking.
2[on the influence of Vikram Jayanti's documentary, 'The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector' on his own later project for HBO] I see the documentary, and it's a brilliant documentary. And you start out. In the first ten seconds you're saying, 'Oh, this guy's a freak. He's small. He's wizened. He talks funny. His arms are shaky. He's obviously a freak'. Three minutes later, you say, 'Well, he says some interesting things'. A half an hour, you're saying, 'How could I be so prejudiced? The guy's kind of brilliant'. And at the end of the documentary, you're saying, 'Wait a second. I came to this with such prejudice. Maybe the guy's not guilty'.
3In my experience, almost every financial interchange with Hollywood ends with an accusation by the corporation of theft. 'You didn't do what I wanted, you didn't work hard enough, you intended to defraud me.' These are the recurring plaints of industry. They may be translated as: You forgot to work for nothing.
4Working as a screenwriter, I always thought that 'Film is a collaborative business' only constituted half of the actual phrase. From a screenwriter's point-of-view, the correct rendering should be 'Film is a collaborative business: bend over'.
5There's no such thing as character development; all there is is action.
6Take away the director from the staged play and what do you get? Usually a diminution of strife, a shorter rehearsal period and a better production.
7Before the US [2006] mid-term elections, my rabbi was taking a lot of flak. The congregation is exclusive-liberal, yet he is a self-described independent (read "conservative") and he was driving the flock wild. Why? Because a) he never discussed politics; and b) he taught that the quality of political discourse must be addressed first; that Jewish law teaches that it is incumbent upon one to hear the other fellow out. 'So I, like many of the liberal congregation, began - teeth grinding - to attempt to do so. And in doing so I recognised that I held two views of America. 'One was of a state where everything was magically wrong and must be immediately corrected at any cost; and the other (the world in which I actually functioned day to day) was made up of people who were in the main reasonably trying to maximise their comfort by getting along with one another (in the workplace, the marketplace, the jury room, even the school meeting). 'And I realised that the time had come for me to avow my participation in the country in which I chose to live - and that this country was not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace.
8I'd observed that lust, greed, envy, sloth and their pals are giving the world a good run for its money; but that nonetheless people in general seem to get from day to day; and that we in the United States get from day to day in rather wonderful and privileged circumstances. We are not and never have been the villains that some of the world and some of our citizens make us out to be, but a confection of normal (greedy, lustful, duplicitous, corrupt, inspired - in short, human) individuals living under a spectacularly effective compact called the constitution.
9As a child of the 1960s, I accepted as an article of faith that government is corrupt, business is exploitable and people are generally good at heart. But these cherished precepts, I realised, had over the years become increasingly impracticable prejudices.
10I have to admit that I don't like Disneyland.
11[when asked if he wished he had a different profession] Oh, all writers wish that. That's why we become writers. We want to do something active but we can't. Paul Johnson, in his "History of the 20th Century", says all the great crimes are committed by intellectuals. He says intellectuals love power and we get tired of sitting on our asses.
12Hollywood is capitalism at its best: opposing forces working it out, using tools of the marketplace. As such, it's vastly messier than totalitarianism, but it kills a lot less people.
13Hollywood is like cocaine. You cannot understand its attraction until you are doing it. And when you are doing it, you are insane.
14Asperger's syndrome helped make the movies. The symptoms of this developmental disorder include early precocity, a great ability to maintain masses of information, a lack of ability to mix with groups in age-appropriate aways, ignorance of or indifference to social norms, high intelligence, and difficulty with transitions married to a preternatural ability to concentrate on the minutiae of the task at hand. This sounds to me like a job description for a movie director.
15Thank God Hollywood people don't have souls so they don't have to suffer through their lives.
16We live in oppressive times. We have, as a nation, become our own thought police, but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder "censorship", we call it "concern for commercial viability."
17[when asked to comment on adapting his own work for the screen] It's like raping your children to teach them about sex.
18A good film script should be able to do completely without dialogue.
19The poker player learns that sometimes both science and common sense are wrong; that the bumblebee can fly; that, perhaps, one should never trust an expert; that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of by those with an academic bent.
20We Americans have always considered Hollywood, at best, a sinkhole of depraved venality. And, of course, it is. It is not a protective monastery of aesthetic truth. It is a place where everything is incredibly expensive.
21In a world we find terrifying, we ratify that which doesn't threaten us.
22There's no such thing as talent; you just have to work hard enough.
23I've always been more comfortable sinking while clutching a good theory than swimming with an ugly fact.
24[to acting students at Atlantic Theater Company]Invent nothing, deny nothing.


1Interviewed by Frank Rich at the Lighthouse International Theater on Feb. 12th in NYC. [January 2007]
2Although he intended it as a deconstruction of ruthless business practices and the nature of capitalism, many businesses have used the film 'Glengarry Glen Ross' as a training method and motivational tool for employees.
3Based his play 'Glengarry Glen Ross' on his own time working in a Real Estate office.
4As a teenager Mamet was a regular on "Kumzitz," a local Chicago WLS-TV show for Jewish youth. His recurring character was a soda jerk.
5Ex-son-in-law of Russel Crouse.
6Won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play "Glengarry Glen Ross" and was nominated for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the play "The Cryptogram".
7His play, "Glengarry Glen Ross", was awarded the 1984 Joseph Jefferson Award for Play Production at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
8Occasional co-lyricist for his wife, singer Rebecca Pidgeon.
9He wanted to be an actor as a young man but his attempts failed so he turned to writing and directing in order to stay in the industry.
10Often either declines credit or uses a pseudonym if he is called upon only as a script doctor, or some films he doesn't direct. The only such film that credited him by name was Hannibal (2001).
11Was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award for Best Play: in 1984 for "Glengarry Glen Ross," and in 1988 for "Speed-the-Plow.".
12Brother-in-law of Matthew Pidgeon.
13Used to work as a waiter at Second City Theater in Chicago.
14Eschews using a personal computer to write his screenplays and plays, preferring to use his old-fashioned typewriter.
15His play "Boston Marriage" was performed at the Donmar Warehouse and New Ambassador's Theatre in London and was nominated for a 2002 'Laurence Olivier' Theatre Award for Best New Comedy of 2001.
16Daughters with Lindsay Crouse: Zosia Mamet and Willa Mamet.
17Two children with actress Rebecca Pidgeon: Clara Mamet and Noah Mamet.
18Brother of Lynn Mamet.
19Attended Goddard College, Plainfield, VT with William H. Macy and Jonathan Katz.
20His stage work assayed in book entitled, "How Good is David Mamet, Anyway?" by critic John Heilpern, Dec. 1999.
21Won the Pulitzer prize in Drama for "Glengary Glen Ross".
22Well known for the rhythmic nature of his dialogue, he actually uses a metronome during rehearsals to perfect the actors' delivery of it.




About Last Night2014based upon "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" by
The Coin2013/IShort short story by
Phil Spector2013TV Movie written by
Two Painters2010Short
Inside the Actor's Workshop2010Video short written by
Our Valley2010Short
The Marquee2010Short
The Dog2010Short
Lost Masterpieces of Pornography2010Video short written by
The UnitTV Series creator - 68 episodes, 2006 - 2009 written by - 10 episodes, 2006 - 2009 writer - 1 episode, 2006
Redbelt2008written by
Edmond2005play / screenplay
Spartan2004written by
Heist2001written by
State and Main2000written by
Lakeboat2000play - uncredited / written by
The Winslow Boy1999screenplay
Lansky1999TV Movie written by
Ronin1998screenplay - as Richard Weisz
Wag the Dog1997screenplay
The Spanish Prisoner1997written by
The Edge1997written by
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist1997TV Series additional material - 1 episode
American Buffalo1996play / screenplay
Texan1994TV Short written by
Oleanna1994play / screenplay
Vanya on 42nd Street1994play adaptation
A Life in the Theater1993TV Movie play / teleplay
Hoffa1992written by
Glengarry Glen Ross1992play / screenplay
The Water Engine1992TV Movie play / written by
Homicide1991written by
Performance1991TV Series 1 episode
We're No Angels1989written by
The Play on One1989TV Series writer - 1 episode
Things Change1988written by
House of Games1987screenplay / story
The Untouchables1987written by
Hill Street Blues1987TV Series written by - 1 episode
About Last Night...1986play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago"
The Verdict1982screenplay
The Postman Always Rings Twice1981screenplay
A Life in the Theater1979TV Movie play


Hoffa1992associate producer
Lip Service1988TV Movie producer
Phil Spector2013TV Movie executive producer
Disintegration Man2012Video short executive producer
The Unit2006-2009TV Series executive producer - 66 episodes
Lansky1999TV Movie executive producer
A Life in the Theater1993TV Movie executive producer


Phil Spector2013TV Movie
Two Painters2010Short
Inside the Actor's Workshop2010Video short
Our Valley2010Short
The Marquee2010Short
Lost Masterpieces of Pornography2010Video short
The Unit2006-2008TV Series 4 episodes
The Shield2004TV Series 1 episode
State and Main2000
The Winslow Boy1999
The Spanish Prisoner1997
Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants1996TV Movie
Things Change1988
House of Games1987


Redbelt2008writer: "Voce Nao Me Ve"
State and Main2000lyrics: "The Song of the Old Mill"
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist1996TV Series lyrics - 1 episode
Oleanna1994lyrics: "Long Ago And Far Away", "Hail To The Men Of Merit", "Brief College Days"


Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist1997TV SeriesDavid
The Water Engine1992TV MovieBrown Haired Man
Black Widow1987Herb


Macy About Mamet1998Video documentary short subject


Knight of Cups2015special thanks
Invent Nothing, Deny Nothing: Five Guys from Mamet's HOMICIDE2009Video documentary short special thanks
Blues by the Beach2004Documentary special thanks
Frogs for Snakes1998special thanks


Midway USA's Gun Stories2013-2014TV SeriesHimself
The Postman Always Rings Twice: Selected Scenes Commentary2014Video documentaryHimself
The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards2013TV SpecialHimself - Nominee
Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia2013DocumentaryHimself
Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay2012DocumentaryHimself - Writer & Director
The Simpsons2011TV SeriesHimself
Charlie Rose1994-2010TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Colbert Report2010TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Redbelt: Behind-the-Scenes of 'Redbelt'2008Video documentary shortHimself
Redbelt: Inside Mixed Martial Arts2008Video documentary shortHimself
Redbelt: Q&A with Director David Mamet2008Video documentary shortHimself
Shootout2008TV SeriesHimself
Tavis Smiley2008TV SeriesHimself
Triumph and Tragedy: The Ray Mancini Story2007TV Movie documentaryHimself - Writer
David Mamet on 'House of Games'2007Video documentary shortHimself
TCM Guest Programmer2007TV SeriesHimself - Special Guest
Real Time with Bill Maher2007TV SeriesHimself
Biography2004-2006TV Series documentaryHimself
A Tribute to Joe Mantegna2004TV Short documentaryHimself
Check the Gate: Putting Beckett on Film2003Video documentaryHimself - Director ("Catastrophe")
Face to Face1998TV SeriesHimself
The Directors1997TV Series documentaryHimself
Chicago on Stage1995TV MovieHimself
The Yiddish Cinema1991DocumentaryNarrator
American Masters1990TV Series documentaryHimself
Late Night with David Letterman1984TV SeriesHimself
The Irv Kupcinet Show1984TV SeriesHimself


Won Awards

2008ShoWest AwardShoWest Convention, USAExcellence in Filmmaking
2005Laurel Award for Screen Writing AchievementWriters Guild of America, USA
2001FFCC AwardFlorida Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ScreenplayState and Main (2000)
2000Jury AwardFt. Lauderdale International Film FestivalBest FilmState and Main (2000)
1999Los Charales AwardAjijic International Film FestivalBest Studio Feature FilmThe Winslow Boy (1999)
1999Truly Moving Picture AwardHeartland FilmThe Winslow Boy (1999)
1994Wise Owl Award - Honorable MentionRetirement Research Foundation, USATelevision and Theatrical Film FictionGreat Performances (1971)
1992ALFS AwardLondon Critics Circle Film AwardsScreenwriter of the YearHomicide (1991)
1989ALFS AwardLondon Critics Circle Film AwardsScreenwriter of the YearHouse of Games (1987)
1987Golden OsellaVenice Film FestivalBest ScreenplayHouse of Games (1987)
1987Pasinetti AwardVenice Film FestivalBest FilmHouse of Games (1987)
1987Cinecritica AwardVenice Film FestivalHouse of Games (1987)
1987Golden CiakVenice Film FestivalBest FilmHouse of Games (1987)

Nominated Awards

2014DGA AwardDirectors Guild of America, USAOutstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-SeriesPhil Spector (2013)
2013Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic SpecialPhil Spector (2013)
2013Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Miniseries or MoviePhil Spector (2013)
2013Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic SpecialPhil Spector (2013)
2013OFTA Television AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Direction of a Motion Picture or MiniseriesPhil Spector (2013)
2013OFTA Television AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Writing of a Motion Picture or MiniseriesPhil Spector (2013)
2001CFCA AwardChicago Film Critics Association AwardsBest ScreenplayState and Main (2000)
2001Chlotrudis AwardChlotrudis AwardsBest Original ScreenplayState and Main (2000)
2001OFCS AwardOnline Film Critics Society AwardsBest ScreenplayState and Main (2000)
2001Golden Satellite AwardSatellite AwardsBest Screenplay, OriginalState and Main (2000)
2000Chlotrudis AwardChlotrudis AwardsBest DirectorThe Winslow Boy (1999)
1999BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Screenplay - AdaptedWag the Dog (1997)
1999Chlotrudis AwardChlotrudis AwardsBest ScreenplayThe Spanish Prisoner (1997)
1999EdgarEdgar Allan Poe AwardsBest Motion PictureThe Spanish Prisoner (1997)
1999Independent Spirit AwardIndependent Spirit AwardsBest ScreenplayThe Spanish Prisoner (1997)
1998OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or PublishedWag the Dog (1997)
1998Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Screenplay - Motion PictureWag the Dog (1997)
1998OFTA Film AwardOnline Film & Television AssociationBest Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another MediumWag the Dog (1997)
1998WGA Award (Screen)Writers Guild of America, USABest Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or PublishedWag the Dog (1997)
1997ACCAAwards Circuit Community AwardsBest Adapted ScreenplayWag the Dog (1997)
1993CFCA AwardChicago Film Critics Association AwardsBest ScreenplayGlengarry Glen Ross (1992)
1993WGA Award (Screen)Writers Guild of America, USABest Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or PublishedGlengarry Glen Ross (1992)
1991Palme d'OrCannes Film FestivalHomicide (1991)
1989EdgarEdgar Allan Poe AwardsBest Motion PictureThings Change (1988)
1988Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Screenplay - Motion PictureHouse of Games (1987)
1988DavidDavid di Donatello AwardsBest Foreign Screenplay (Migliore Sceneggiatura Straniera)House of Games (1987)
1988Golden LionVenice Film FestivalThings Change (1988)
1988WGA Award (Screen)Writers Guild of America, USABest Screenplay Based on Material from Another MediumThe Untouchables (1987)
1987Golden LionVenice Film FestivalHouse of Games (1987)
1983OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another MediumThe Verdict (1982)
1983Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Screenplay - Motion PictureThe Verdict (1982)
1983WGA Award (Screen)Writers Guild of America, USABest Drama Adapted from Another MediumThe Verdict (1982)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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