Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman
Charlie Kaufman Fantastic Fest 2015-0257 (27441349145) (cropped).jpg
Kaufman at the 2015 Fantastic Fest
Charles Stuart Kaufman

(1958-11-19) November 19, 1958 (age 60)
ResidencePasadena, California, U.S.
Alma materNew York University
  • Screenwriter
  • producer
  • director
  • lyricist
Years active1983–present
Spouse(s)Denise Kaufman

Charles Stuart Kaufman (n/; born November 19, 1958) is an American screenwriter, producer, director, and lyricist. He wrote the films Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002), and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). He made his directorial debut with screenplay Synecdoche, New York (2008), which was also well-received; film critic Roger Ebert dubbed it "the best movie of the decade" in 2009.[1]

One of the most celebrated screenwriters of his era,[2][3][4][5] Kaufman has been nominated for four Academy Awards: twice for Best Original Screenplay for Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (winning for the latter), Best Adapted Screenplay (with his fictional brother) for Adaptation, and Best Animated Feature for Anomalisa. He also won two BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplays and one BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Three of Kaufman's scripts appear in the Writers Guild of America's list of the 101 greatest movie screenplays ever written.[6]

Early life

Kaufman was born in New York City to a Jewish family[7][8][9][10] on November 19, 1958, the son of Helen and Myron Kaufman.[11] He grew up in Massapequa, New York before moving to West Hartford, Connecticut where he graduated high school.[12] While attending high school, Kaufman was part of the school's drama club, performing in numerous productions before landing the lead role in a production of Play It Again, Sam during his senior year.[12]

After high school graduation, Kaufman attended Boston University before transferring to New York University where he studied film. While attending NYU, Kaufman met Paul Proch, with whom he would write many unproduced scripts and plays.[12]

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