Elaine May

American screenwriter, film director, actress, and comedian

Elaine Iva May (née Berlin; born April 21, 1932) is an American screenwriter, movie director, actress and comedian. She was known for being in an improvisational comedy with Mike Nichols called Nichols and May. She has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, for Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Primary Colors (1998).

Elaine May
Elaine May - publicity1.jpg
May performing in 1959
Born
Elaine Iva Berlin

(1932-04-21) April 21, 1932 (age 90)
Other namesEsther Dale, Elly May
Occupation
  • Actress
  • comedian
  • playwright
  • screenwriter
  • film director
Years active1955–present
Spouse(s)
  • Marvin Irving May
    (m. 1948; div. 1960)
  • Sheldon Harnick
    (m. 1962; div. 1963)
  • David L. Rubinfine
    (m. 1963; died 1982)
Partner(s)Stanley Donen (1999–2019; his death)
ChildrenJeannie Berlin
Signature
Elaine May signature.svg

In 1971, May directed, wrote and starred in A New Leaf, becoming the first woman to do all three in a Hollywood movie.[1][2] She would later become known for directing the comedy The Heartbreak Kid (1972).

In 2013, May was honored with the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. In 2018, May returned to the Broadway stage in Lila Neugebauer's version of Kenneth Lonergan's play The Waverly Gallery.[3] She won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play,[4][5] becoming the second oldest performer to win a Tony Award for acting.[6]

In 2022, May was honored with the Honorary Academy Award.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Heaven Can Wait: The Hidden Genius of Elaine May". The Ringer. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  2. "The Marvelous Mrs. Elaine May". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
  3. Elaine May Playbill (vault)
  4. "Theater Review. 'Waverly Gallery'" The New York Times, October 25, 2018
  5. Hayes, Greg Evans, Dade; Evans, Greg; Hayes, Dade (2019-06-09). "Deadline's Tony Awards Live Blog". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-06-10.
  6. Kare, Jeffrey (10 June 2019). "2019 Tony Awards: 24 records, milestones and fun facts about this year's winners". Gold Derby. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  7. "Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May, Liv Ullmann to Receive Honorary Oscars; Danny Glover to Get Jean Hersholt Award". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 24, 2021.

Other websitesEdit

  Media related to Elaine May at Wikimedia Commons