Mazursky was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn in 1930. He started his performing in school, continuing at Brooklyn College, where in his senior year, he landed the leading role of an off-Broadway production of He Who Gets Slapped. Shortly thereafter, he was cast in Stanley Kubrick's first film Fear and Desire, and two years later in The Blackboard Jungle. During this period, he appeared on TV and performed as a stand-up comic in Greenwich Village clubs.
In 1959, he moved to Los Angeles, where he joined the L.A. company of Second City. Increasingly, his focus shifted to writing for other comics, including Danny Kaye. In due course, he teamed up with like-minded humorist Larry Tucker and together they wrote the screenplays for three feature films, I Love You, Alice B. Toklas, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Alex in Wonderland. Knowing that he wanted to direct, Mazursky used his success to gain Columbia Pictures' confidence, and he made his directorial debut with Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. Now considered a classic, the film opened the 1969 New York Film Festival. His screenplay collaboration with Tucker received an Academy Award nomination. As director and co-writer, Mazursky followed Bob & Carol with Alex in Wonderland (starring Donald Sutherland), Harry & Tonto (Oscar nomination for best screenplay, written with Josh Greenfield), and Next Stop, Greenwich Village.
1978 saw the triumphant release of Mazursky's An Unmarried Woman. Star Jill Clayburgh was named best actress at the Cannes Film Festival. Mazursky was nominated again for an Oscar for best screenplay.
Mazursky continued with Willie and Phil, Tempest, and Moscow on the Hudson, which established Robin Williams as an actor of formidable range.
Mazursky's other films include Moon Over Parador, Enemies: A Love Story (which garnered three Oscar nominations and earned the New York Film Critics Award for best director), Scenes from a Mall (starring Woody Allen and Bette Midler), The Pickle (with Danny Aiello), and Faithful, starring Chazz Palminteri, Cher and Ryan O'Neal. His latest film is the HBO movie Winchell, with Stanley Tucci, Glenne Headly and Paul Giamatti.
Paul Mazursky Facts
|Birth Name||Irwin Mazursky|
|Birthday||April 25, 1930 (87)|
|Birthplace||Brooklyn, New York, USA|
|Moon Over Parador|
|Moscow On The Hudson|
|Down And Out In Beverly Hills|
|Harry and Tonto|
|Ruthless People / Down and Out in Beverly Hills|
|Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice|
|Scenes From A Mall|