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Elaine May

Elaine May is perhaps best known for her work behind the camera. She earned, a BAFTA Award for her screenplay for Mike Nichols' "Primary Colors, and had earlier shared an Academy Award' nomination with Warren Beatty for their screenplay for Heaven Can Wait. She garnered a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in A New Leaf, which she also wrote and which marked her film directorial debut. She also wrote the screenplay for the hit comedy The Birdcage, starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, directed by Mike Nichols.

In addition, she directed The Heartbreak Kid, from a screenplay by Neil Simon; and wrote and directed Ishtar and Mikey and Nicky, co-starring in the latter. She also appeared onscreen in such films as Luv, Enter Laughing, California Suite and In the Spirit.

May began her career with the comedy troupe Second City, where she first met Mike Nichols. The duo went on to become one of the most successful comedy teams of the day, headlining a year-long run of An Evening With Nichols and May on Broadway, and appearing at cabaret clubs across the country.

May is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award for her one-act play Adaptation, which she directed along with Terrence McNally's Next. She has seen a number of her other plays produced, including the off-Broadway hit Death Defying Acts, Not Enough Rope and Mr. Gogol and Mr. Preen.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Elaine May Facts

Birth NameElaine Berlin
BirthdayApril 21, 1932 (91)
BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Selected Filmography

Mike Nichols: American Masters
A New Leaf
The Heartbreak Kid
Heartbreak Kid
Mikey & Nicky
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