Today one of NYC greatest living film directors, every body's favorite nebbish Woody Allen, turns eighty years old.
Eighty! Who knew he was so young?
After all, Woody Allen has been a cultural force in this country and around the world for over fifty years. Since his days as a TV comedy writer in the 1950s, to his days as a stand-up comedian/actor/game-variety-talk show presence in the 1960s, to his now legendary filmmaking career which blasted off in the early 1970s and lasts to this day, Woody Allen has done so much to shape comedy, movies, and American popular culture over the decades that it seems like he has always existed -- and always will.
Only Keith Richards seems more durable.
For a man who's so obsessed with and afraid of death, Woody seems impervious to any kind of mortality -- either physical or professional. He has just kept rolling along, producing a new movie every year, decade in, decade out. So many others actors and directors have risen and fallen during his time, coming and going like presidential administrations and TV shows, being "hot" for a time before fading away -- and yet Woody endures. How much longer he will endure is anybody's guess but, for the time being, he's still here, making movies.
P.S. You might enjoy this 1996 profile from The New Yorker about Woody Allen. Even though the article is almost twenty years old, even then he was almost four decades into his film career and already legend. And to think he still had some of his biggest success, and another Academy Award, in his future. Amazing.