Adam Sandler

Adam Richard Sandler (born September 9, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, musician, screenwriter and film producer. He is the founder of Happy Madison Productions, a film production company that also developed the television series Rules of Engagement. After becoming a Saturday Night Live cast member, he went on to star in several Hollywood feature films that grossed over US$100 million at the box office. Though he is best known for his comedic roles, such as in the films Billy Madison (1995), Happy Gilmore (1996), Big Daddy (1999) and Mr. Deeds (2002), he has also had success in romantic and dramatic roles, such as in the films The Wedding Singer (1998), Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Spanglish (2004), Reign Over Me (2007), and Funny People (2009).


Early life


Adam Sandler was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Judy, a nursery school teacher, and Stanley Sandler, an electrical engineer. Sandler is Jewish. When he was five, his family moved to Manchester, New Hampshire, where he attended Manchester Central High School. He found he was a natural comic, and nurtured his talent while at New York University by performing regularly in clubs and on campuses. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1988.


Later in his career, he would often draw on his earliest memories for material for his comedy and movies. The song "Lunchlady Land" is dedicated to Emalee, the lunchlady at Hayden Dining Hall at New York University. In the movie Click, Sandler goes to Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire, where he went to summer camp.


Acting career


In the mid to late 1980s, Sandler played Theo Huxtable's friend, Smitty, on The Cosby Show (1987???1988). He was a performer for the MTV game show Remote Control, on which he made appearances as the characters "Trivia Delinquent" or "Stud Boy". Early in his career, Sandler performed in comedy clubs, taking the stage at his brother's urging when he was only 17. He was discovered by comedian Dennis Miller, who caught Sandler's act in Los Angeles. Miller recommended him to Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels. Sandler was hired as a writer for SNL in 1990 and became a featured player the following year, making a name for himself by performing amusing original songs on the show, including "The Chanukah Song". He left the show in 1995 to focus on his film career.


Sandler's first starring role was in 1989, in the film Going Overboard. In 1995, he starred in Billy Madison, in which he plays a grown, though uneducated, man repeating grades 1???12 to earn back his father's respect, along with the right to inherit his father's multi-million-dollar hotel empire. He followed this film with other financially successful comedies such as Bulletproof (1996), Happy Gilmore (1996) and The Wedding Singer (1998). He was initially cast in the bachelor-party-themed comedy/thriller Very Bad Things (1998), but had to back out due to his involvement in The Waterboy (1998), one of his first hits.


Although his earlier films did not receive critical praise, his more recent films, beginning with Punch-Drunk Love (2002), have received almost uniformly positive reviews. Some critics concluded that Sandler possessed considerably more acting ability that they believed had been previously wasted on poorly written scripts and characters with no development. Sandler has moved outside the genre of slapstick comedy to take on more serious parts such as the aforementioned Punch-Drunk Love (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe), Spanglish (2004) and Reign Over Me (2007). He played a loving father figure in Big Daddy (1999). During filming, he met Jacqueline Samantha Titone???his future wife and mother of his daughter???who was cast as the waitress from The Blarney Stone Bar.


The handprints of Adam Sandler in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

At one point, Sandler was considered for the part that went to Jamie Foxx in Collateral (2004). He also was one of the finalists along with Jim Carrey and Johnny Depp for the role of Willy Wonka in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). He returned to more dramatic fare with Mike Binder's Reign Over Me (2007), a drama about a man who loses his entire family in 9/11 and rekindles a friendship with his old college roommate (played by Don Cheadle). He starred in the film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007) alongside Kevin James, as a New York City fireman pretending to be gay to keep up an insurance scam so that his best friend's children can have benefits. Sandler headlined You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008), a comedy about a Mossad agent who fakes his own death and moves to the United States to become a hair stylist. The film was written by Sandler, The 40-Year-Old Virgin writer-director Judd Apatow (who was an old roommate of Sandler's when both were starting out), and Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog creator Robert Smigel, and was directed by Happy Gilmore director Dennis Dugan.


"Like Will Ferrell, Sandler has layers of tenderness under layers of irony under layers of tenderness???plus a floating anger like Jupiter???s great red spot," wrote David Edelstein of New York magazine in a review of You Don't Mess with the Zohan. "Some performers become stars because we can read them instantly, others???like Sandler???because we never tire of trying to get a fix on them."


Sandler recently starred in Bedtime Stories (2008), a fantasy film directed by Bringing Down the House director Adam Shankman, about a stressed hotel maintenance worker whose bedtime stories he reads to his niece and nephew begin to come true. This marked Sandler's first family film and first film under the Walt Disney banner. Keri Russell and English comedian Russell Brand co-starred.


In 2009, Sandler starred in Judd Apatow's third directorial feature Funny People. He played a very successful stand up comedian who finds out he has a terminal illness and he takes a young inexperienced comic, played by Seth Rogen, under his wing. Other co-stars included Eric Bana and Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann. The film contained more dramatic elements than Apatow's previous efforts. Filming began in October 2008 and finished in January 2009. The film was released on July 31, 2009.


At one point, Sandler was in talks to star in Quentin Tarantino's World War II film Inglourious Basterds, which he confirmed, but he said he will not be in it due to a scheduling conflict with Funny People. In June 2007, it was announced that his production company, Happy Madison, had made a preemptive acquisition for Mitch Albom's screenwriting debut.


Sandler's next film will be Grown Ups, where he will be teaming up with Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade (all of whom have worked with Sandler before but not all in the same film) for a film about five best friends from high school who reunite 30 years later on the 4th of July weekend. Other costars include Salma Hayek (playing Sandler's wife), Maria Bello (playing James' wife), and fellow SNL alumni Maya Rudolph (playing Rock's wife), Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, and Norm Macdonald. Sandler and Dickie Roberts scribe Fred Wolf wrote the script and Dennis Dugan directed the film. Filming took place over the summer and it is set to be released on June 25, 2010. Sandler will also provide the voice of a capuchin monkey in Kevin James' The Zookeeper.


Happy Madison Productions


Sandler at Cannes, May 2002

Sandler formed his film production company, Happy Madison Productions, in 1999, first producing fellow SNL alumnus Rob Schneider's film, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Happy Madison has produced all of Sandler's subsequent films to date with the exceptions Punch Drunk Love and Spanglish. Reign Over Me and Funny People were produced by Happy Madison but under the subsidiary label "Madison 23".


Sandler is known for consistently working with a core group of friends and associates through Happy Madison, frequently casting fellow SNL performers in various roles in his films. Sandler and Happy Madison produced SNL contemporary Rob Schneider's vehicles Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999), The Animal (2001), The Hot Chick (2002), and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005), and The Benchwarmers (2006), with Sandler making cameo appearances in the middle three. Meanwhile, Schneider has appeared in cameo roles in Sandler films The Waterboy, Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, Click, The Longest Yard, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and Bedtime Stories. Schneider had larger roles in Sandler films Big Daddy, 50 First Dates, Eight Crazy Nights, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, and the upcoming Grown Ups.


Happy Madison produced David Spade's Joe Dirt, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, and The Benchwarmers, which also featured Rob Schneider. Spade additionally made a cameo appearance in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and has a prominent supporting role in Grown Ups. Sandler cameoed as a special audience member in an episode of The Showbiz Show with David Spade. SNL contemporary Kevin Nealon has appeared in nine Happy Madison productions or Sandler films, including Happy Gilmore, The Wedding Singer, Little Nicky, Joe Dirt, Eight Crazy Nights, Anger Management, Grandma's Boy, You Don't Mess with the Zohan and the Dana Carvey vehicle, The Master of Disguise.


Happy Madison also produced Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the first starring vehicle for Kevin James. James had costarred with Sandler in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and made a cameo appearance in You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Happy Madison will also produce James' next starring vehicle The Zookeeper after he finishes filming on Grown Ups.


He appeared as the featured guest on the final episode of John McEnroe's eponymous CNBC talk show, airing in late 2004. McEnroe appeared as himself in three of Sandler's films (Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, and You Don't Mess with the Zohan).


Anna Faris, who appeared in The Hot Chick, became the first female actor to headline a production for Happy Madison with The House Bunny and will headline another film for Happy Madison in the near future.


Others who frequently appear in Sandler films include Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Jon Lovitz, Clint Howard, Norm MacDonald, Nick Swardson, and longtime Sandler pals Allen Covert, Peter Dante, and Jonathan Loughran.


In June 2008, it was announced that Sandler will be executive producer for a horror thriller titled The Shortcut under a nascent genre label for Happy Madison called "Scary Madison".


Personal life


On June 22, 2003, Sandler married actress Jacqueline Samantha Titone, and they are the parents of two daughters, Sadie Madison Sandler, born May 6, 2006, at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, and Sunny Madeline Sandler, born November 2, 2008. Sandler lives with his family in Los Angeles, although he also has a home in New York.


In 2007, Sandler made a $1 million dollar donation to the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown, Manchester, New Hampshire. He also donated $2100 to Republican Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign the same year.


Filmography


Year
Film
Role
Notes
1989
Going Overboard
Schecky Moskowitz
first film role
1992
Shakes the Clown
Dink the Clown
1993
Coneheads
Carmine
1994
Airheads
Pip
Mixed Nuts
Louie
1995
Billy Madison
Billy Madison
Also writer
1996
Happy Gilmore
Happy Gilmore
Also writer
Bulletproof
Archie Moses
1998
The Wedding Singer
Robbie Hart
Dirty Work
Satan
Cameo (uncredited)
The Waterboy
Robert "Bobby" Boucher Jr.
Also executive producer and writer
1999
Big Daddy
Sonny Koufax
Also executive producer and writer
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
Robert Justin
Cameo (voice only)
2000
Little Nicky
Nicky
Also executive producer and writer
2001
The Animal
Townie
Cameo and executive producer
2002
Mr. Deeds
Longfellow Deeds
Also executive producer
Punch-Drunk Love
Barry Egan
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Eight Crazy Nights
Davey Stone
Animated, also Producer and Writer
A Day with the Meatball
Himself
Short Subject
The Hot Chick
Mambuza Bongo Guy (uncredited)
Cameo, also executive producer
2003
Anger Management
Dave Buznik
Also Executive producer
Pauly Shore Is Dead
Himself
Documentary
Stupidity
Himself
Documentary
The Couch
Couch Testing Guy
Short Film
2004
50 First Dates
Henry Roth
Also Executive Producer
Spanglish
John Clasky
2005
The Longest Yard
Paul Crewe
Also Executive producer
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
Javier Sandooski (uncredited)
Cameo image and producer
2006
Click
Michael Newman
Also producer
2007
Reign Over Me
Charlie Fineman
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Chuck Levine
Also Executive producer
2008
You Don't Mess with the Zohan
Zohan Dvir
Also producer and writer
Bedtime Stories
Skeeter Bronson
Also producer
2009
Funny People
George Simmons
2010
Grown Ups
Lenny Feder
Also producer and writer, post-production
The Zookeeper
Voice, Also producer, filming

Television


Year
Title
Role
Notes
1987???1990
Remote Control
1987???1988
The Cosby Show
Smitty
Episodes: "The Locker Room"

"Dance Mania"

"The Prom"

"The Visit"
1990
The Marshall Chronicles
Usher
Episode: "Brightman SATyricon"
ABC Afterschool Special
Drug Dealer
Episode: "Testing Dirty"
1991???1995
Saturday Night Live
Various
2001
Undeclared
Himself
Episode: "The Assistant"
2003
Couch
Couch Testing Guy
2005
Getaway
Henry Roth
Episode: "Found"
2007
The King of Queens
Jeff "The beast" Sussman
Episode: "Mild Bunch"

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