BORN: November 30, 1947, Chicago, Illinois
IDENTIFICATION: Late-twentieth-century dramatist, director, producer, and actor, whose plays have been adapted for film and television.
David Mamet began writing plays, some of them adaptations of foreignlanguage classics, in 1968. In the following decades he branched out into screenwriting, television scripts, radio plays, novels, poetry, nonfiction, and children's literature. His award-winning plays American Buffalo (1975) and Glengarry Glen Ross (1983) earned distinction for their harsh examinations of frustrated, potentially criminal men—many would call them [losers]—who discover their capacity for immorality during crisis and corrupt circumstances. Mamet is famous for his skillful use of dialogue and infamous for his use of profanity. His recurrent theme of the vicious American business world and his portrayal of inarticulate, tormented characters in conflict have earned him many awards. His plays are frequently revived in repertory theater and studied in college classrooms.