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Adam Richard Sandler (born September 9, 1966) is an Americanmarker 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. He is best known for his comedic roles, such as in the films Billy Madison (1995), Big Daddy (1999), and Mr. Deeds (2002), though he has ventured into more dramatic territory.

Early life

Adam Sandler was born in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker, 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 Hampshiremarker, where he attended Manchester Central High Schoolmarker. He found he was a natural comic, and nurtured his talent while at New York Universitymarker 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 Winnipesaukeemarker, the largest lake in New Hampshiremarker, 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. In At The Movies, Siskel and Ebert gave the film a very bad review, and said of Sandler "...Not an attractive screen presence, he might have a career as a villain or a fall guy or the butt of a joke, but as the protagonist his problem is he creates the fingernails on the blackboard" with Siskel adding " don't have a good motivation for the character's behavior". 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.

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' 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 Zookeeper after he finishes filming on Grown Ups.

He appeared as the featured guest on the final episode of John McEnroe's eponymous CNBCmarker 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".

In October 2009, it was announced that Sandler and Happy Madison will produce the Richard Pryor biopic Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said? for Sony, the company's first major dramatic production. The film was written by Bill Condon, who is set to direct, and Pryor will be played by Marlon Wayans, who is replacing Eddie Murphy.

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 Angelesmarker, 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 Hampshiremarker. He also donated $2100 to Republican Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign the same year.


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
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 Voice
Also producer and writer
A Day with the Meatball Himself Short film
The Hot Chick Mambuza Bongo Guy (uncredited) Cameo
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
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
Zookeeper Voice; Also producer


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"


Title Year Notes
They're All Gonna Laugh at You! 1993 2x Platinum
What the Hell Happened to Me? 1996 2x Platinum
What's Your Name? 1997 Gold
Stan and Judy's Kid 1999 Gold
Shhh...Don't Tell 2004


  1. "Adam Sandler."
  2. "Adam Sandler Biography (1966?-)." Film
  3. "Crazy for Chaukah." November 29, 2002.
  5. "Adam Sandler Biography."
  7. "Very Bad Things (1998) Trivia." IMDB.
  8. Ebert, Roger. "Punch-Drunk Love." Chicago Sun-Times. October 18, 2002.
  9. Edelstein, David, "Israeli Stud, Aspiring Hairdresser: Adam Sandler makes his Jewish mother proud. Meanwhile, Werner Herzog tries to avoid penguins." New York magazine. June 5, 2008, accessed June 13, 2008.
  10. "Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories Come True."
  11. "Adam Sandler To Star In Judd Apatow Movie About Stand-Up Comics." MTV. May 31, 2008.
  12. "Happy Madison." Accessed October 9, 2008.
  13. Sandler's Scary Madison Takes Shortcut
  14. 'Pryor' engagement for Condon
  15. "Adam Sandler, Wife Have a Baby."
  16. "Adam Sandler and wife have second daughter." November 12, 2008.
  17. "Adam Sandler donates $1 million to Manchester charity."
  18. "NEWSMEAT ▷ Adam Sandler's Federal Campaign Contribution Report"

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