Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler

Sandler receiving his star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2011
Born Adam Richard Sandler
(1966-09-09) September 9, 1966
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Tisch School of the Arts
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • screenwriter
  • film producer
  • musician
Spouse(s) Jackie Sandler (m. 2003)
Children 2

Comedy career

Medium Stand-up, film, television
Influences Mel Brooks, Bill Cosby, Redd Foxx, Sam Kinison, Jerry Lewis, Steve Martin, Dennis Miller, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rush[1]
Influenced Jimmy Fallon[2]

Adam Richard Sandler (born September 9, 1966[3]) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, film producer, and musician. After becoming a Saturday Night Live cast member, Sandler went on to star in many Hollywood feature films that combined have grossed over $2 billion at the box office.[4] He is best known for his comedic roles, such as in the films Billy Madison (1995), the sports comedies Happy Gilmore (1996) and The Waterboy (1998), the romantic comedy The Wedding Singer (1998), Big Daddy (1999), and Mr. Deeds (2002), and voicing Dracula in Hotel Transylvania (2012) and Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015). He has ventured into more dramatic territory with his roles in Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Spanglish (2004), Reign Over Me (2007), and Funny People (2009).

Sandler has released five comedy albums in his career. They're All Gonna Laugh at You! (1993) and What the Hell Happened to Me? (1996) are both certified double-platinum. In 1999, Sandler founded Happy Madison Productions.

Early life

Sandler was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1966,[5] to Judith "Judy" (née Levine), a nursery school teacher, and Stanley Sandler (1935-2003), an electrical engineer.[3] His family is Jewish, and descends from Russian immigrants on both sides.[6] He grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire after moving there at the age of six.[7] He attended Manchester Central High School. Sandler graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1988.[8]


Acting career

Sandler at 2002 Cannes Film Festival

Early in his career, Sandler played Theo Huxtable's friend, Smitty in The Cosby Show and the Stud Boy or Trivia Delinquent in the MTV game show Remote Control. After his film debut Going Overboard in 1989, Sandler performed in comedy clubs, having first taken the stage at his brother's urging when he was 17. He was discovered by comedian Dennis Miller, who caught Sandler's act in Los Angeles and 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 Thanksgiving Song" and "The Chanukah Song".[9] Sandler told Conan O'Brien on The Tonight Show that NBC fired him and Chris Farley from the show in 1995.[10]

In 1993, Adam Sandler appeared in the film Coneheads with Chris Farley, David Spade, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, and Jane Curtin. In 1994, he co-starred in Airheads with Brendan Fraser and Steve Buscemi. He starred in Billy Madison (1995) playing a grown man repeating grades 1–12 to earn back his father's respect and the right to inherit his father's multimillion-dollar hotel empire; the film received mixed reviews. He followed this film with Bulletproof (1996), and the financially successful comedies 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 earliest films did not receive critical praise, he started to receive more positive reviews, beginning with Punch-Drunk Love in 2002. Roger Ebert's review of Punch-Drunk Love concluded that Sandler had been wasted in earlier films with poorly written scripts and characters with no development.[11] 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).

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 (Don Cheadle). He starred with Kevin James in the film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007). Sandler headlined You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008). The film was written by Sandler, Judd Apatow and Robert Smigel, it was directed by Dennis Dugan.

Sandler in Berlin 2009

Sandler starred along with Keri Russell and English comedian Russell Brand in Adam Shankman's fantasy film Bedtime Stories (2008), as a stressed hotel maintenance worker whose bedtime stories he reads to his niece and nephew begin to come true. It marked as Sandler's first family film and first film under the Walt Disney banner.[12]

In 2009, Sandler starred in Judd Apatow's third directorial feature Funny People. The film was released on July 31, 2009.[13] Following the release of Funny People, it, along with Punch-Drunk Love were cited in the June 2010 announcement that Sandler was one of 135 people (including 20 actors) invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[14]

Sandler appeared in Grown Ups, alongside Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade. Sandler and Dickie Roberts scribe Fred Wolf wrote the script and Dennis Dugan directed the film.[15]

Sandler starred with Jennifer Aniston in the 2011 romantic comedy film Just Go with It. Sandler also voiced a capuchin monkey in Kevin James' Zookeeper, released on July 8, 2011.[16] In 2012, he starred in That's My Boy, as a man who fathered a son (Andy Samberg) with his teacher in high school.

Sandler starred with Drew Barrymore in the Warner Bros. romantic comedy Blended, which was filmed in South Africa, and was released on May 23, 2014.

In 2013, he guest starred in the Disney Channel Original Series Jessie as himself. He and Cameron Boyce previously worked together in Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2. The episode is titled "Punched Dumped Love". Sandler co-starred in the drama film Men, Women & Children (2014), directed by Jason Reitman.[17][18] He was considered for the voice of Rocket Raccoon in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy but Bradley Cooper was cast instead.[19]

In 2015, Sandler starred in the Western comedy film The Ridiculous 6, distributed by Netflix. Despite being universally panned by critics,[20] it was announced on January 6, 2015 by Netflix that the film had been viewed more times in 30 days than any other movie in Netflix history.[21]

Sandler's recent comedy films, including Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2, have received strongly negative reviews.[22] In reviewing the latter, critic Mark Olsen of The Los Angeles Times remarked that Sandler had become the antithesis of Judd Apatow; he was instead "the white Tyler Perry: smart enough to know better, savvy enough to do it anyway, lazy enough not to care."[23]

Happy Madison Productions

Sandler at a press conference for Click in 2005

Sandler formed his film production company, Happy Madison Productions,[24] in 1999, first producing fellow SNL alumnus Rob Schneider's film Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. The company has produced most of Sandler's subsequent films to date. The majority of the company's films have received negative reviews from critics, with three considered to be among the worst ever made[25] yet most have performed well at box office.

Others who frequently appear in Sandler films include David Spade, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Chris Rock, John Turturro and Jon Lovitz.

In 2014, Netflix announced a four-movie deal with Adam Sandler and Happy Madison Productions.[26]

The company is located on the Sony/Columbia Pictures lot in Culver City, California.

Personal life

On June 22, 2003, Sandler married actress Jacqueline Titone. Titone converted to Sandler's religion, Judaism, in 2000.[27][28] The couple has two daughters: Sadie (born 2006)[29] and Sunny (born 2008).[30]

Political and charitable donations

In 2007, Sandler made a $1 million donation to the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown, Manchester, New Hampshire.[31] The same year, he donated $2,100 to former New York City Republican mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.[32]


This is a partial list of Sandler's film work. For the complete list, see Adam Sandler filmography.


Sandler's handprints and shoeprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, 2008
Studio albums
Year Title Certification
1993 They're All Gonna Laugh at You! 2× Platinum[33]
1996 What the Hell Happened to Me? 2× Platinum[33]
1997 What's Your Name? Gold[33]
1999 Stan and Judy's Kid Gold[33]
2004 Shhh...Don't Tell

Awards and nominations


  3. 1 2 "Adam Sandler Biography (1966?-)". Film Retrieved December 24, 2014. Full name, Adam Richard Sandler; born September 9, 1966 (some sources cite 1964)...
  4. "People Index". Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  5. "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1276). September 13, 2013. p. 28.
  6. Галина Галкина (March 21, 2011). "Притворный брак Адама Сэндлера и Дженнифер Энистон". Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  7. "Adam Sandler".
  8. "Live From New York, It's...". NYU Alumni Magazine. New York University. Spring 2008. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  9. "Adam Sandler Biography: Film Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Comedian, Screenwriter (1966–)". (A&E Networks). Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  10. Dziemianowicz, Joe (January 21, 2010). "You're not alone, Conan O'Brien: Adam Sandler says NBC fired him and Chris Farley from 'SNL'". Daily News. New York City.
  11. Ebert, Roger. "Punch-Drunk Love." Chicago Sun-Times. October 18, 2002.
  12. "Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories Come True". April 4, 2007.
  13. Michael Fleming (June 11, 2008). "Trio joins Judd Apatow film". Variety. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved June 13, 2008.
  14. "Academy Invites 135 to Membership". Press release. Beverly Hills, CA: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. June 25, 2010. Archived from the original on June 30, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  15. Siegel, Tatiana (February 10, 2009). "Columbia pic gets Sandler and friends". Variety. Archived from the original on February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  16. Stephen Cook (July 8, 2011). "Zookeeper (2011)". IMDb.
  17. "Toronto: Jason Reitman Lining Up His Next Film". 4 September 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  18. Pictures, Paramount (16 December 2013). "Production Begins on Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children". Retrieved 19 December 2013.
  19. "Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler Being Considered For "Guardians of the Galaxy"". IFC. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  20. "The Ridiculous Six (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  21. Adam Sandler’s ‘Ridiculous Six’ Is Making History for Netflix
  22. "'Grown Ups 2': The Best Lines from the Worst Reviews". The Hollywood Reporter. July 12, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  23. "'Review: 'Grown Ups 2' refuses to leave the sandbox". The Los Angeles Times. July 11, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  24. "Happy Madison." Accessed October 9, 2008.
  25. Adam Sandler: All Films Considered Metacritic. Accessed April 21, 2015.
  26. "With Four New Adam Sandler Films, Netflix Takes Aim at Theaters -". Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  27. "By The Numbers Drew & Adam". NY Daily News. February 17, 2004. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  28. Wihlborg, Ulrica (May 7, 2006). "Adam Sandler, Wife Have a Baby". People. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  29. "Adam Sandler, Wife Have a Baby."
  30. "Adam Sandler and wife have second daughter." November 12, 2008.
  31. "Adam Sandler donates $1 million to Manchester charity." Archived August 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. "Adam Sandler's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Sandler is a Republican (Sandler in Zimbio's list of "Famous Republicans" [accessed May 8, 2012]).
  33. 1 2 3 4 "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - Sandler, Adam". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 4, 2014.

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