David Alan Mamet was born in Chicago, Illinois and studied literature and theater at Goddard College in Vermont, receiving his bachelor's degree in 1969. He also began acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater in New York. In 1971, Mamet began to write plays while teaching drama ta Goddard. His first play to receive attention, The Duck Variations (1972), was followed by Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1974), American Buffalo (1975, for which Mamet received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award), The Water Engine: An American Fable (1977), A Life in the Theatre, The Woods, Reunion, and Dark Pony (all 1977), and The Sanctity of Marriage (1979).
Glengarry Glen Ross (1982), is Mamet's most praised work and it was awarded both the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize in drama. He followed its success with Edmond (1982), Prairie du chien (1985), The Shawl (1985) and Speed-the-Plow (1988).
More recently, Mamet's plays include Race (2009), The Anarchist (2012), The Penitent (2017), and Bitter Wheat (2019).
In 2002, Mamet was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
As a screenwriter, Mamet's screenplays include The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), _The Untouchables (1987), Wag the Dog (1997), House of Games (1987), The Winslow Boy (1999), and Hannibal (2001).
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