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Amy Heckerling

Film Director; Best Known for "Clueless" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

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 Amy Heckerling Biography

One of only a handful of women who not only worked as directors during the 1980s but also enjoyed great success doing so, Amy Heckerling proved to be one of the smartest and most observant chroniclers of teenage life with the acclaimed comedies "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982) and "Clueless" (1995). Keenly aware of the complex levels of social intercourse and class structure within the American high school, Heckerling's best films found the honest emotions at the center of teenagers' highly overcharged lives: the need to be liked, to fit in, and ultimately, to find one's own way. Despite the returns on "Fast Times," Heckerling struggled to find quality projects in the 1980s until scoring a huge hit with the broad comedy "Look Who's Talking" (1989). "Clueless" would mark her return to the teenaged film, but would also serve as her last successful project for nearly two decades. Despite her constant uphill battle to portray young people - in particular, young women - in a positive light, Heckerling's best work enshrined her as a patron saint of the teenage comedy.

Born May 7, 1954 in The Bronx, NY, Amy Heckerling's father was a certified public accountant, while her mother worked in bookkeeping. They moved to Queens, where she gave herself an informal education in classic Hollywood comedies on television. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design in 1970, she studied under controversial author and screenwriter Terry Southern at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before earning her master's degree in film from the American Film Institute's AFI Conservatory. Despite her impressive pedigree, Heckerling found it difficult to land a directing job in Hollywood. She bided her time with short films - most notably "Getting it Over With" (1978), a comedy about an 18-year-old girl (Glynnis O'Connor) who decides to lose her virginity before the end of her teen years. The short demonstrated her understanding of the complexities of teenage life, and made her an ideal candidate for her first feature.

Based on screenwriter Cameron Crowe's book about high school social rituals, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" was a substantial hit both with audiences and critics, who found its hilarious and honest look at teenagers a refreshing alternative to stale Hollywood fare. The film was also notable for introducing an extraordinary cast of up-and-coming talent, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Edwards, Judge Reinhold, and Sean Penn as the film's breakout character, the hazy-minded, surf-loving stoner, Jeff Spicoli. The success of "Fast Times" generated immediate attention for Heckerling, who soon found herself at the helm of two high-profile studio comedies. However, the gangster spoof "Johnny Dangerously" (1984) was a dismal flop, while "European Vacation" scored only at the box office. In 1986, she served as producer, writer and occasional director on "Fast Times" (CBS, 1986), a watered-down TV take on her feature debut. Savaged by critics and ignored by viewers for sanitizing the characters, it lasted for only seven episodes.

Heckerling stepped away from filmmaking to have a daughter, future actress and singer Mollie Israel, with her husband, writer Neal Israel ("Bachelor Party," 1984), whom she divorced in 1984. The experience provided her with the inspiration for her next feature, "Look Who's Talking" (1989), a romantic comedy with John Travolta as a cab driver who falls for a single mother (Kirstie Alley) and her son, whose sardonic observations were voiced by Bruce Willis. A colossal hit, surpassing even the highly anticipated "Back to the Future II" (1989) at the box office, it naturally led to a sequel, "Look Who's Talking Too" (1990), which Heckerling also directed and co-wrote with Israel. However, she was shrewd enough to serve only as executive producer for "Look Who's Talking Now" (1993), which replaced Willis with Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton as the family's talking dog, and "Baby Talk" (ABC, 1991-92), a sitcom starring George Clooney in the Travolta role and Tony Danza as the talking baby.

In 1995, Heckerling came back in major way by writing and directing "Clueless," a wry take on Jane Austen's Emma, as viewed through the filter of the young and wealthy in Beverly Hills. The film, which featured a star-making turn by Alicia Silverstone as a seemingly superficial high schooler who attempts to "make over" a less socially adept classmate (Brittany Murphy), received glowing reviews from critics and, more importantly, teenage girls, who felt that Heckerling's script accurately reflected their feeling. She earned Best Screenplay Award from the National Association of Film Critics and Women in Film, as well as a Writers Guild of America nomination, and set to work on the pilot for a "Clueless" series (ABC/UPN, 1996-99), to which she later contributed as occasional director.

Sadly, "Clueless" would serve as Heckerling's last substantive hit to date. She served as producer and uncredited director of the reviled "Night at the Roxbury" (1998), a feature-length version of a "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) sketch with Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan as hapless clubgoers, and "Molly" (1990), a treacle-heavy romance about an autistic woman (Elisabeth Shue) who became a genius after experimental surgery. Her 2000 return to direction, "Loser" (2000), was a wan college-age comedy about two misfits (Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari) who found each other, and by 2005, she was largely absent behind the camera save for an episode of "The Office" (NBC, 2005- ).

In 2007, she returned to directing for "I Could Never Be Your Woman" (2007), a smart comedy-drama about a single mother (Michelle Pfeiffer) struggling to raise her daughter (Saoirse Ronan) in a culture with distorted views of women while juggling her job and a romance with a much younger man (Paul Rudd). Shot in England for tax purposes, the film was produced by Phillipe Martinez of the indie production house Bauer Martinez. Despite rave advance reviews, Martinez failed to secure a deal for theatrical distribution through MGM after the studio learned that Pfeiffer had deferred part of her salary in exchange for a percentage of the gross. "Woman" was eventually released on DVD, to the chagrin of Hecklering and everyone else involved. In 2011, she was announced as writer-director of "Vamps" (2012), a romantic comedy about a pair of socialite vampires (Silverstone and Krysten Ritter) who fall in love with human men while avoiding overly ambitious vampire hunters.

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  • HOW TO BOOK Amy Heckerling?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Amy Heckerling for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Amy Heckerling, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Amy Heckerling or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Amy Heckerling?

    Booking fees for Amy Heckerling, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Amy Heckerling, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Amy Heckerling?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Amy Heckerling for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Amy Heckerling for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Amy Heckerling or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Amy Heckerling or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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Amy Heckerling

Film Director; Best Known for "Clueless" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

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Amy Heckerling Biography

One of only a handful of women who not only worked as directors during the 1980s but also enjoyed great success doing so, Amy Heckerling proved to be one of the smartest and most observant chroniclers of teenage life with the acclaimed comedies "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982) and "Clueless" (1995). Keenly aware of the complex levels of social intercourse and class structure within the American high school, Heckerling's best films found the honest emotions at the center of teenagers' highly overcharged lives: the need to be liked, to fit in, and ultimately, to find one's own way. Despite the returns on "Fast Times," Heckerling struggled to find quality projects in the 1980s until scoring a huge hit with the broad comedy "Look Who's Talking" (1989). "Clueless" would mark her return to the teenaged film, but would also serve as her last successful project for nearly two decades. Despite her constant uphill battle to portray young people - in particular, young women - in a positive light, Heckerling's best work enshrined her as a patron saint of the teenage comedy.

Born May 7, 1954 in The Bronx, NY, Amy Heckerling's father was a certified public accountant, while her mother worked in bookkeeping. They moved to Queens, where she gave herself an informal education in classic Hollywood comedies on television. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design in 1970, she studied under controversial author and screenwriter Terry Southern at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before earning her master's degree in film from the American Film Institute's AFI Conservatory. Despite her impressive pedigree, Heckerling found it difficult to land a directing job in Hollywood. She bided her time with short films - most notably "Getting it Over With" (1978), a comedy about an 18-year-old girl (Glynnis O'Connor) who decides to lose her virginity before the end of her teen years. The short demonstrated her understanding of the complexities of teenage life, and made her an ideal candidate for her first feature.

Based on screenwriter Cameron Crowe's book about high school social rituals, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" was a substantial hit both with audiences and critics, who found its hilarious and honest look at teenagers a refreshing alternative to stale Hollywood fare. The film was also notable for introducing an extraordinary cast of up-and-coming talent, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Edwards, Judge Reinhold, and Sean Penn as the film's breakout character, the hazy-minded, surf-loving stoner, Jeff Spicoli. The success of "Fast Times" generated immediate attention for Heckerling, who soon found herself at the helm of two high-profile studio comedies. However, the gangster spoof "Johnny Dangerously" (1984) was a dismal flop, while "European Vacation" scored only at the box office. In 1986, she served as producer, writer and occasional director on "Fast Times" (CBS, 1986), a watered-down TV take on her feature debut. Savaged by critics and ignored by viewers for sanitizing the characters, it lasted for only seven episodes.

Heckerling stepped away from filmmaking to have a daughter, future actress and singer Mollie Israel, with her husband, writer Neal Israel ("Bachelor Party," 1984), whom she divorced in 1984. The experience provided her with the inspiration for her next feature, "Look Who's Talking" (1989), a romantic comedy with John Travolta as a cab driver who falls for a single mother (Kirstie Alley) and her son, whose sardonic observations were voiced by Bruce Willis. A colossal hit, surpassing even the highly anticipated "Back to the Future II" (1989) at the box office, it naturally led to a sequel, "Look Who's Talking Too" (1990), which Heckerling also directed and co-wrote with Israel. However, she was shrewd enough to serve only as executive producer for "Look Who's Talking Now" (1993), which replaced Willis with Danny DeVito and Diane Keaton as the family's talking dog, and "Baby Talk" (ABC, 1991-92), a sitcom starring George Clooney in the Travolta role and Tony Danza as the talking baby.

In 1995, Heckerling came back in major way by writing and directing "Clueless," a wry take on Jane Austen's Emma, as viewed through the filter of the young and wealthy in Beverly Hills. The film, which featured a star-making turn by Alicia Silverstone as a seemingly superficial high schooler who attempts to "make over" a less socially adept classmate (Brittany Murphy), received glowing reviews from critics and, more importantly, teenage girls, who felt that Heckerling's script accurately reflected their feeling. She earned Best Screenplay Award from the National Association of Film Critics and Women in Film, as well as a Writers Guild of America nomination, and set to work on the pilot for a "Clueless" series (ABC/UPN, 1996-99), to which she later contributed as occasional director.

Sadly, "Clueless" would serve as Heckerling's last substantive hit to date. She served as producer and uncredited director of the reviled "Night at the Roxbury" (1998), a feature-length version of a "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) sketch with Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan as hapless clubgoers, and "Molly" (1990), a treacle-heavy romance about an autistic woman (Elisabeth Shue) who became a genius after experimental surgery. Her 2000 return to direction, "Loser" (2000), was a wan college-age comedy about two misfits (Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari) who found each other, and by 2005, she was largely absent behind the camera save for an episode of "The Office" (NBC, 2005- ).

In 2007, she returned to directing for "I Could Never Be Your Woman" (2007), a smart comedy-drama about a single mother (Michelle Pfeiffer) struggling to raise her daughter (Saoirse Ronan) in a culture with distorted views of women while juggling her job and a romance with a much younger man (Paul Rudd). Shot in England for tax purposes, the film was produced by Phillipe Martinez of the indie production house Bauer Martinez. Despite rave advance reviews, Martinez failed to secure a deal for theatrical distribution through MGM after the studio learned that Pfeiffer had deferred part of her salary in exchange for a percentage of the gross. "Woman" was eventually released on DVD, to the chagrin of Hecklering and everyone else involved. In 2011, she was announced as writer-director of "Vamps" (2012), a romantic comedy about a pair of socialite vampires (Silverstone and Krysten Ritter) who fall in love with human men while avoiding overly ambitious vampire hunters.

Amy Heckerling Videos

  • Director Amy Heckerling interview on Clueless (1996) - 2017 ...
  • CLUELESS Director Amy Heckerling on how she cast Alicia ...

FAQs on booking Amy Heckerling

  • How to book Amy Heckerling?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Amy Heckerling for both live and virtual events for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment. Fill out a booking request form for Amy Heckerling, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Amy Heckerling or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Amy Heckerling?

    Booking fees for Amy Heckerling, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies between live and virtual events. Other factors that can affect speaker fees include the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. The live and virtual event speaking fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Amy Heckerling, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Amy Heckerling?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Amy Heckerling for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Amy Heckerling for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Amy Heckerling or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Amy Heckerling or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Amy Heckerling is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Amy Heckerling for your event is available upon request. Amy Heckerling generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Lisa Joy, Kathleen Kennedy, Keli Lee, Donna Langley and Tammi Fuller. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Amy Heckerling for an upcoming live or virtual event.

Amy Heckerling Speaker Videos

  • Director Amy Heckerling interview on Clueless (1996) - 2017 ...
    CLUELESS Director Amy Heckerling on how she cast Alicia ...

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Speakers Similar to Amy Heckerling

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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