Hollywood Spotlight: Adam Sandler

43 views December 2, 2019 6:30 AM

He makes a star appearance in the upcoming A24 film Uncut Gems (2019) with features in Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), Grown Ups (2010), Jack and Jill (2011), Zookeeper (2011), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2012), and Grown Ups 2 (2013). This week’s Hollywood Spotlight highlights the multi-award winning American comedian Adam Sandler, who stars in Uncut Gems (2019).

Born on Sept. 9, 1966 in Brooklyn, Adam Richard Sandler is the son of Judy Levine and Stanley Sandler. At six years old, Sandler moved to Manchester, New Hampshire and attended Manchester Central High School. As a teen, Sandler was involved with BBYO, a Jewish youth group, and went on to graduate from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. 

His acting career started in 1987 when he played Theo Huxtable’s friend, Smitty in The Cosby Show and the Stud Boy or Trivia Delinquent in the MTV game show Remote Control. Afterwards, he debuted in his first film, Going OVerboard in 1989, where he further honed in on his comedy skills by performing in comedy clubs. In 1993, Sandler was involved in the film Coneheads with Chris Farley, David Spade, Dan Aykroyd, Phil Hartman, and Jane Curtin. He followed these films with Bulletproof (1996), and the successful comedies Happy Gilmore (1996) and The Wedding Singer (1998).

Though his earlier films did not receive positive critical reception, his own performance started to receive more positive reviews, starting with Punch-Drunk Love in 2002. He went on to star alongside his friend Kevin James in the film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007), and headlined You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008). Sandler’s first family film under the Walt Disney banner came when he starred in Bedtime Stories (2008) with Keri Russell and Russell Brand.

His biggest breakthrough came in 2009, when he starred in Funny People and Grown Ups with the two movies combining for a gross box office of over $300 million. He would further expand to star with Jennifer Aniston in the film Just Go with It, grossing over $200 million. Sandler wanted to gain more experience in the producer role and as such, he released his last theatrical film Pixels in 2015, transitioning into a distribution deal with Netflix. On May 4, 2019, Sandler made his first appearance as host of SNL, ending the episode with a tribute to his friend and fellow former cast member Chris Farley. 

With such a wealth of experience in the comedy genre, it will be quite refreshing to see him take on more serious role in his upcoming films. Uncut Gems, set to release on Dec. 6, 2019, follows Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a jewelry store owner and compulsive gambler, who must find a way to pay off his debts before it's too late.

Here are some more fun facts about Adam Sandler:

  • On June 22, 2003, Sandler married model-actress Jacqueline Titone. Titone had converted to Sandler's religion, Judaism, and has made frequent appearances in her husband's films.

  • In 2007, Sandler made a $1 million donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in his hometown, Manchester, New Hampshire.

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