Adam Sandler

Adam Richard Sandler (born September 9, 1966) is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, film producer, and musician. After becoming a Saturday Night Live cast member, he went on to star in many Hollywood feature films that have grossed over $2 billion at the box office combined.[2]

Adam Sandler
Sandler receiving his star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2011
Adam Richard Sandler

(1966-09-09) September 9, 1966
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma materNew York University
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • screenwriter
  • film producer
  • musician
Years active1987–present[1]
Jacqueline Titone (m. 2003)
Comedy career
MediumStand-up, film, television

Sandler's well-known roles include Billy Madison (1995), Happy Gilmore (1996), The Waterboy (1998), The Wedding Singer (1998), Big Daddy (1999), Mr. Deeds (2002), 50 First Dates (2004), The Longest Yard (2005), Click (2006), Grown Ups (2010), Just Go with It (2011), Grown Ups 2 (2013), Blended (2014), and Murder Mystery (2019). He also voices Dracula in the Hotel Transylvania franchise (2012–present).

Some of his films, such as the widely panned Jack and Jill, have been heavily criticized, culminating in a shared second place in the number of Raspberry Awards (3) and Raspberry Award nominations (11), in both cases second only to Sylvester Stallone.

Sandler ventured into dramatic territory with his roles in Punch-Drunk Love (2002), Spanglish (2004), Reign Over Me (2007), Funny People (2009), The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017), and Uncut Gems (2019), all of which earned him critical praise.[3]

Early life

Sandler was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 9, 1966,[4][5][6] to Judith "Judy" (née Levine), a nursery school teacher, and Stanley Sandler, an electrical engineer.[4] His family is Jewish and descends from Russian Jewish immigrants on both sides.[7][8][9][10][11][12] His patrilineal great-grandfather, Joseph Jacob Sandler, was born in Pagėgiai Municipality, Tauragė County, Lithuania.[13] Adam grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire, after moving there at the age of six.[14] He attended Manchester Central High School. As a teen, Sandler was in BBYO, a Jewish youth group. Sandler graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1988.[15]


Acting career

Early in his career, in 1987, 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".[5] Sandler told Conan O'Brien on The Tonight Show that NBC fired him and Chris Farley from the show in 1995, and played this up in his return to the show as a host in 2019.[16][17]

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 was successful at the box office despite negative 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 favorable critical attention, 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.[18] Sandler has moved outside the genre of slapstick comedy to take on more serious roles, such as the aforementioned Punch-Drunk Love, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe, and Mike Binder's Reign Over Me (2007), a drama about a man who loses his entire family in 9/11, and then struggles to rekindle a friendship with his old college roommate (Don Cheadle).

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

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.[19]

In 2009, Sandler starred in Judd Apatow's third directorial feature Funny People. The film was released on July 31, 2009.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

Sandler starred with Jennifer Aniston in the 2011 romantic comedy film Just Go with It. Sandler also voiced a capuchin monkey in Kevin James's Zookeeper, released on July 8, 2011. 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.[23][24] He was considered for the voice of Rocket Raccoon in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy but Bradley Cooper was cast instead.[25]

Sandler's recent comedy films, including Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2, have received strongly negative reviews.[26] 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."[27]

In 2015, Sandler released his last theatrical film Pixels, based on French director Patrick Jean's 2010 short film of the same name, before transitioning into a distribution deal with Netflix. His first original film for Netflix was the Western comedy film The Ridiculous 6. Despite being universally panned by critics,[28] on January 6, 2016, it was announced by Netflix that the film had been viewed more times in 30 days than any other movie in Netflix history.[29] He released three additional films on Netflix between 2016 and 2018: The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler and The Week Of.

He returned to dramatic territory in 2017 with The Meyerowitz Stories, with his performance receiving favorable notices from critics.[30]

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.[31]

In December, 2019 Sandler will star in the comedy-drama Uncut Gems.[32]

Happy Madison Productions

Sandler formed his film production company, Happy Madison Productions,[33] 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[34] 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, Peter Dante, Allen Covert, Jonathan Loughran, and Jon Lovitz.

In 2014, Netflix announced a four-movie deal with Adam Sandler and Happy Madison Productions.[35]

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

Public image

Sandler has been referenced multiple times in various media, including in the TV shows The Simpsons in the episode "Monty Can't Buy Me Love",[36] in Family Guy in the episode "Stew-Roids",[37] and in South Park in the episode "You're Getting Old".[38] He was also referenced in the video game Half-Life: Opposing Force.[39] The HBO series Animals episode "The Trial" features a mock court case to decide whether Sandler or Jim Carrey is a better comedian.

Personal life

On June 22, 2003, Sandler married model-actress Jacqueline Titone.[40] Titone had converted to Sandler's religion, Judaism.[41] She makes frequent appearances in her husband's films. The couple have two daughters, born in May 2006,[42] and November 2008,[43] who also make frequent appearances in his films.

In 2007, Sandler made a $1 million donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in his hometown, Manchester, New Hampshire.[44] The same year, he donated $2,100 to former New York City Republican mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.


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



Year Title Certification
1993 They're All Gonna Laugh at You! 2× Platinum[45]
1996 What the Hell Happened to Me? 2× Platinum[45]
1997 What's Your Name? Gold[45]
1999 Stan and Judy's Kid Gold[45]
2004 Shhh...Don't Tell
2019 100% Fresh

In 2009 Sandler contributed the Neil Young cover "Like a Hurricane" to Covered, A Revolution in Sound as part of Warner Brothers 50th Anniversary celebrations;[46] the song was performed on the David Letterman Show with a band that included, among others, Waddy Wachtel,[47] who has appeared with Sandler on a number of occasions.[48]


Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications
Hot 100
Adult Pop
Mod. Rock
"The Chanukah Song" 1996 802825
"The Thanksgiving Song" 1997 4029

Awards and nominations


  1. Geoffrey M. Horn (2006). Adam Sandler. Gareth Stevens. p. 17. ISBN 0836842340. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  2. "People Index". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  3. Cea, Max (October 12, 2017). "Noah Baumbach performs a miracle: Adam Sandler doesn't suck in 'The Meyerowitz Stories'". Salon. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  4. "Adam Sandler Biography (1966?-)". Retrieved December 24, 2014. Full name, Adam Richard Sandler; born September 9, 1966 (some sources cite 1964)...
  5. "Adam Sandler: Film Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Comedian, Screenwriter (1966–)". A&E Networks. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  6. "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1276). September 13, 2013. p. 28.
  7. Eshman, Rob (December 15, 2015). "Adam Sandler: "I'm very pro-Israel"". Jewish Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2018. "I'm proud of being a Jew and that's what I am," Sandler said.
  8. Hiscock, John (December 11, 2008). "Adam Sandler: this one's for the kids". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  9. Zalman, Jonathan (December 22, 2015). "Adam Sandler and Howard Stern Talk Jewish Shop". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  10. Jones, Emma (August 2, 2013). "'I didn't get into movies to please the critics': Adam Sandler interview". The Independent. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  11. Галина Галкина (March 21, 2011). "Притворный брак Адама Сэндлера и Дженнифер Энистон". Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  12. "Let There Be Laughter – Jewish Humor Around the World". Beit Hatfutsot.
  13. "Joseph Jacob Sandler (1878 - 1952)". January 20, 2019. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  14. "Adam Sandler".
  15. "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.
  16. 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.
  17. "Adam Sandler's "I Was Fired" Monologue - SNL". SNL.
  18. Ebert, Roger. "Punch-Drunk Love." Chicago Sun-Times. October 18, 2002.
  19. "Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories Come True". April 4, 2007.
  20. Michael Fleming (June 11, 2008). "Trio joins Judd Apatow film". Variety. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved June 13, 2008.
  21. "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.
  22. Siegel, Tatiana (February 10, 2009). "Columbia pic gets Sandler and friends". Variety. Archived from the original on February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  23. "Toronto: Jason Reitman Lining Up His Next Film". The Hollywood Reporter. September 4, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  24. "Production Begins on Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children" (Press release). Paramount Pictures. December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2013 via
  25. "Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler Being Considered For "Guardians of the Galaxy"". IFC. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  26. "'Grown Ups 2': The Best Lines from the Worst Reviews". The Hollywood Reporter. July 12, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  27. "'Review: 'Grown Ups 2' refuses to leave the sandbox". The Los Angeles Times. July 11, 2013. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  28. "The Ridiculous Six (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  29. Adam Sandle'’s 'Ridiculous Six' Is Making History for Netflix
  30. "Noah Baumbach performs a miracle: Adam Sandler doesn't suck in "The Meyerowitz Stories"". Salon. October 12, 2017. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  31. "'SNL': Adam Sandler Hosts For First Time, Pays Tribute to Chris Farley". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  32. "Adam Sandler Shows Off His Acting Chops In 'Uncut Gems' Trailer". Digg. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  33. "Happy Madison." Archived November 18, 2005, at the Wayback Machine Accessed October 9, 2008.
  34. Adam Sandler: All Films Considered Metacritic. Accessed April 21, 2015.
  35. "With Four New Adam Sandler Films, Netflix Takes Aim at Theaters -". Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  36. "Monty Can't Buy Me". BBC Online. September 2005. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  37. Haque, Ahsan (April 27, 2009). "Family Guy: "Stew-Roids" Review". IGN. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  38. Poniewozik, James (June 9, 2011). "South Park Watch: The Tao of Poo". Time. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  39. "RetroRex". "Half-Life: Opposing Force". VGFacts. Retrieved August 11, 2017. There is a hidden message on the upper skybox texture in the V-22 osprey g-man sequence. It reads "HACK HACK HACK ALL DAY LONG. HACK HACK HACK WHILE I SING THIS SONG". This is a reference to the Adam Sandler song "The Beating Of A High School Janitor.
  40. "Adam Sandler marries model-actress Jackie Titone". Sioux City Journal. Associated Press. June 24, 2003. Archived from the original on March 26, 2019. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  41. "By The Numbers Drew & Adam". New York Daily News. February 17, 2004. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  42. Wihlborg, Ulrica (May 7, 2006). "Adam Sandler, Wife Have a Baby". People. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  43. "Adam Sandler and wife have second daughter". Reuters. November 12, 2008. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  44. "Adam Sandler donates $1 million to Manchester charity." Archived August 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  45. "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - Sandler, Adam". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  46. "Adam Sandler Covers Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane"". Neil Young News blog. Thrasher's Wheat. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  47. Adam Sandler Performs Neil Young's "Like a Hurricane" on YouTube
  48. Waddy Wachtel with Adam Sandler on YouTube
  49. "Adam Sandler Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  50. "Adam Sandler Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  51. "Adam Sandler Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  52. "Gold & Platinum - RIAA".

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