Elaine May

Elaine May

Highest Rated: 100% A New Leaf (1971)

Lowest Rated: 37% Ishtar (1987)

Birthday: Apr 21, 1932

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

A true pioneer with a sardonic wit and keen insight into the human condition, Elaine May rose to prominence as one-half of an improvisational team, alongside future director Mike Nichols, before becoming a greatly revered writer-director-actor in her own right. After working together in the Chicago improv troupe The Compass Players, Nichols and May joined forces as a comedy team, performing in nightclubs and on stage and television, before dissolving the partnership to pursue separate interests. For May, that initially led to the theater, with efforts such as her play "Adaptation" receiving excellent notices. She soon turned her attention to film, with hilarious appearances in films like Rob Reiner's "Enter Laughing" (1967). Not long after, May wrote, directed and starred in the off-the-wall comedy "The New Leaf" (1971), co-starring Walter Matthau. As a director, she scored another triumph with the Neil Simon-scripted "The Heartbreak Kid" (1972), a quirky comedy that played like an inverse of pal Nichols' earlier seminal work "The Graduate" (1967). As a writer, May made an indelible mark in cinema when she co-wrote the much-beloved romantic comedy "Heaven Can Wait" (1978), along with its star, Warren Beatty. May also worked steadily as a respected script writer - both credited and non - adding hits like Mike Nichols' "The Birdcage" (1996) and "Primary Colors" (1998) to her already impressive résumé.

Highest rated movies

A New Leaf
Small Time Crooks
California Suite
Enter Laughing




No Score Yet No Score Yet The Same Storm Ruth Lipsman Berg (Character) - 2021
66% 57% Small Time Crooks May (Character) $17.1M 2000
81% 64% Primary Colors Screenwriter $39.0M 1998
81% 81% The Birdcage Writer $124.0M 1996
No Score Yet No Score Yet Nichols and May: Take Two Self - 1996
No Score Yet 80% In the Spirit Marianne Flan (Character) $15.9K 1990
37% 39% Ishtar Director,
Original Music and Songs
$12.7M 1987
74% 86% Labyrinth Writer $12.1M 1986
90% 81% Tootsie Writer - 1982
89% 82% Reds Writer - 1981
54% 45% California Suite Mrs. Michaels (Character) - 1978
89% 68% Heaven Can Wait Writer - 1978
87% 80% Mikey and Nicky Director,
- 1976
92% 73% The Heartbreak Kid Director - 1972
100% 83% A New Leaf Henrietta Lowell (Character),
- 1971
No Score Yet 41% Luv Ellen Manville (Character) - 1967
54% 38% Enter Laughing Angela Marlowe (Character) - 1967


No Score Yet 77% Somebody Feed Phil Guest 2018
18% 63% Crisis in Six Scenes Kay (Character) 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1960