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Who Is David Mamet? New Details About The Man Defending Felicity Huffman

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Who Is David Mamet? New Details About The Man Defending Felicity Huffman

David Mamet is defending Felicity Huffman's character following her arrest for her alleged involvement in a college admissions cheating scandal.

Huffman was among the 50 wealthy adults and corrupt college officials indicted on fraud charges in what's being called the biggest college admissions scam in U.S. history. The Academy Award-winning actress allegedly paid $15,000 to have a proctor correct her daughter Sofia's SAT scores. Court documents show Sofia, 18, was given extra time and that her score was 1420, up 400 points after a proctor changed her answers. Huffman was released on a $250,000 bond Tuesday. Her husband, actor William H. Macy, has not been charged.

Mamet, 71, wrote an open letter, which was published by the Hollywood Reporter, detailing his 30-year friendship with Huffman and defending her.

So who is David Mamet and why is he defending Huffman? Here's what we know.

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1. The letter.

In his letter, Mamet shows his support for Huffman, who he claims was only doing what was best for her daughter.

"I worked for very many years in and around our Elite Universities. I am able to report that their admissions policies are an unfortunate and corrupt joke," Mamet wrote. "Harvard was once sued for restricting the admission of qualified Jews; a contest currently being waged by Asians. The unqualified may be accepted for many reasons, among them, as Legacies, and on account of large donations made by their parents. I do not see the difference between getting a kid into school by bribing the Building Committee, and by bribing someone else. But, apparently, the second is against the Law. So be it.

"I’ve known and worked with Bill Macy for nearly fifty years. We started two theatre companies together, one of which, THE ATLANTIC is still in operation in New York, after 35 years," he continued. "I’ve known Felicity Huffman for those 35 years, she was my student, my colleague, worked in many of my films, and created roles on stage in three of my plays. I’m crazy about them both. That a parent’s zeal for her children’s future may have overcome her better judgment for a moment is not only unfortunate, it is, I know we parents would agree, a universal phenomenon. If ever there were a use for the Texas Verdict, this is it. For the uninitiated, the Texas Verdict is: 'Not Guilty, but Don’t do it Again.'"

2. He's an award-winning playwright.

Mamet is an American playwright who won a Pulitzer Prize and received Tony nominations for his plays Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) and Speed-the-Plow (1988).

His plays are known for realistic characters and profane dialogue. Some of Mamet's jobs early in his life, a taxi driver and factory worker, provided him with material and experience to create believable characters and background for his plays. 

Mamet has written several children plays as well.


3. He wrote screenplays for films.

Mamet wrote screenplays for multiple movies and was nominated for multiple Academy Awards for his work. The Verdict (1982) and Wag the Dog (1997) both landed him Academy Award nominations. He is also known for his work on The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), Rising Sun (1993), and Hannibal (2001).


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4. He's also a film director.

Mamet wrote and directed a number of films as well. He wrote and directed House of Games (1987), Homicide (1991), and The Spanish Prisoner (1998).

He directed the crime-thriller Heist (2001), Redbelt (2008), and the HBO docuseries Phil Spector (2013), as well as created and directed the TV show The Unit (2006–09).


5. He's an author.

Mamet dipped his feet in the world of fiction, too. He is known for his books The Village (1994), The Old Religion (1997), and Wilson: A Consideration of the Sources (2000). He also published On Directing Film (1992), Three Uses of the Knife (1996), and True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor (1999), which detail his views on specific aspects of theater.


6. He's married and has four kids.

Mamet married Rebecca Pidgeon in 1991 and often casts her in movies he directs.  He was previously married to Lindsay Crouse from 1977 to 1991.

Mamet has four children, two from each marriage. He shares Clara Mamet and Noah Mamet with his current wife. His daughters Zosia Mamet and Willa Mamet are from his first marriage to Crouse.


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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.