Born: May 07, 1954
Date of Birth: May 7, 1954
A Bronx native, Amy Heckerling attended the High School of Art and Design, before studying film and television at New York University where her student film, High Finance, won Best Film in the New York, Bronx and Venice Film Festivals.
She earned her MFA degree from the American Film Institute, where she was a Directing Fellow.
Serving her apprenticeship with five years' worth of limited-distribution short subjects, Heckerling's first feature-length effort was the surprise hit Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), which briefly typed her as a "youth market" director.
The film also launched the careers of actors Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Forest Whitaker. After spending a year as producer of the TV spin-off of Ridgemont High, Heckerling directed Johnny Dangerously (1984), an uneven gangster spoof starring Michael Keaton.
Along with several other directors, Heckerling appeared on-camera in 1985's Into the Night, playing a ship's waitress.
In 1998, Heckerling received the Franklin J. Schaffner Medal from the American Film Institute, and in 1999, she received the Crystal Award from Women in Film.
She has also worked for television directing the pilot Nineteen, and the series Fast Times.
Recently she produced, along with Lorne Michaels, A Night at the Roxbury. Heckerling has her own production company, Heckerling/Caplan, at Paramount Studios with her producing partner, Twink Caplan. In 2000, she directed, wrote and produced with Caplan the teen comedy flick Loser starring Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari.
Heckerling is married to writer/director Neal Israel (of Police Academy fame), who has acted in or co-written several of his wife's projects.