50 Greatest Woody Allen Characters


The Character: Brassy broad and consort of gangsters who fakes a relationship with Broadway Danny Rose to deflect from her actual affair with Danny's client.

Best Line: "You're living like a loser."

How Woody-Esque? Allen often cast Mia Farrow as variations on herself, but here her casts his then-girlfriend completely against type to showcase her range.

Marion Post

The Character: Philosophy professor (played by Gena Rowlands) whose rented flat enables her to eavesdrop on Another Woman , causing her to re-evaluate her life.

Best Line: "If someone had asked me when I reached my fifties to assess my life, I would have said that I had achieved a decent measure of fulfilment, both personally and professionally. Beyond that, I would say I don't choose to delve."

How Woody-Esque? One of Allen's most Bergman-esque films steers clear of comedy, but in her introverted way Marion is just as self-doubting as Woody.

Harry Block

The Character: Famous writer who begins to question the morality of basing his fiction on friends and acquaintances in Deconstructing Harry .

Best Line: "I'm a guy who can't function well in life but can in art."

How Woody-Esque? As a wry apology for any writer's magpie thieving from their memories of real-life people, this is quintessentially Woody.


The Character: "Zee" is a neurotic worker ant in Dreamworks' CG animation Antz who falls in love with the colony's princess.

Best Line: "I think everything must go back to the fact that I had a very anxious childhood. My mother never had time for me. You know, when you're - when you're the middle child in a family of five million, you don't get any attention."

How Woody-Esque? One of the rare occasions when Allen acts in a film he didn't write, but it scarcely matters - this script mines just about every cliché in the Woody playbook.

Howard Prince

The Character: Bookie who agrees to become The Front by taking credit for blacklisted writers' scripts during the McCarthy era and finds himself under investigation.

Best Line: "Fellas... I don't recognize the right of this committee to ask me these kind of questions. And furthermore, you can all go fuck yourselves."

How Woody-Esque? Although Howard is meant to be unable to write in this rare dramatic role for Allen, Woody can't help but make him a witty figure.

Nola Rice

The Character: A struggling American actress failing to fit in with the British upper class in Match Point , until she's murdered by lover Chris.

Best Line: Asked if she's anything special, Nola replies, "Well, no one's ever asked for their money back."

How Woody-Esque? As a catty American in an otherwise all-British class, she's the most Woody-esque by default. Allen was impressed enough by Scarlett Johansson's performance to work with her twice since.


The Character: Michael Caine won his first Oscar playing Elliot in Hannah And Her Sisters - husband to Hannah and lover of one of her sisters.

Best Line: "God, she's beautiful. She's got the prettiest eyes. She looks so sexy in that sweater. I just want to be alone with her and hold her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her and take care of her. Stop it you idiot, she's your wife's sister."

How Woody-Esque? Woody takes the more Woody-esque role of Mickey Sachs in the film, but given his own turbulent personal life, there may be more of him in Elliot than he'd care to admit.

Marcia Fox

The Character: Kooky poker-playing author who encourages Woody to catch an alleged killer in Manhattan Murder Mystery .

Best Line: "When I come back from the ladies room, I'll tell you how to trap him."

How Woody-Esque? Angelica Huston is hardly in the film, but she's exactly the kind of oddball presence who tends to steal later Woody films from under the star's nose.

Olive Neal

The Character: Jennifer Tilly gets a fabulous excuse to use her screechy voice as the dumb gangster's moll whose dreams of stardom ignite the plot of Bullets Over Broadway .

Best Line: Given "black pearls" as a gift, Olive moans, "What do think I am, some kind of chump? They're black for God's sake. They probably came from defective oysters."

How Woody-Esque? Olive's complete lack of intellectual guile puts her on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Emmet Ray

The Character: Alcoholic jazz guitarist (played by Oscar-nominated Sean Penn) who finds that his belief in never settling down is being tested by his love for mute Hattie in Sweet And Lowdown .

Best Line: The mournful, repeated last line: "I made a mistake!"

How Woody-Esque? Never mind their shared relationship troubles; his love of jazz mirrors Woody's own.