Elaine May
Biographical information

21 April 1932





Notable Projects

The Heartbreak Kid

Elaine May (born 21 April 1932) is an American screenwriter, film director and actress. May was brought in by Jim Henson to tweak Terry Jones draft of the script of Labyrinth early in 1985, several months prior to the start of shooting.[1]


May started her career as a stand up comedian, performing in partnership with Mike Nichols from the late 1950s into the early 1960s. Although they mainly pursued projects seperately after this period, the pair would periodically perform together.

From the 1970s onward, May started to branch out and became well known as a playwright, screenwriter and director.

May directed the Academy Award nominated black comedy The Heartbreak Kid (1972). Later in her career, she helmed the drama Mikey and Nicky (1976) and the screwball comedy Ishtar (1987).

As a screenwriter, May worked on the scripts for various films including Reds (1981) and Tootsie (1982). May was called in by Henson to refine the script of Labyrinth shortly before the start of filming in April 1985, and her work in humanizing the characters impressed Henson and resulted in her additions being incorporated into the film's shooting script.[2]


  1. Jim's Red Book
  2. Jim's Red Book
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