Born June 1, 1981, in New York City, comedian and actress Amy Schumer began her stand-up career in the mid-2000s. She followed a steady rise to fame, placing fourth on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2007, and releasing her first album four years later. In 2013 her show Inside Amy Schumer debuted on Comedy Central, winning an Emmy two years later. She wrote and starred in the 2015 summer comedy hit Trainwreck.
Actress and stand-up comedian Amy Beth Schumer was born June 1, 1981, in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. She is one of three children and the oldest daughter of Sandra and Gordon Schumer, who owned a successful baby furniture company in New York City. Gordon is also the cousin of United States Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
In her early years, Amy Schumer's life was defined by her father's success. But the family's fortunes quickly changed when Gordon was struck by multiple sclerosis. The business went bankrupt, and shortly after moving the family to Long Island, Schumer's parents divorced. Her father's physical demise and the resulting change to her family's status greatly affected Schumer and her approach to life.
"To see them – to see their descent, to watch his body sort of decompose, it's pretty – it really darkens you and it really lets you know that you have no control over life," Schumer revealed in a 2013 interview with NPR. “When I'm dating someone I think would I want to push their wheelchair? Would this guy push my wheelchair? My mind goes there if I've been dating somebody for a year or two, and I don't think that happens to people unless they've taken care of a sick relative."
Finding an outlet in being the center of attention, Schumer was voted class clown during her senior year of high school in 1999. She majored in theater at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, and then continued her studies at the esteemed William Esper Studio in New York City.
Rise to Fame
In the mid-2000s, Schumer began testing the waters as a stand-up comic, steadily working her way up the comedy club chain at venues such as New York’s Comedy Cellar.
Her first national exposure came in 2007, when she placed fourth on NBC's Last Comic Standing. In 2011, she released her debut stand-up album, Cutting, and gained more recognition after killing it on The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen. A year later, Comedy Central gave her the platform for her first comedy special, Mostly Sex Stuff. The cable network then turned the keys over to her for a comedy show, Inside Amy Schumer, in 2013. The much talked about series won its first Emmy in 2015 for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.
Schumer’s comedy is cutting and revealing, touching on sex, relationships and gender inequality in a way that few comics have dared to try. Along with other actresses like Kristen Wiig, she’s helped shed the Hollywood bias that female comics are best suited for character roles. She demonstrated her ability to carry a film with her 2015 summer hit, Trainwreck, a semi-biographical portrait that co-starred Bill Hader and was directed by Judd Apatow.
“I was falling in love with a guy and scared out of my mind,” Schumer told Entertainment Weekly, while describing the film's inspiration. “Judd and I talked about how all these defense mechanisms that get you through things start to bite you in the ass. I was trying to sabotage the relationship because I was afraid of getting hurt.”
Schumer's 2016 memoir The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo landed on the New York Times Best Sellers list. In 2017, she starred in the mother-daughter comedy Snatched with comedy legend Goldie Hawn.
Schumer has not been afraid to leverage her celebrity to shed light on important causes to her. In August 2015, she teamed up with Senator Schumer to push for new gun control legislation on Capitol Hill.
For Amy Schumer, the issue became personal after a mentally ill gunman killed two people and wounded nine others at a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater that was showing Trainwreck.
“I’ve thought about these victims each day since the tragedy,” Schumer said. [The shooter] shouldn’t have been able to put his hand on a gun in the first place.”
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