The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Amy Heckerling

b. May 7, 1954

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Amy Heckerling until we are able to commission a full entry.

Amy Heckerling’s quirky directorial style and her knack for discovering fresh angles on classic stories led to her popular and critical successes with films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless. Even as a high school student, Heckerling dreamed of becoming a film director, watching screenings of old movies at the Museum of Modern Art. She studied film at NYU and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. She directed her first feature, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in 1982, and the film became a cult classic. Her pregnancy inspired her to write, direct, and produce Look Who’s Talking in 1989 and the film’s box office success spawned several sequels and a television show. Clueless, her modern take on Jane Austen’s Emma, became as much a touchstone for teens of that era as Fast Times had been a decade before. She then created another cult classic, A Night at the Roxbury, in 1998. As of 2015, she has branched into writing and directing for television, with stints on Gossip Girl and The Carrie Diaries.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Amy Heckerling." (Viewed on July 26, 2021) <>.


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