Newsweek senior writer David Ansen is best known for his weekly film reviews, but his interests range throughout the arts. The NewsweekExtra 2000 "A Century on Screen" Special Issue (Summer 1998) bore his imprint on almost every page. His virtually boundless knowledge of the movies is invaluable to Newsweek, for which he has written many cover stories and longer essays that capture both the important personalities and broad social themes of our times. Ansen contributed to Newsweek's special issue on Frank Sinatra (5/25/98) with a discussion of the movies in which he starred. He also talked with stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for the "Men In Black" July 7, 1997 cover story. In his "Nixon" cover (12/11/95), Ansen turned a critical eye on Oliver Stone's controversial epic biography of Richard Nixon.
Independently from Newsweek, Ansen has written several documentaries, including profiles of screen legends Bette Davis (1994/TNT), Groucho Marx (1991/HBO), Greta Garbo (1990/TNT) and Elizabeth Taylor (1996/PBS).
The Newspaper Guild of New York honored him in 1989, 1987 and 1983 with the Page One Award for feature writing, magazine reviews. In 1984 he received a National Headliner Award for "consistently outstanding magazine columns." And in 1983, he was one of three American film critics who toured South America for the United States Information Agency to deliver a series of lectures on "Hollywood Today."
Ansen has also been a guest on the nationally syndicated "Entertainment Tonight," CNN's "Showbiz Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," "Access Hollywood" and HBO's "Entertainment Satellite Report." In 1990 he served as film critic for the Associated Press Radio.
Ansen began his professional career as a critic with the Real Paper in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Joining Newsweek as an associate editor in August 1977, he was promoted to general editor in July 1979, senior writer in June 1983, and senior editor in July 1998.
Ansen received his B.A. in English from Harvard in 1967, earning magna cum laude honors and election to Phi Beta Kappa. He wrote and directed a one-act play for the Loeb Theatre and served as a critic for the Harvard Drama Review. After graduating, Ansen went to Los Angeles as a screenwriter. He later served as a freelance cover copywriter for Popular Library and Curtis Books.
A Los Angeles native, Ansen is based in Newsweek's Los Angeles bureau. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association.