Adam Sandler

April 26. 2011 2:45PM

Principal John Rist (left) and Adam Sandler at Manchester Central High School's 2010 commencement. (Josh Gibney/New Hampshire Union Leader)

Adam Sandler grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire and attended Central High School. At 17, he took his first step toward becoming a stand-up comedian when he spontaneously took the stage at a Boston comedy club. Sandler attended New York University where he graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in 1991. During his freshman year, he secured a recurring role as Theo Huxtable's friend Smitty on "The Cosby Show." He was "discovered" by Dennis Miller, a "Saturday Night Live" alum. Miller helped Sandler secure a spot on the show in 1990, primarily as a writer, but also as a performer.

In 1993, Sandler released his first album of comedy material, called They're All Gonna Laugh At You! The Grammy-nominated album was on Billboard's charts for over 100 weeks.

This period was also marked by Sandler's early dabbling in films including "Shakes the Clown", "Coneheads", "Mixed Nuts" and "Airheads". He next starred in "Billy Madison," the story of a rich kid who has to repeat grades one through 12 in six months in order to earn his inheritance. Sandler's "Hanukkah Song" became a surprise hit on the radio. The song appeared on Sandler's second album, What the Hell Happened to Me?, which hit stores in 1996.

Also in 1996, Sandler appeared in the golfing comedy "Happy Gilmore" and "Bulletproof", co-starring with Damon Wayons.

In 1997, he released the CD What's your Name?

In 1998, Sandler experienced box-office success in "The Wedding Singer," in which he appeared opposite Drew Barrymore, and "The Waterboy," which grossed $39 million during its opening weekend. His next release, "Big Daddy," extended his winning streak, beating out the competition in its first weekend with an estimated $41 million in box office revenue.

In 2002 Adam starred with Winona in "Mr. Deeds," an animated movie about Chanukah called "8 Crazy Nights," and "Punch-Drunk Love".

In 2003, he appeared with Jack Nicholson in "Anger Management."In 2004, he once again teamed up with Drew Barrymore for "50 First Dates" and he appeared in the acclaimed film "Spanglish." He had a lead role in the remake of the football comedy "The Longest Yard" which was released in 2005. Then, in 2006 he appeared in the hit-flick "Click" in which Sandler starred with Christopher Walkin.

In March 2007, the film "Reign Over Me" created some buzz when Adam seemingly re-created his funny-guy persona to play a more serious character. In it, Sandler plays the part of Charlie Fineman, who lost his family on September 11. Fineman has barely been able to function, and has slipped away from the world. A reunion with an old friend, played by Don Cheadle, changes everything. Rumors around the film suggest that Brad Pitt was originally considered for the role of Charlie Fineman.

The funny guy was back in "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry", a movie in which Sandler served the dual role of producer and lead actor. In 2008, the comedy "You Don't Mess with the Zohan" hit theatres while he was working on two additional films, "Bedtime Stories," and "Funny People." "Bedtime Stories" was released on Christmas Day, 2008. Sandler was in two films, "Funny People" with Seth Rogen, and "Grown Ups" with Salma Hayek and Rob Schneider in 2009 and 2010, respectively. He appeared in "Just Go With It" with Jennifer Aniston in 2011. Also in 2011, Sandler played the voice of a monkey in the film "Zookeeper." He also finished filming "Jack and Jill" with Al Pacino and Katie Holmes. 2012 has been a busy year for Sandler too. "That's My Boy" was released in in June while he completed "Hotel Transylvania," in which he plays the voice of Dracula. He filmed "Grown Ups 2" in nearby Massachusetts. During filming, a reproduction of Manchester's Red Arrow Diner was recreated in Marblehead, MA for the movie. The Manchester diner has a burger named after Sandler and it is a well-known childhood hot spot for the actor. The movie sequel came out in July 2013, the same month he was attacked by a cheetah during a vacation in Africa with his family.

In 2007, Adam donated $1 Million to the Manchester area Boys and Girls Club, which he attended as a kid. He returned home in 2010 to be the keynote speaker at the graduation of his alma mater, Central High School.

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the northeast, Sandler tore down the house with a parody of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" (calling it, "Sandy, Screw Ya!) with Paul Shaffer at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Benefit Concert.

The film Blended, which was released in May 2014, reunited him with his co-star Drew Barrymore.  In October 2014, he inked an exclusive deal with Netflix to produce and star in four new original films for them. 

Other films in pre-production, production or post-production:
The Cobbler, 2014
Men, Women & Children, 2014
Top Five, 2014
Pixels, 2015

Adam Sandler speaks at Manchester's Central High School 2010 Graduation:

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