May 13, 1986 |
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Oberlin College (BA)|
|Occupation||Actress, writer, director, producer|
|Relatives||Grace Dunham (sister)|
|Golden Globe Awards|
|Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Lena Dunham (/ / LEE-nə DUN-um; born May 13, 1986) is an American actress, author, screenwriter, producer, and director. She wrote and directed the independent film Tiny Furniture (2010), and is the creator, writer and star of the HBO series Girls. She has received eight nominations for Emmy Awards as a writer, director, actress and producer and won two Golden Globe Awards for Girls. Dunham is also the first woman to win a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series.
Dunham was born in New York City, New York. Her father, Carroll Dunham, is a painter, and her mother, Laurie Simmons, is an artist and photographer, and a member of the Pictures group. Laurie is known for her use of dolls and doll-house furniture in her photographs of setup interior scenes. Dunham has described herself as feeling "very culturally Jewish, although that’s the biggest cliché for a Jewish woman to say”; her father is Protestant, and her mother is Jewish.
Dunham attended Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, where she met Tiny Furniture actress and Girls co-star Jemima Kirke. She graduated in 2008 from Oberlin College, where she studied creative writing.
Dunham's 2010 feature film Tiny Furniture won Best Narrative Feature at South by Southwest Music and Media Conference, and subsequently screened at such festivals as Maryland Film Festival. Dunham herself plays the lead role of Aura. Dunham's own mother plays Aura's mother, while her real sister, Grace, plays Aura's on-screen sibling.
Dunham's television series Girls was greenlit by HBO in early 2012. The show is executively produced by Judd Apatow. Three episodes were screened to positive response at the 2012 South by Southwest Festival. The first season premiered April 15, 2012, and has garnered Dunham four Emmy nominations for her roles in acting, writing, and directing the series and two Golden Globe wins for Best Comedy Series for Girls and for herself in Best Lead Actress in a Comedy or Musical Series. In February 2013, Dunham became the first woman to win a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Director in a Comedy Series for her work on Girls.
As of January 2014, Girls has been produced for three seasons.
On October 8, 2012, Dunham signed a $3.5 million deal with Random House to publish her first book, an essay collection entitled Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned".
Dunham appeared in a video advertisement promoting President Barack Obama's re-election, delivering a monologue, which, according to a blog quoted in The Atlantic, tried to "get the youth vote by comparing voting for the first time to having sex for the first time". Fox News reported "intense criticism" from multiple media sources, who labeled the advertisement as "tasteless and inappropriate", but added that "not everyone was so offended". In February 2014, she was named the Recipient of Horizon Award 2014 by Point Foundation for her support to the gay community.
In September 2014, Dunham published Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned". She dedicated the foreword of the book to her friend, Nora Ephron.
In that book, Dunham recounts a party where she is "alone, drunk and high on Xanax and cocaine."  Dunham goes on to detail an unwanted sexual encounter with a mustachioed Oberlin College Republican named Barry, whose name was never referred to as a pseudonym until December 9, 2014. 
Aaron Minc, an attorney for a man called Barry resembling the alleged perpetrator, described it as "detailed enough to cast a pall over a former student who has had to defend himself against Dunham's accusation that he raped her", according to the Hollywood Reporter. The attorney also said that as part of an agreement Random House, the publisher of the book, will add a disclaimer to explain that the name "Barry" was a pseudonym. 
Also writer, director
|2007||Una & Jacques||Video short|
|2009||The House of the Devil||911 Operator||Voice|
|2009||Creative Nonfiction||Ella||Also writer, director, editor|
|2009||The Viewer||Voice||Short film|
|2009||Family Tree||Lena||Short film|
|2010||Gabi on the Roof in July||Colby|
|2010||Tiny Furniture||Aura||Also director, writer|
|2012||Nobody Walks||Also co-writer|
|2012||This Is 40||Cat|
|2007||Tight Shots||Main role
Also writer, director, editor
|2009||Delusional Downtown Divas||Oona||Main role
Also writer, director, producer
|2012–present||Girls||Hannah Horvath||Main role
Also creator, director, writer, executive producer
|2014||Adventure Time||Betty||"Betty" (Season 5, Episode 48)|
|2014||Saturday Night Live||Host||"Lena Dunham/The National" (Season 39, Episode 15)|
Awards and nominations
- Dunham, Lena (2014). Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned". Random House. ISBN 978-0812994995.
- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1259): 27. May 17, 2013.
- "Lena Dunham's Big Dreams Rest On 'Tiny Furniture'". NPR. December 6, 2010.
- "Lena Dunham". Argotistonline.co.uk. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Walker, Tim (October 6, 2012). "Lena Dunham: Could she be the voice of a generation? – Profiles – People". The Independent (London). Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Mead, Rebecca (November 15, 2010). "Downtown's Daughter". The New Yorker (Condé Nast): 38–45. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
- "'Girls' writer lays bare women's insecurities". Jewish Journal. April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Silverstein, Melissa (November 12, 2010). "Interview with Lena Dunham – Writer/Director of Tiny Furniture". Women & Hollywood. Womenandhollywood.com. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Howard, Caroline (November 12, 2010). "Names You Need to Know in 2011: Lena Dunham", Forbes
- Browne, Alix (November 4, 2011). "Living Large". Tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
- Simpson, Leah (2 April 2013). "Lena Dunham shares ANOTHER steamy lesbian kiss with co-star Jemima Kirke - Mail Online". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- Sykes, Plum (January 15, 2014). "Child's Play: Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke's First Appearance in Vogue - Vogue". Vogue. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Tiny Furniture cast and crew. TinyFurniture.com.
- Maura, Sophie. "Lena Dunham Profile – Filmmaker". Marie Clare. Retrieved February 8, 2011
- "Lena Dunham's Show 'Girls' Picked Up By HBO". Huffington Post. January 7, 2011.
- Alexis, Nadeska. "Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’ Picked Up by HBO". Black Book. January 7, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Nussbaum, Emily. "It's Different for 'Girls'" New York Magazine, April 1, 2012.
- "Lena Dunham ('Girls') makes DGA history as first female to win Best TV Comedy Director". Goldderby.com. February 3, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- Maza, Erik (8 January 2014). "'Girls' Season 3 Premieres at Lincoln Center". WWD. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "Supporting Characters | Film Review". Slant Magazine. April 26, 2012. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Bosman, Julie. "Lena Dunham Signs Book Deal for More Than $3.5 Million", The New York Times, October 8, 2012
- Franke-Ruta, Garance (October 25, 2012). "Lena Dunham's New Obama Ad—As Controversial As Everything She Does?". The Atlantic.
- "Critics blast Obama campaign for new ad that likens voting for Barack Obama to a young woman losing her virginity". Fox News Channel. October 25, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2012.
- "Actress Lena Dunham named Winner of Horizon Award 2014". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- Ng, Philiana (February 25, 2014). "'Girls' Star Lena Dunham to Host 'SNL'". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Daum, Meghan (September 10, 2014). "Lena Dunham Is Not Done Confessing". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
- "Lena Dunham Dedicates Book Foreword To Nora Ephron". W.E.N.N. September 30, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- "Girls' Lena Dunham Is Dating Fun.'s Jack Antonoff", US Weekly, September 5, 2012.
- Migdol, Erin (January 14, 2014). "Lena Dunham Boyfriend: 'Girls' Star Won't Marry Until Gay Marriage Is Legal". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
- Suval, Lauren. "Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in the Media | World of Psychology". Psychcentral.com. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- Daum, Meghan (September 10, 2014). "Lena Dunham Is Not Done Confessing". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
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- Lena Dunham at the Internet Movie Database
- Lena Dunham at AllMovie
- Lena Dunham at Rotten Tomatoes
- Lena Dunham at the Emmys
- Lena Dunham Video produced by Makers: Women Who Make America