Arguably one of the most prolific and influential playwrights of the latter-20th century, David Mamet amassed a body of work that became famous for his spare, gritty and often profane language which also possessed such a unique cadence that his dialogue was dubbed "Mamet speak. " Noted for his strong male characters and their macho posturing, Mamet's knack for creating low-key yet highly charged verbal confrontations in a male-dominated world consistently made his work fodder for discussion and deconstruction. Mamet was also routinely called a misogynist for his inability to create meaningful female characters, though he met such criticism head-on by penning several works centered on strong women. Indelibly tied to the Chicago theater scene, Mamet gained attention with "American Buffalo" (1975) and "A Life in the Theatre" (1977) before making the transition to the big screen with the scripts for "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1981) and "Verdict" (1982). Following major awards for the stage plays "Edmund" (1982) and "Glengarry Glenn Ross" (1984) - the latter of which was turned into a memorable 1992 film - Mamet made his directorial debut with the lauded thriller "House of Games" (1987). Also that year, he wrote one of his better screenplays, "The Untouchables" (1987), for director Brian De Palma, while launching one of his many broadsides against show business with the play "Speed-the-Plow" (1988). Mamet tackled calls of misogyny with "Oleanna" (1992), a theatrical piece that addressed sexual politics between two equally matched characters struggling for psychological domination over the other. Continuing to make his mark on film, he wrote "Wag the Dog" (1998) before directing "The Spanish Prisoner" (1998) and "State and Main" (2000), all three of which earned him considerable critical praise. Though he took a surprising turn into mainstream Hollywood fare by penning the original draft of the thriller "Hannibal" (2001), Mamet found more artistic freedom in small projects like "Spartan" (2004), before again catching critics off-guard by creating his first television show, "The Unit" (CBS, 2006-09). Despite the constant analysis of his life and work, Mamet managed to remain somewhat of an enigma, particularly in Hollywood, where he had considerable influence while maintaining a healthy distance from it.