David Rakoff

Beloved for his witty and inspired essays, writer and actor David Rakoff was born in Quebec, Canada in 1964. He attended Columbia University as well as the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he ... Read more »
Born: 11/27/1964 in Montreal, Quebec, CA

Filmography

Actor (6)

The New Tenants 2010 (Movie)

Frank (Actor)

The 2nd Annual Quill Awards 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

Strangers with Candy 2006 (Movie)

Boswell (Actor)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2006 (Tv Show)

Guest

Capote 2005 (Movie)

Ben Baron (Actor)

The Watermelon Woman 1997 (Movie)

Librarian (Actor)

Biography

Beloved for his witty and inspired essays, writer and actor David Rakoff was born in Quebec, Canada in 1964. He attended Columbia University as well as the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where he majored in East Asian Studies, putting his skills to work after graduation as a translator for a Japanese fine arts publisher. Difficulty struck just a few months into the job however, when Rakoff was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. He would spend 18 months enduring surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy before reentering the workforce, this time as a publicist and later as an editor in the publishing industry. It was during this time that Rakoff first heard essayist David Sedaris reading one of his own works on NPR. Sedaris' dry humor and nuanced emotion struck such a chord with Rakoff that he immediately wrote to Sedaris, offering to publish his writing. In truth, Rakoff was tiring of the publishing industry and simply wanted to connect with Sedaris, but to this effect, the plan worked perfectly. Rakoff and Sedaris became friends, with Rakoff soon starring in an off-Broadway play written by Sedaris and his sister Amy, "One Woman Shoe." Rakoff would also continue to write his own essays, publishing them in magazines like <i>GQ</i>, <i>New York Times Magazine</i>, <i>Harper's Bazaar</i>, and others. He published his first book of essays, <i>Fraud</i>, in 2001, followed by <i>Don't Get Too Comfortable</i> in 2005 and <i>Half Empty</i> in 2010, the last of which won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Rakoff developed Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2010. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 47.

Relationships

Simon Rakoff Actor

Brother

EDUCATION

Columbia University

1982 - 1984

Milestones

2010

Published the book of original essays <i>Half Empty</i>.

2005

Appeared in the big screen adaptation of Amy Sedaris' TV series "Strangers with Candy."

2005

Published the essay compilation <i>Don't Get Too Comfortable</i>.

2003

Became an American citizen, while retaining his Canadian citizenship.

2001

Contributed the essay <i>Barbra's farewell: A city Verklempt</i> to the compilation <i>Da Capo Best Music Writing 2001</i>.

2001

Published the book of essays <i>Fraud</i>.

1995

Appeared in David and Amy Sedaris' off-Broadway "One Woman Shoe."

Bonus Trivia

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Worked for a fine arts publisher in Japan as a translator after graduating from college.

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Suffered from Hodgkin's disease at age 22, and spent 18 months undergoing chemo and radiation treatment.

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Worked as a publishing assistant, a publicist, and an editor at HarperCollins before becoming a full time writer.

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Contacted writer David Sedaris after hearing him read an essay on NPR, and the two quickly became friends.

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Wrote for Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Outside Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Details, Harper's Bazaar, Nerve, New York Magazine, Salon, Slate, Spin, The New York Observer, Vogue, and Wired.

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