Things You Didn’t Know About Adam SandlerPublished on September 26, 2017. Updated November 3, 2019
Adam Sandler is one of the most widely known celebrities in the entertainment industry, which makes it even more surprising just how private he is. Sandler is one of those stars who has mastered the balance of being in the spotlight when he wants to be, but living an otherwise low-key life when not premiering a new film. Separating Sandler from his many outrageous characters is probably the hardest thing for fans to do. Aside from all of the ridiculous roles he has played, in real life Sandler is a reasonable and very calm guy and is rarely if ever in the tabloids for the wrong reasons. So get to know more about the actor with these 10 things you probably didn’t know about him:
10. Leading Man
Early in his career, Sandler found success with movies such as Conehads, Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, but things changed after one particular film: 1998’s The Wedding Singer, and it was all thanks to one actress. Back in the ’90s Drew Barrymore apparently called Sandler and told him she wanted to make movies together, and since he thought she was “a badass” he and his writing partner came up with the idea for The Wedding Singer, creating the role of Robbie Hart which separated Sandler from his well-established man-child roles. “Drew liking me made it seem like girls were allowed to like me in movies,” he recalled of how that role led to him being cast as the romantic lead in many more films, two more of which also co-starred Drew Barrymore.
9. Relationship With the Media
If fans think it is strange how rarely they see Adam Sandler in the media for how big of a star he is, it is because he is not fond of interviews. Way back in 1996 the actor actually swore of all print media following the press tour for his first big film Billy Madison. Sandler had a blast meeting really nice reporters during the press tour, but when their pieces came out, many ridiculed him and called him a “moron” causing the actor’s relationship with the media to go sour early in his career. After refusing to do any print interviews afterward claiming he had been “misquoted all time,” Sandler now only does a few rare on-camera interviews when promoting a new film.
8. Early Life
Adam Richard Sandler was born on September 9, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York to Judy and Stanley Sandler. Adam’s parents worked as a nursery school teacher and an electrical engineer, and when Adam was six, the Sandlers moved with their four children to Manchester, New Hamphshire. Growing up Sandler’s interests varied and he was even a boxer for a little bit which meant he got into a couple of scraps, including one after a Bar Mitzvah. “Last fight I got into I was 18. I had just came from a Bar Mitzvah, with my parents. I was in a suit jacket. Me and my buddy Tim were walking down the street…These two f–king badasses walked by and they called us gay or something like that… some slang term. The next thing you know, this guy is in my face. He punches me in the face on 9th street, he punches me square in the face and grabs my chain on my neck. I start fighting this guy… I’m doing this shit. I used to box a little bit and it’s going okay, but then the guy takes out a carpet cutter. Somehow I knocked it and it falls out of his hand.”
7. Getting Started
Growing up, Sandler never thought his penchant for humor would turn into a career, but at 17 he took his first steps towards becoming a stand-up comedian when his brother urged him to perform at a Boston comedy club. While Sandler enjoyed doing an act for an audience, he still didn’t think of it as a career and went on to attend New York University which he graduated from in 1988. Shortly after graduation Sandler officially began his career when he became a regular on the MTV game show Remote Control. He also had a small recurring role in The Cosby Show as Smitty which helped jumpstart his career.
One of Sandler’s biggest claims to fame early in his career of course was as one of the most popular players on Saturday Night Live. While still in college and doing his stand-up comedy, Sandler was noticed by Dennis Miller who would then vouch for Sandler to Saturday Night Live‘s Lorne Michaels when Sandler’s name came up in auditions not long after, but it took some convincing for Michaels to become sold on Sandler. “Me and Chris Rock auditioned for the cast. Rock got on immediately, Lorne loved him, but Lorne — I had some interesting jokes, so he wanted me to be a writer on the show,” Sandler revealed. Interestingly enough, it was Chris Farley who helped the young comedian while he was in the writer’s room. “We had the same thing about being nervous. But Farley used to give fake laughs for you if your skit was bombing. He’d laugh really hard.” In 1995 Sandler was fired from SNL and while there were many rumors that it was Michaels who terminated him, the actor-comedian told Howard Stern, “He didn’t. NBC fired me…I think they just needed to make a move and get rid of — I was known as sophomoric… I think they had new brass, new guys were running it. They wanted to start over.”
5. Nanny Scandal
Like so many other celebrities, Adam Sandler has been involved in a “nanny scandal” but not the kind we are used to hearing about. Back in 2009, Sandler and his wife Jackie hired Deanna McDonald as a nanny for their children. McDonald didn’t work for the family long, and when she left she immediately lawyered up and went after the actor claiming a poor work environment and poor wages, comparing her job in the house as little more than a slave. In 2010, Sandler and his lawyers made an agreement with the former nanny to pay her nearly $80,000 to stop the case and sign a confidentiality agreement barring her from ever talking about her job or the Sandlers again. In 2013 however McDonald resurfaced and tried to terminate the agreement and attempted to file a lawsuit against Sandler’s brother Scott Sandler and the company the two run called HP Production. Due to the fact that she violated her confidentiality agreement, McDonald’s plan backfired and she was ordered to pay back the $80,000 Sandler had previously given her.
4. Net Worth
Adam Sandler is either loved or hated by audiences, but there is no denying his incredible success even through some harsh criticisms and poor reviews. From someone who started out with no idea that comedy could lead to an entire career, Sandler is now worth an absolutely incredible $400 million. His fans have made many of his films box office successes and he has earned $20 million or more on films such as Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, 50 First Dates and Grown Ups. Of course he also runs Happy Madison Productions and HP Productions making him a successful businessman as well, all adding to his incredible net worth.
3. Personal Life
In the late ’90s Adam Sandler met Jacqueline “Jackie” Titone on the set of his 1999 film Big Daddy and the pair officially began a relationship not long after the movie was released. They dated for a few years before Sandler proposed and were married on June 22, 2003. In May, 2006 they welcomed their first daughter Sadie Madison Sandler and on November 2, 2008 they welcomed their second daughter Sunny Madeline Sandler. Since her role in Big Daddy, Adam has often cast his wife in many of his films and she can be seen in Little Nicky, That’s My Boy, 50 First Dates, Just Go With It and Grown Ups just to name a few.
2. Famous Friends
One of the perks of being a famous actor is all the connections you make in Hollywood and while Sandler is known for his closeness to fellow actors and comedians Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider and David Spade, his other famous friends have also been prominent in his life. In 2004, Sandler purchased Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell’s Hollywood home after his wife fell in love with it while the pair attended a New Year’s Eve party there because Jackie Sandler is best friends with Goldie Hawn’s daughter-in-law Erinn Bartlett.
In the late 2000’s it seemed that Adam Sandler’s career might have been on its downturn when movies such as Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy flopped. Instead, recent years have become some of Sandler’s most successful after he signed a major film deal with the streaming giant Netflix. Sandler signed a four movie deal with Netflix and not long after it was extended to eight. While the amount of the deal was never made public, it can be assumed Sandler was paid a lot for the exclusive agreement, not to mention the freedom it gave Sandler to make the kinds of movies he wanted to.