Right after Brooklyn College he made his film debut in Stanley Kubrick's first feature, Fear and Desire. He next appeared as a juvenile delinquent in the groundbreaking 1955 film The Blackboard Jungle. After stints as a stand-up comic, a partner in the comic duo Igor and H, and a cast member of Second City, Mazursky became a writer for The Danny Kaye Show. In 1965 he co-wrote the original pilot of The Monkees television series.
Mazursky’s first screenwriting credit was the Peter Sellers comedy I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968). The following year he co-wrote and directed the breakout hit Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. He went on to write and direct a string of quirky, dramatic, and critically acclaimed films, including Alex in Wonderland (1970), Blume in Love (1973), Harry and Tonto (1974), Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976), An Unmarried Woman (1978), Willie & Phil (1980), Tempest (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Moon Over Parador (1988), Enemies, a Love Story (1989), Scenes from a Mall (1991), The Pickle (1993), and the documentary Yippee (2006).
Mazursky frequently appears as an actor, playing supporting roles in numerous films and television shows, including HBO’s The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm.