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Albert Brooks Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (7) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (26) | Salary (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 22 July 1947Beverly Hills, California, USA
Birth NameAlbert Lawrence Einstein
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Albert Brooks was born on July 22, 1947 in Beverly Hills, California, USA as Albert Lawrence Einstein. He is an actor and writer, known for Finding Nemo (2003), Drive (2011) and Taxi Driver (1976). He has been married to Kimberly Shlain since March 15, 1997. They have two children.

Spouse (1)

Kimberly Shlain (15 March 1997 - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (7)

Dysfunctional relationships (Real Life (1979), Modern Romance (1981) and Mother (1996)).
Frequent collaborators: Monica Mcgowan Johnson and James L. Brooks
[Satire] Frequently satirizes different facets of Hollywood (Reality TV/Filmmaking in Real Life (1979), Screenwriting in The Muse (1999)
Always casts himself in the lead role of his films as a nebbish weisenheimer.
Hoarse voice
His characters are usually nervous and ill-tempered
Often compared to Woody Allen or called "The West Coast Woody Allen"

Trivia (22)

Son, Jacob Eli, born [October 1998]
Brother of Clifford Einstein and Bob Einstein who is best known for his character "Super Dave" Osbourne.
A good friend of Debbie Reynolds.
Turned down the lead in When Harry Met Sally... (1989) because he thought it was too much like a Woody Allen script. Albert has been described as a West Coast Woody Allen
Son of Thelma Leeds and Harry Parke(comedian known as 'Parkyakarkus').
daughter, Claire Elizabeth born [March 2000]
Nephew of Zeke Manners
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy", by Ronald L. Smith, pg.61-62. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Has made six guest appearances on The Simpsons (1989). With one exception, he has played a different character each time, and each time he has been credited as "A. Brooks."
Has starred in two movies where the song "Beyond the Sea" has played over the end credits. My First Mister (2001) and Finding Nemo (2003).
Once performed a humorless, five-minute stand up comedy routine on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) that didn't produce a single laugh until the punchline - when he explained to the audience that he had been working as a stand up comic for five years and had run out of material. Johnny Carson swore the hilarity which followed this set-up lasted a full minute.
Brooks has been honored by the American Film Institute with a retrospective of his work at the first U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen Colorado.
Brooks was romantically linked to singer Linda Ronstadt and actresses Carrie Fisher, Julie Hagerty and Kathryn Harrold before settling down and marrying Kimberly Shlain, an artist.
Brooks attended Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, but dropped out after one year to focus on comedy.
His mother, singer/actress Thelma Leeds had a brief career before marrying Albert's father and settling down to raise a family. She returned occasionally to film in son Albert's movies.
Albert's father, vaudeville/radio/film comedian Harry Parke (aka Parkyakarkus) died of a heart attack when Albert was 11 in 1958. Parke collapsed next to Milton Berle during a Friar's roast gathering honoring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in Los Angeles.
Friend of Richard Lewis.
Turned down the role of Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman (1990).
Turned down the lead role in Big (1988).
Changed his last name from "Einstein" because there was already an extremely well-known theoretical physicist named "Albert Einstein.".
His paternal grandfather, Chaskel (Charles) Einstein, was an Austrian Jewish immigrant, and his paternal grandmother, Sarah Klayman, was a Russian Jewish immigrant. His maternal grandparents, Joseph Goodman and Katie Leventhal, were also Russian Jewish immigrants.

Personal Quotes (26)

Being a screenwriter in Hollywood is like being a eunuch at an orgy. Worse, actually, at least the eunuch is allowed to watch.
I've always felt like I work in a small little area that doesn't represent anything like the rest of society.
[on Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005)] For so long afterward [9/11], whenever I heard anyone talk about Muslims, it was in association with terrorism. But I thought, "What could I do in a teeny way - and believe me, it's a teeny way - to defuse this?" There had to be some way to separate the 1.5 billion people who don't want to kill us from the 100,000 or so who do. I thought if I could get five Muslims and six Hindus and maybe 3 Jews to laugh for 90 minutes, then I've accomplished something.
We export films that are full of sleazy [penis] jokes and toilet humor
  • that's why we've earned the affectionate nickname of the Great Satan.


What's seemingly benign, by our standards, is doing more damage to us around the world than anything I could ever do.
Bullfights are hugely popular because you can sit comfortably with a hot dog and possibly watch a man die. It won't be me, but I can sit comfortably and watch it.
When I die, if the word "thong" appears in the first or second sentence of my obituary, I've screwed up.
There was a time when I was probably too cautious about my career. Maybe I could have taken more chances. But, you know, when Garry Marshall came to me with Pretty Woman (1990) there was no Julia Roberts. It was just this silly script about a prostitute. And at the time I was offered Big (1988), I wanted to dig my teeth into a grown-up character. I didn't want to play little kids. But I'm getting better at this sort of thing. I'm taking more chances.
[on Taxi Driver (1976)] After we finished the movie, Schrader [Paul Schrader] came up to me at the cast party and said, "I want to thank you. That was the only guy in the script I didn't know". I said to him, "That's the guy you didn't know? You knew every pimp and murderer, but the guy who gets up and goes to work every day--him you didn't know?"
[on the failure of Modern Romance (1981)] The [studio heads] were angry. It was like I had shot a child . . . I was depressed, but then one day I was sitting at home and the phone rings. It's Stanley Kubrick. He had seen the movie and wanted to know how I did it. That's the first thing he said: "How did you make this movie? I've always wanted to make a movie about jealousy". I said to him, "The guy who did '2001' [2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)] is asking me how I did something?"
[on Stanley Kubrick] He asked to see the script [for Lost in America (1985)], so I sent him a copy. He called back and said he liked it but had some suggestions. He thought the couple should split up and not get back together until the end--as a sort of surprise. I immediately said, "Oh, no, that's a terrible idea". That was the last conversation we had.
[on casting Mother (1996)] It took me four months to get Doris Day to see me. She lives up in Monterey, so I had to take one of those little planes where everyone has to weigh themselves. When I got there, before I sat down, she says to me, "I'm not going to do this movie, but I just so much wanted to meet you". But it was a pleasant afternoon. I remember she had, like, 30 dogs. She took me in back of her house where there was this graveyard, and she said very seriously, "This is where the dogs go". I tried to make her laugh. I said, " . . . to the bathroom?" She got upset.
[on his father's death onstage] The interesting thing to me was that he finished. He could have died in the middle. He could have done it on the way over there. But he didn't. He finished. And he was as good as he'd ever been in his life.
[on being called "neurotic"] I have feelings about that. It's an interesting world we live in when Arnold Schwarzenegger can kill 115 people in a movie and he's fine. I drive around a woman's house twice, and I'm neurotic. Go figure.
[on why he changed his name from Einstein to Brooks] Do I even have to answer?
Normally movies have the same people they use over and over for everything. It's called typecasting. They don't like to take chances. They'll go with the guy they had before.
I made my living in comedy but I'm not a silly person. I've got all these sides to me. Even in my movies that I've written myself, the characters sometimes border on great anger or nutsiness or other kinds of behavior. I'm not just doing fart jokes for two hours.
[on choosing to play Bernie Rose, a non-comedic, vicious killer, in Drive (2011)] The villains of the world don't walk around like villains. That's how they suck people in. They're charming. If you buy the movie and you've invested in the movie, the character can go anywhere you want.
[on auditioning for Drive (2011) director Nicolas Winding Refn] He asked why I thought I was right for the part, and I said, "Because you could cast me, or you could cast somebody who does this all the time, and as soon as he comes on the screen everybody will know who he is."
People ask me all the time about improv, and I tell them that improv is just the final icing. You need a structure. It's like, if you're going to commit suicide, you need the building to jump out of.
This getting old is something. I think I envy my dog, because my dog is sixteen and she's limping and she's still living, but she doesn't look at me like she knows. She's not thinking what I'm thinking. It's a cruel trick that we all know the ending.
[on his greatest fear] That three days before I die I'll find out what happiness means.
[on the talent he would most like to have] Parting the Red Sea would be cool.
[on his favorite hero in fiction] The second of the three little pigs. In normal usage, his stick house should have been sufficient. He just happened to come across a once-in-a-lifetime event. The first pig was stupid. The third pig had obsessive-compulsive disorder.
When Rex Reed wrote that I had a face like an open sandwich, that was the best moment so far. It's just a thing of mine - I've always wanted to be compared to deli food.
The relationship between the artist and the audience is rather like a courtship.
In 1972, I did a bit about the word shit, how a comic pulls it out of his arsenal...and nothing has changed. What makes money is a very specific kind of comedy, aimed at a young male audience, that has a huge amount of shit jokes. The Waterboy makes $150 million; it's like another language to me. I'm convinced that when the aliens finally land, that's what they'll laugh at, too. That's how we'll communicate with the future.....shit jokes.

Salary (1)

The Scout (1994) $3,000,000

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