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ALBERT BROOKS is among the most inventive practitioners of movie comedy, as well as one of its most incisive commentators on contemporary life. Brooks began his career as a stand-up comic, and went on to become an award-winning actor and filmmaker.

Brooks' films as director include Defending Your Life, which he wrote and starred in; and Mother, Lost in America, Modern Romance, and Real Life, all of which he co-wrote and also starred in.

Lost in America and Mother were honored by the National Society of Film Critics with the Best Screenplay Award; the latter film also won the New York Film Critics Circle and the ShoWest Best Original Screenplay Awards.

Brooks received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in James L. Brooks' Broadcast News, which marked his first starring role in a film that he did not direct. Albert Brooks made his film debut in Martin Scorsese's 1976 classic Taxi Driver, appearing opposite Cybill Shepherd. (Both Scorsese and Shepherd make cameo appearances in The Muse.)

His other film credits include Private Benjamin, Unfaithfully Yours, Twilight Zone - The Movie, The Scout (which he also co-wrote), I'll Do Anything (reteamed with James L. Brooks), Critical Care, Out of Sight, and Dr. Dolittle (in voiceover as a tiger).

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brooks is the son of radio comedian Harry Einstein, best known for his character Parkyakarkus. Brooks studied drama at Carnegie Mellon University. He started his career in 1968 doing stand-up comedy on national television. He began on The Steve Allen Show, later became a regular on The Dean Martin Summer Show, and performed on such variety programs as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Merv Griffin Show, The Hollywood Palace, and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

Brooks recorded two comedy albums: Comedy Minus One, and A Star is Bought (the latter having earned him a Grammy Award nomination in 1975 for Best Comedy Recording).

His first directorial effort was for the PBS series The Great American Dream Machine. He adapted an article he had written for Esquire, Albert Brooks' Famous School For Comedians, into a short film. Following this, Brooks made six short films for the debut season (1975-1976) of NBC's Saturday Night Live.

In June 1995, Albert Brooks was honored by the American Film Institute with a retrospective of his work, at the First U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado.


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