Birth Date: July 22 1947
Birth Place: N/A
It's not entirely surprising that a comedian's son named Albert Einstein would grow up to be both cerebral and funny. (His father was radio comedian Parkyakarkus.) Brooks got his show-biz start as a variety show writer and performer, and always displayed a unique sensibility-appearing on "The Tonight Show" as a talking mime, for instance. He also recorded several outstanding comedy albums. His first film, a short subject called The Famous Comedians School was aired on the early 1970s PBS series "The Great American Dream Machine." Brooks refined his deadpan style of fauxcinema-verité in a series of shorts for TV's "Saturday Night Live," and then expanded the notion for Real Life (1979), a feature-length spoof of the PBS series "An American Family," which he directed, cowrote, and starred in. (He also filmed a sidesplitting coming-attractions trailer for the film, promoting it in a bogus 3-D format.) It won excellent reviews but did little business, a pattern sustained by Brooks' subsequent features, the angstridden comedy Modern Romance (1981), the yuppies-as-Easy-Rider Lost in America (1985), and the afterlife romp Defending Your Life (1991). His films never quite hit a comic bull's-eye, but they are invari ably filled with clever ideas and memorable moments.
He has also acted in other people's films, playing a starchy political campaigner in Taxi Driver (1976), Goldie Hawn's ill-fated husband in Private Benjamin (1980), Dan Aykroyd's car-mate in Twilight Zone-The Movie (1983), an unsuspecting manager in Unfaithfully Yours (1984), and, in an Oscar-nominated performance, the TV reporter-who-would-beanchorman in Broadcast News (1987). He reunited with that film's writer-director, James L. Brooks, for I'll Do Anything (1994). His brother, Bob Einstein, is familiar to TV viewers as Officer Judy (from "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour"), and more recently as the ersatz stuntman "Super Dave" Osborne.
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