Albert Brooks

Actor, Director, Screenwriter
Once dubbed the West Coast Woody Allen for his cerebral brand of comedy, actor-writer-director Albert Brooks once turned down the Billy Crystal role in "When Harry Met Sally. .." (1989) precisely because it read like a ... Read more »
Born: 07/21/1947 in Los Angeles, California, USA


Actor (35)

Concussion 2015 (Movie)

Cyril Wecht (Actor)

Little Prince 2015 (Movie)

The Businessman (Voice)

The Simpsons 1990, 1993 - 1994, 2005, 2015 (Tv Show)


A Most Violent Year 2014 (Movie)

Andrew Walsh (Actor)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2012 (Tv Show)


The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 2012 (Tv Show)


This Is 40 2012 (Movie)

Larry (Actor)

Drive 2011 (Movie)

Bernie Rose (Actor)

Weeds 2008 (Tv Show)


The Simpsons Movie 2007 (Movie)

Voice of Russ Cargill (Actor)

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World 2006 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)


Finding Nemo 2003 (Movie)

Voice of Marlin the Clownfish (Actor)

The In-Laws 2003 (Movie)

Jerry Peyser (Actor)

My First Mister 2001 (Movie)

Randall (Actor)

The Muse 1999 (Movie)

Steven Phillips (Actor)

Dr. Dolittle 1998 (Movie)

of Tiger (Voice)

Out of Sight 1998 (Movie)

Richard Ripley (Actor)

Critical Care 1997 (Movie)

Dr Butz (Actor)

The ShoWest Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)


Mother 1996 (Movie)

John Henderson (Actor)

I'll Do Anything 1994 (Movie)

Burke Adler (Actor)

The Scout 1994 (Movie)

Al Percolo (Actor)

Defending Your Life 1991 (Movie)

Daniel Miller (Actor)

Broadcast News 1987 (Movie)

Aaron Altman (Actor)

Lost in America 1985 (Movie)

David Howard (Actor)

Unfaithfully Yours 1984 (Movie)

Norman Robbins (Actor)

Twilight Zone - the Movie 1983 (Movie)

Driver (Actor)

Modern Romance 1981 (Movie)

Robert Cole (Actor)

Private Benjamin 1980 (Movie)

Yale Goodman (Actor)

General Electric's All-Star Anniversary 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)


Real Life 1979 (Movie)

Albert Brooks (Actor)

Taxi Driver 1976 (Movie)

Tom (Actor)

Milton Berle's Mad Mad Mad World of Comedy 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Writer (9)

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World 2006 (Movie)


The Muse 1999 (Movie)


Mother 1996 (Movie)


The Scout 1994 (Movie)


Defending Your Life 1991 (Movie)


Lost in America 1985 (Movie)


Modern Romance 1981 (Movie)


Real Life 1979 (Movie)


Saturday Night Live 1975 - 1976 (Tv Show)

Director (7)

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World 2006 (Movie)


The Muse 1999 (Movie)


Mother 1996 (Movie)


Defending Your Life 1991 (Movie)


Lost in America 1985 (Movie)


Modern Romance 1981 (Movie)


Real Life 1979 (Movie)

Music (1)

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World 2006 (Movie)

("There's No Business Like Show Business") (Song Performer)


Once dubbed the West Coast Woody Allen for his cerebral brand of comedy, actor-writer-director Albert Brooks once turned down the Billy Crystal role in "When Harry Met Sally. .." (1989) precisely because it read like a Woody Allen movie - a comparison he assiduously avoided. After receiving his start in show business as a stand-up comedian - a route he also wished to avoid - Brooks finally achieved his dream of becoming an actor when he made his first foray into features with a prominent supporting role in "Taxi Driver" (1976). He made his biggest contribution to movies as director, helming his first film, "Real Life" (1978), which many critics lauded as being the first and one of the best mocumentaries ever made. Returning to the director's chair following a sprinkling of small roles on the big screen, Brooks helmed the romantic comedy, "Modern Romance" (1981), before directing "Lost in America" (1985), his sharp satiric look at American materialism that many considered to be his finest work behind the camera. His best work in front of the lens came with "Broadcast News" (1987), playing a sympathetic news reporter - a role that earned him an Academy Award nomination. He returned to directing with the philosophical and funny "Defending Your Life" (1991), before helming the more underwhelming "Mother" (1996) and "The Muse" (1999). Though his output diminished in later years, including only one film as director in the new millennium - "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World" (2005) - Brooks nonetheless remained one of the most gifted and prolific comedic actors of his generation.


Parkyakarkus Actor

Born May 6, 1904; also known for his Greek dialect character Parkyakarkus; appeared in "Strike Me Pink" (1936), "New Faces of 1937" (1937), "Night Spot" (1938), "Sweethearts of the U.S.A." (1944), "Out of This World" (1945), and "Earl Carroll's Vanities" (1945) Had Paget's disease, a rare spinal cord problem, but died of a heart attack Nov. 24, 1958 at Friars Club roast of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Claire Brooks

Born March 27, 2000; mother, Kimberly Shlain

Jacob Brooks

Born Oct. 1, 1998; mother, Kimberly Shlain

Bob Einstein Actor

Played a sporting-goods salesman in brother's film "Modern Romance" (1981)

Clifford Einstein

Older Came up with unique trailer for "Mother," which played before showings of "Mission: Impossible" (1996)

Carrie Fisher Actor

Had on-again, off-again relationship for many years Carrie's mother Debbie Reynolds, whom Brooks directed in "Mother" (1996), used to try to convince the pair to wed, prompting her daughter's retort: "Mother, there can't be two neurotic parents!"

Julie Hagerty Actor

Appeared together in "Lost in America" (1985)

Kathryn Harrold Actor

Appeared together in "Modern Romance" (1981)

Thelma Leeds Actor

Born Dec. 18, 1910; met husband shooting "New Faces of 1937" Directed by son in "Modern Romance" (1981) Died May 27, 2006

Linda Ronstadt Actor

Lived together for two years during 1970s

Kimberly Shlain

Born c. 1965 Married March 15, 1997 in San Francisco, CA


Beverly Hills High School

Beverly Hills , California

Carnegie Institute of Technology

Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania 1966 - 1968
Later renamed Carnegie-Mellon University; dropped out after attending for two years on an acting scolarship



Featured opposite Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in "This Is 40," directed by Judd Apatow


Appeared in the action film "Drive" opposite Ryan Gosling


Joined the Showtime series "Weeds" as Nancy's (Mary-Louise Parker) estranged father-in-law


Joined the cast for "The Simpsons Movie" as Russ Cargill, the film's villain


Wrote and directed the comedy "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World"; also co-starred


Co-starred in the Andrew Fleming comedy "The In-Laws"


Starred in the independent dark comedy "My First Mister"


Co-starred with Sharon Stone in the romantic comedy "The Muse"; also directed and co-wrote (with Johnson)


Provided the voice of a suicidal tiger in the live-action "Dr. Dolittle"


Played an untrustworthy banker and ex-convict who teams up with George Clooney in Steven Soderbergh's "Out of Sight"


Played a 65-year-old alcoholic surgeon in Sidney Lumet's "Critical Care"


Played a middle-aged writer moving back home to resolve tensions between himself and his mother (Debbie Reynolds) in the well received comedy feature "Mother"; also directed and co-wrote (with Johnson)


Re-teamed with James L Brooks for "I'll Do Anything"


Co-starred with Meryl Streep in the comedy "Defending Your Life"; also directed and co-wrote (with Johnson)


Received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role in James L Brooks' "Broadcast News"


Co-wrote (with Johnson) and directed "Lost in America"; also co-starred opposite Julie Hagerty


Credited as A Brooks for supplying Rudyard's voice in James L Brooks' "Terms of Endearment"


Directed and starred in "Modern Romance"; also re-teamed with Johnson to co-write


Appeared in "Private Benjamin" as Goldie Hawn's short-lived husband


Directed, co-wrote (with Monica Johnson and Harry Shearer), and starred in "Real Life"


Made his feature acting debut playing a campaign worker in Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver"


Released second comedy album A Star Is Bought; received Grammy nomination


Released first comedy album Comedy Minus One


Made first directorial effort, adapting his Esquire article, "Albert Brooks' Famous School for Comedians" for the PBS series "The Great American Dream Machine"


Performed as a regular on the summer variety series "Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers" (NBC)


Received first TV writing credit for the ABC variety series "Turn On"


Made his TV debut, performing his stand-up act on "The Steve Allen Show" (syndicated)


Worked as sportswriter for KMPC in Los Angeles, CA

Wrote, produced and directed six short films during the first season of NBC's "Saturady Night Live"

Provided the voices of Mickey Barnes and Kip for the ABC animated series "Hot Wheels"

Worked as a stand-up comic

Bonus Trivia


"Most Hollywood comedies are miserable. There are 80 laughs in this – and not one from fart jokes. In this day and age, that's something." – Brooks to the New York Post, Sept. 26, 1994


"Fame isn't the goal. It's better to be known by six people for something you're proud of than by 60 million for something you're not." – Brooks on turning down Lorne Michaels' offer to be the sole host of the original "Saturday Night Live" (NBC), quoted in People magazine, Jan. 27, 1997


"My role was only indicated in the script, so I had to write it. Paul Scharader [the film's screenwriter] once said the funniest thing to me. He said, 'Thank you, I didn't understand that character.' And I thought, That's the character you don't understand? You understand Harvey Keitel and Travis Bickle perfectly, but the guy who works at the campaign office you're not sure of?" – Brooks on his feature acting debut in Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," quote in Premiere magazine, Jan. 1997


"I've always felt like I work in a small little area that doesn't represent ANYTHING like the rest of society." – Brooks quoted in Entertainment Weekly, April 30, 1999