Sacha Baron Cohen
Born on 13rd of October 1971
Sacha Noam Baron Cohen was born 13th October 1971. He is an award-winning English comedian, writer and actor, most famous for his characters Ali G, Borat and Bruno. He was born in Hammersmith, London, the youngest of 3 sons to an Orthodox Jewish family. His Welsh father Gerald runs a menswear shop and his mother Daniella is a movement teacher. He attended Haberdashers' Aske's Boys School in Elstree and Dulwich College before going to Cambridge where he read history at Christ's College. He spent a year on kibbutz in Israel before attending university. He first acted in theatrical productions for the socialist-zionist youth movement, Habonim Dror. Baron Cohen cites Peter Sellers as his greatest influence, and whilst at Cambridge he joined their amateur dramatics club, appearing in several plays and the occasional Footlights presentation. In the early 1990s, Baron Cohen appeared in a weekly programme on a Windsor based cable channel who ended up firing him for a lewd presentation. He then sent in an audition tape to Channel 4 who were looking for new presenters. The tape was of him in the character of Kristo, an Albanian television reporter, a precursor of his now legendary Borat character. He then started popping up in sketches on the Paramount Comedy Channel in 1998 as his gay, Austrian fashion reporter character, Bruno. However, it was the hip hop wannabe from Staines character, Ali G, that gained him attention after regular appearances on Channel 4's The Eleven O'Clock Show in 1998. By 2000, 'Da Ali G Show' had started on Channel 4, winning him a BAFTA for Best Comedy in 2001. Ali G turned up in the video to Madonna's, 'Music' single, and by 2002 he'd made a movie, 'Ali G Indahouse'. His TV show was then exported to the United States in 2003 and a new series was commissioned for HBO, set in America. Ali G's notorious interviews with famous people he has duped have included Buzz Aldrin, Gore Vidal, Donald Trump, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Tony Benn and Neil Hamilton. The three characters he has created so far all share a similar interview technique by way of lack of education, narrow-mindedness and poor command of the language, which in turn show uncomfortable truths about his interviewees. They have all attracted much controversy. His Borat character first cropped up in 'Da Ali G Show' and the film, 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan' was released in the UK and USA in November 2006. The film is a mockumentary, following Borat on a journey across America which includes interviews that highlight the bigotry and prejudice of various American citizens he meets along the way. Baron Cohen won the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Actor and was nominated for Best Motion Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for the film which was a huge box-office hit. In 2007 he published a travel guide to the USA and Kazakhstan as Borat, before announcing the retirement of the characters of Borat and Ali G in December 2007. Baron Cohen's other alter ego is the Bruno character, and plans are under-way to bring out a Bruno based movie, with Universal Pictures paying a reported $42.5 million for the rights to the film. Baron Cohen has also made appearances elsewhere, including the voice of King Julian in the family move, 'Madagascar', as a French Formula 1 racing driver alongside Will Ferrell in, 'Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby', and alongside Johnny Depp in 2007's film version of 'Sweeney Todd'. He rarely does interviews out of character, and apart from a couple of talk shows in the US and one or two interviews for newspapers and magazines, he remains extremely private. He is engaged to Australian actress, Isla Fisher, who has converted to Judaism. The couple had a baby girl in October 2007, and currently reside between Los Angeles and London.
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