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For 40 years, Actor and comedian Albert Brooks has worked steadily in Hollywood, appearing both in other people's movies and in his own self-directed projects.
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Then in 1985, Brooks wrote, directed and starred in Lost in America, a film about a couple who sell everything, drop out of society and bum around the country in a mobile home. To everyone's surprise (especially Brooks' own), the movie turned out to be a hit.
For his next project, Brooks played a neurotic, insecure television reporter ("Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive?
") in Broadcast News (1987). The role earned him an Academy Award nomination and cemented his onscreen persona as a neurotic, emotionally complicated guy who has frequently been called the West Coast version of Woody Allen. "It's an interesting world we live in when Arnold Schwarzenegger can kill 115 people in a movie and he's fine," Brooks has said of his reputation. "I drive around a woman's house twice, and I'm neurotic. Go figure."
For 40 years, Brooks has worked steadily in Hollywood, appearing both in other people's movies and in his own self-directed projects like Defending Your Life, Mother, The Muse and Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. In 1997, he married Kimberly Shlain, an artist. The couple has a son and a daughter.
Albert Brooks' career choices have been eclectic. He is a regular guest voice on The Simpsons and voiced a character in the 2003 Pixar hit Finding Nemo. His first novel, 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America, will be published in 2011. An unusual Hollywood career? Maybe, but Brooks plays by his own rules. "If people don't love what you're doing," he has said, "that doesn't mean you're wrong.''
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