136: Albert Brooks

"Albert Brooks at 'Drive' premiere TIFF 9.10.11" by Melissa cybermelli@aol.com from New York, USA - 'drive' premiere TIFF 9/10/11. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Albert_Brooks_at_%27Drive%27_premiere_TIFF_9.10.11.jpg#/media/File:Albert_Brooks_at_%27Drive%27_premiere_TIFF_9.10.11.jpg

Albert Brooks speaks at the premier of “Drive” at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 10, 2011 in Toronto. (Photo by Melissa cybermelli@aol.com from New York, USA via Wikimedia)

Today is the 68th birthday of American writer, comedian, actor and director Albert Brooks.

Here are some things you may not have known about him.

First, he was born Albert Lawrence Einstein in Beverly Hills, California to radio comedian Harry Einstein and singer Thelma Leeds. His brother, Bob Einstein, is better known as his character “Super Dave Osborne.” He adopted the name “Albert Brooks” as a stage name after embarking on a career in comedy. His appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” helped catapult him into the mainstream.

Second, he quit doing stand-up in the mid-1970s to focus on filmmaking. He played a fictionalized version of himself in his first film, 1979’s “Real Life.” The film was a satire of PBS’ “An American Family” documentary and also predicted the later rise of reality television.

Third, Brooks hit his stride in the 1980s and 1990s with films such as “Modern Romance,” “Lost in America” and “Defending Your Life,” all of which he wrote, directed and starred in. In 2003, Brooks provided the voice for Marlin, the father of Nemo in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.”

Our question: For what film did Albert Brooks earn an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor?

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