Sacha Baron Cohen is most famous for raising hackles with outrageous
social commentary that often pushes the boundaries of "acceptable"
His portrayal of fictional Kazakh Borat the reporter who often portrays Kazakhs as a bunch of drunks who enjoy punching cows is among the most notorious in a string of outrageous characters created by Sacha Baron Cohen.
Equally controversial is the comic's character, Ali
G, a white man pretending to be black, along with another
of Baron Cohen's alter egos, the flamboyant Bruno,
a gay Austrian fashionista.
13, 1971 into an upper middle class Jewish family in London, Baron
Cohen attended a UK public school before joining a Jewish youth
group, where the acting bug first bit after appearances in local
a year-long stay at an Israeli kibbutz, he returned to the UK
to study history at Cambridge University while continuing to turn
his hand at acting. This also reportedly included a singing part
in a production of "My Fair Lady" in 1993.
In the late
90's, Baron Cohen moved from stage to TV with short skits on the
Paramount Comedy Channel in which he exhibited his early talent
for ambushing real guests with very embarassing interviews.
comedian was soon hired by the "11 O' Clock Show" where
his interviewing style became fully realized in the character
of Ali G, (full name: Alistair Leslie Graham) a white man pretending
to be black.
The Many Faces of Sacha Baron Cohen
Famous TV personas and film roles have included (top, left to right): hip-hop poser Ali G; race car driver Jean Girard in "Talledega Nights"; as star TV reporter Borat from Kazakhstan; and fabulous Austrian fashionista, Bruno.
(Bottom, left to right): As Adolfo Pirelli in "Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"; the station inspector in "Hugo"; as Admiral General Aladeen in "The Dictator"; and as Thénardier, the comically evil innkeeper in "Les Miserables".
accused Baron Cohen of insensitivity at best, and at worst outright
racism for his portrayal of Ali G, while fans have defended the
comedian for his send up non-blacks who emulate black street culture.
controversy, praise for Baron Cohen's cutting edge comedy led
to his own starring role on the wildly popular Ali
G Show wherein a new character, Borat, the star reporter
from Kazakhstan, was born.
Ali G's reputation was to precede him in the U.S. when Baron Cohen's
most famous character assumed a starring role on HBO's Da
Ali G Show in 2003 garnering him an even larger fan following.The comedian's
other U.S. credits soon came to include the voice of King Julien
in the Disney animated film Madagascar
as well as a cameo appearance on the cable hit Curb Your Enthusiasm.
name spread throughout the blogosphere in 2005 as the Kazakhastan
government threatened legal
action due to his caustic satire
appearance on the MTV Europe Music Awards in character as Borat Sagdiyev.
In 2006, Sacha
Baron Cohen next appeared on the big screen in the race circuit send-up,
Nights, playing French race car driver Jean Girard. Most notably,
his full-length movie based on his character, Borat,
enjoyed phenomenal success worldwide when it was released in November of that same year,
earning Sacha Baron Cohen a Golden
Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.
He quickly became known as the highest-paid
actor in the UK, and received a record salary of £16,000,000
for his next film based on Baron Cohen's "fabulous"
Austrian interviewer persona, Bruno.
actor has also appeared alongside Johnny
Depp as the shady Italian barber Signor Pirelli in the film
version of "Sweeney Todd" in 2007, and as the Station Inspector in the Martin Scorsese directed "Hugo" in 2011. The following year, he was back to shock audiences yet again with The Dictator (2012), a sendup of politics and oil riches which he co-wrote and starred in as Admiral General Aladeen. That same year he appeared as the evil innkeeper Thénardier in the musical screen version of "Les Miserables".
Coming up, the actor is slated to play an English football hooligan brother of a British spy in the film comedy Grimsby (2015), and in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (2016).
Baron Cohen is married to Australian actress Isla
Fisher, who gave birth
to the couple's first baby, a daughter named Olive, in October
2007. Following a six-year engagement, the couple wed in a quiet
ceremony in Paris in March 2010, the same year that their second daughter, Elula Lottie Miriam, was born. They also have a son, Montgomery Moses Brian, born in 2015.
More about Sacha Baron Cohen around the Web:
Baron Cohen - Biography, complete filmography and notable
TV appearances, picture gallery, related forum from the IMDb.