Russell Edward Brand (born 4 June 1975) is an English comedian, actor, and author. In 2004, Brand achieved mainstream fame in the UK as the host of Big Brother's Big Mouth, a Big Brother spin-off. In 2007, he had his first major film role in St Trinian's. He became known in the United States in 2008, after his major role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall; the film led to a starring role in Get Him to the Greek in 2010. He also worked as a voice actor for animated films Despicable Me in 2010 and Hop in 2011. He starred in the 2011 remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore film Arthur. Brand is noted in the British media for his eccentricity and for controversies such as his dismissal from MTV after he dressed as Osama bin Laden, his behaviour as presenter of various award ceremonies and his former drug use. In 2008, he resigned from the BBC following prank calls he made to actor Andrew Sachs on The Russell Brand Show, which led to major changes to the BBC's policy. His drug use, alcoholism and promiscuity have influenced his comedic material and public image. He is also widely known for his short marriage to Katy Perry which ended in 2012. Brand performed stand-up at the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year final in 2000. Although he finished fourth, his performance attracted the attention of Gagged and Bound Comedy Ltd agent Nigel Klarfeld. That year, he also made his Edinburgh debut as one-third of the stand-up show Pablo Diablo's Cryptic Triptych, alongside ventriloquist Mark Felgate and Anglo-Iranian comic Shappi Khorsandi. In 2004, he took his first one-man show, the confessional Better Now to the Edinburgh Festival, giving an honest account of his heroin addiction. He returned the following year with Eroticised Humour. He launched his first nationwide tour, Shame, in 2006. Brand drew on embarrassing incidents in his own life and the tabloid press's treatment of him since he became famous. The show was released on DVD as Russell Brand: Live. Brand appeared in a sketch and performed stand-up at the 2006 Secret Policeman's Ball. In March 2007, he co-hosted an evening of the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs with Noel Fielding. In December 2007, Brand performed for HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip as an act in the 2007 Royal Variety Performance. His second nationwide tour, in 2007, was called Russell Brand: Only Joking and released on DVD as Russell Brand: Doin' Life. Brand began performing in the US, and recorded a special for Comedy Central titled Russell Brand in New York, which aired in March 2009. Brand began touring the UK, America and Australia from January to April 2009 on a tour called Russell Brand: Scandalous. In October, a further four dates that were performed in November were added to raise money for Focus 12, the drug charity for which Brand is a patron. Russell Brand: Scandalous was released on DVD on 9 November 2009.
Russell Edward Brand