Adrien Brody was born on 14 april 1973 in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the son of Sylvia Plachy, a photographer, and Elliot Brody, a retired history professor and painter. Brody's father is of Polish Jewish descent; Brody's mother, who was raised as a Catholic, was born in Budapest, Hungary, and is the daughter of a Catholic Hungarian aristocrat father and a Czech Jewish mother. Brody was raised "without a strong connection" to Judaism or Catholicism. As a child, Brody performed magic shows at children's birthday parties as "The Amazing Adrien". He received widespread recognition when he was cast as the lead in Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002). To prepare for the role, Brody withdrew for months, gave up his apartment and his car, broke up with his then-girlfriend, learned how to play Chopin on the piano, and lost 29 lbs (13 kg). The role won him an Academy Award for Best Actor, making him, at 29, the youngest actor ever to win the award, and to date the only winner under the age of 30. He also won a César Award for his performance.
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