Actor, publicist, radio-tv presenter, author
Russell Edward Brand (born 4 June 1975) is an English comedian, actor, radio host, author, and activist. After beginning his career as a stand-up comedian and later becoming an MTV presenter, Brand first achieved renown in 2004 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, and the following year he landed a major role in the romantic comedy-drama Forgetting Sarah Marshall; the film led to him starring in a spin off, the rock comedy Get Him to the Greek, alongside Jonah Hill in 2010. He also worked as a voice actor in the animated films Despicable Me in 2010, Hop in 2011, and Despicable Me 2 in 2013, and played the title character of the 2011 remake of the romantic comedy Arthur. In 2013, he released the successful stand-up special Messiah Complex. Since guest editing an edition of British political weekly New Statesman in 2013, Brand has become known as a public activist and campaigner, and has spoken on a wide range of political and cultural issues, including wealth inequality, addiction, corporate capitalism, climate change, and media bias. In 2014, Brand launched his political-comedy web series The Trews, released a book entitled Revolution, and began work on a documentary about financial inequality with Michael Winterbottom. Over the course of his career, Brand has been the subject of frequent media coverage and controversy for issues such as his promiscuity and drug use, his outrageous behaviour at various award ceremonies, his dismissal from MTV and resignation from the BBC, and his two-year marriage with singer Katy Perry. He has incorporated many of his controversial public antics into his comedic material. In 2015 a biographical documentary called Brand: A Second Coming was released. Russell Edward Brand was born in Orsett Hospital in Grays, Essex, England. He is the only child of Barbara Elizabeth (née Nichols) and photographer Ronald Henry Brand. Brand's parents separated when he was six months old, and he was raised by his mother. When Brand was 8, his mother contracted uterine cancer and then breast cancer one year later. While she underwent treatment, Brand lived with relatives. When he was 14, he suffered from bulimia nervosa. When he was 16, he left home because of disagreements with his mother's partner. Brand then started to use illegal drugs such as cannabis, amphetamines, LSD, and ecstasy. Brand says he had a "strange relationship" with his father, whom he saw sporadically and who took him to visit prostitutes during a trip to Thailand when Brand was a teenager. He made his theatrical debut at the age of 15 in a school production of Bugsy Malone, and then began work as a film extra. Brand attended Grays School Media Arts College and in 1991, he was accepted to the Italia Conti Academy and had his first year of tuition funded by Essex County Council. After his first year at Italia Conti Academy, Brand was expelled for illegal drug use and poor attendance.
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