50 facts about Sacha Baron


He took clown training in Paris, at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier, studying under master-clown Philippe Gaulier. Learn 50 facts about Sacha Baron.

1. Baron Cohen was born in Hammersmith, west London.

2. His mother, Daniella Naomi, who worked as a movement instructor, was born in Israel.

3. His father, Gerald Baron Cohen, a clothing store owner, was born in London, and raised in Wales.

4. Baron Cohen was raised Jewish.

5. His father's family were Eastern European Jews who moved to Pontypridd, Wales, and London, England, and his mother's family were German Jews.

6. His paternal grandfather, Morris Cohen, had added "Baron" to his surname.

7. His maternal grandmother, who lived in Haifa, Israel, trained as a ballet dancer in Germany.

8. He has two older brothers: Erran and Amnon.

9. His brother Erran is a composer and has worked on several of Sacha's films.

10. Baron Cohen's cousin, Simon, is an internationally renowned autism researcher.

11. His full name is Sacha Noam Baron Cohen.

12. He is an English actor, comedian, and screenwriter.

13. A graduate of Christ's College, Cambridge, Baron Cohen is most widely known for creating and playing five fictional characters: Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard, Admiral General Aladeen and Nobby Butcher.

14. In most of his routines, Baron Cohen's characters interact with unsuspecting people who do not realise they are being set up for comic situations and self-revealing ridicule.

15. His other work includes voicing King Julien XIII in the Madagascar film series (2005-2012) and appearing in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Hugo (2011) and Les Misérables (2012). He made a cameo as a BBC News Anchor in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013). In 2016, he played an English football hooligan brother of an MI6 spy in the comedy film Grimsby, and will play Time in Alice Through the Looking Glass.

16. Baron Cohen was named Best Newcomer at the 1999 British Comedy Awards for The 11 O'Clock Show, and since then, his work has been further recognised with two BAFTA Awards for Da Ali G Show, several Emmy nominations, a nomination for an Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay, and a Golden Globe for Best Actor for his work in the feature film Borat.

17. After the release of Borat, Baron Cohen stated that because the public had become too familiar with the characters, he would retire Borat and Ali G.

18. Similarly, after the release of Brüno, Baron Cohen stated he would also retire the title character.

19. At the 2012 British Comedy Awards, he received the Outstanding Achievement Award, accepting the award while reprising his Ali G character.

20. In 2013, he received the BAFTA Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy.

21. Baron Cohen was educated at The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, an independent school in Elstree, Hertfordshire, north of London.

22. He went on to the University of Cambridge, entering Christ's College, Cambridge, where he read history, graduating in 1993 with upper second class honours.

23. While attending the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club, Baron Cohen acted in the plays Fiddler on the Roof and Cyrano de Bergerac, and performed in Habonim Dror Jewish theatre performances.

24. Baron Cohen first met actress Isla Fisher in 2002 at a party in Sydney, Australia.

25. The couple became engaged in 2004, and married on 15 March 2010 in Paris, France.

26. Baron Cohen and Fisher have two daughters - Olive, born 19 October 2007 in Los Angeles, and Elula Lottie Miriam, born in August 2010 - and a son - Montgomery Moses Brian, born 17 March 2015.

27. Baron Cohen first acted in theatrical productions featuring the Socialist-Zionist youth movement Habonim Dror.

28. He spent a year in Israel volunteering at Kibbutzim Rosh HaNikra and Beit HaEmek as part of the Shnat Habonim Dror, as well as taking part in the programme Machon L'Madrichei Chutz La'Aretz for Jewish youth movement leaders.

29. According to Baron Cohen, "I wouldn't say I am a religious Jew. I am proud of my Jewish identity and there are certain things I do and customs I keep."

30. He tries to keep kosher and attends synagogue about twice a year.

31. On 28 December 2015, Baron Cohen and his wife Isla Fisher donated £335,000 ($500,000) to Save the Children as part of a program to vaccinate children in Northern Syria against measles, and the same amount to the International Rescue Committee also aimed at helping Syrian refugees.

32. After leaving university, Baron Cohen worked for a time as a fashion model, appearing in many fashion magazines.

33. By the early 1990s, he was hosting a weekly programme on Windsor cable television's local broadcasts with Carol Kirkwood, who later became a BBC weather forecaster.

34. In 1995, Channel 4 was planning a replacement for its series The Word, and disseminated an open call for new television presenters. Baron Cohen sent in a tape of himself in the character of Kristo, a fictional television reporter (who developed into the Kazakh Borat Sagdiyev), which caught the attention of a producer.

35. Baron Cohen hosted Pump TV from 1995 to 1996.

36. In 1996, he began presenting the youth chat programme F2F for Granada Talk TV and also had a small role in an advert for McCain Microchips playing the role of a chef in a commercial entitled "Ping Pong".

37. He took clown training in Paris, at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier, studying under master-clown Philippe Gaulier. Of his former pupil, Gaulier says: "He was a good clown, full of spirit".

38. In the late 1990s, Baron Cohen made his first feature film appearance in the British comedy The Jolly Boys' Last Stand.

39. In 2000, Baron Cohen played the part of Super Greg for a series of TV advertisements for Lee Jeans; the advertisements never aired but the website for Super Greg created an internet sensation.

40. He is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.

41. Baron Cohen walked onto the runway during the ágatha Ruiz de la Prada fashion show in Milan on 26 September 2008.

42. Baron Cohen guest-starred in the fifth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, with Dustin Hoffman as a guide to Heaven.

43. He also provided the voice of the ring-tailed lemur king, King Julien, in DreamWorks Animation's film series, Madagascar.

44. Appeared as Will Ferrell's arch rival the French Formula One speed demon Jean Girard in the 2006 hit Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

45. He also appeared alongside Johnny Depp in the 2007 film Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street as Signor Adolfo Pirelli, co-starred in Martin Scorsese's 2011 adventure film Hugo, and portrayed Thénardier in the 2012 film version of the musical Les Misérables.

46. He appeared as a BBC News Anchor in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

47. Baron Cohen tends to avoid doing interviews out of character.

48. Baron Cohen has twice presented the MTV Europe Music Awards, first as Ali G on 8 November 2001, in Frankfurt, Germany, and then as Borat on 3 November 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.

49. Baron Cohen appeared out of character to accept an award at the British Comedy Awards in December 2006. He said at the time that Borat could not make it to the awards as "he's guest of honour at the Holocaust denial conference in Tehran", referring to the International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust.

50. Borat director Larry Charles explains that Baron Cohen generally appears in character partly to "protect his weakness", by focusing public interest on his characters rather than himself. His other reason, Newsweek claims, is that Baron Cohen is fiercely private: "...according to the UK press, his publicists denied not only that he attended a party for the London premiere of Borat, but also that a party even occurred."

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