Adrien Brody

Born in New York City on April 14, 1973, to photojournalist Sylvia Plachy, Adrien Brody knew at an early age that he wanted to be an actor. He enrolled at both the American Academy of Dramatic Art and the High School for the Performing Arts and made his television debut in the 1988 PBS movie Home at Last.

Brody honed his craft in a series of independent films, including Steven Soderbergh's 1993 King of the Hill. His career was set to explode with a major role in Terrence Malick's war epic The Thin Red Line (1998), but many of his scenes were cut by the time the film was released.

Fortunately, his role as a bisexual punk in Spike Lee's Summer of Sam (1999) remained intact and got him noticed by the critics. Brody's fame was sealed with his Oscar-winning role as Polish Jew Wladyslaw Szpilman in Roman Polanski's powerful Holocaust survival story The Pianist (2002).