Albert Brooks

Born Albert Einstein (a name he changed for obvious reasons) on July 22, 1947, in Beverly Hills, Calif., Brooks was the son of radio comedian "Parkyakarkus." After early stand-up appearances on "The Dean Martin Show" and similar TV variety fare, Brooks carved a niche as writer, director and star of mockumentary comedy shorts on "Saturday Night Live."

These would evolve into the dry wit feature comedies Brooks later wrote, directed and starred in (Real Life, Modern Romance, Lost in America, Defending Your Life, Mother, The Muse). Beginning with the 1970s classic Taxi Driver, Brooks gained a cult through his sharp-edged comic performances in films by other directors.

As a frustrated reporter in Broadcast News (1987), Brooks earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. A surprise career high for him was providing the voice of Marlin in Disney's animated 2003 smash Finding Nemo.