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Sacha Baron Cohen made his mark in the comedy world as his alter ego Ali G, host of HBO's popular, multiple-Emy-nominated comedy "Da Ali G Show." Initially regarded as the #1 comedy phenomenon in England, the show was an instant success after airing on HBO in 2003. Baron Cohen originated the character of Ali G in 1998 on the British television comedy "The 11 O'Clock Show." Baron Cohen served as an executive producer on the series, in addition to acting and writing for it. Fond of performing in character, Baron Cohen has twice hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards to record numbers, in 2001 as Ali G in Frankfurt, Germany, then in 2005 as Borat in Lisbon, Portugal. He won the GQ Man of the Year Award four times on both sides of the Altantic and delivers the 2004 Class Day address at Harvard University as Ali G.
"Da Ali G Show" received six Emmy Award nominations. In 2003 it was nominated for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program, Outstanding Writing Non-Fiction Program, and Outstanding Directing Non-Fiction Program. In 2005 the show was nominated for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series; Outstanding Writing, Variety, Music or Comedy Series; and Outstanding Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Series. The show also received accolades in the UK prior to its stateside debut, with Sacha Baron Cohen garnering two BAFTA Awards.
After completing two seasons, Baron Cohen set out to conquer the world with "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for the Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," a feature film starring his second alter ego, Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakhstani news reporter.
Baron Cohen is known worldwide for creating "one of the greatest comedies of the last decade and perhaps even a whole new genre of film" according to Rolling Stone magazine. "Borat" opened #1 in 24 countries, while setting a U.S. box office record for films opening on 1000 screens or less which grossed more than $26 million. Ultimately, the film grossed more than $250 million worldwide. In 2007, Baron Cohen took home the Golden Globe® for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical and an Academy Award® nomination for Adapted Screenplay.
Since its release in November 2006, "Borat" has garnered numerous awards and honors. The film was named one of the Ten Most Outstanding Motion Pictures of the Year by AFI. Individually, Baron Cohen received Writer of the Year at the 2007 British Writers Guild Awards and was nominated for WGA Award in the Adapted Screenplay category. Baron Cohen won Best Actor awards from the Los Angeles Films Critics Association, Utah Film Critics, San Francisco Films Critics Circle, Toronto Film Critics Association and Online Film Critics.
His feature film projects include the hit comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," with co-stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. He was also the voice behind the animated character King Julien in the DreamWorks Animation feature "Madagascar," which grossed over $500 million worldwide. In 2008, Baron Cohen returned as the voice of King Julien in the sequel "Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa," which grossed $594 million worldwide. In 2007, Baron Cohen appeared with Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's film adaptation of the classic Sondheim musical "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." In this Academy Award®-winning film, Baron Cohen co-starred as Signor Adolfo Pirelli, Todd's (Depp) competitor in the haircutting world.
In 2009, Baron Cohen returned to the screen as Bruno, his other alter ego character from "Da Ali G Show." Re-teaming with his "Borat" collaborator, Jay Roach, Baron Cohen helped produce and write "Bruno." The Universal Pictures release grossed $138 million worldwide and won The Peter Sellers Award for Comedy.
Re-collaborating with director Larry Charles, Baron Cohen will be starring in the upcoming Paramount Pictures' film "The Dictator," which is scheduled for release in May 2012. Baron Cohen will also be working as a writer and producer of this highly anticipated film. The comedic film is based on the best-selling novel Zabibah and the King, which tells the story of dictator Saddam Hussein.
Undoubtedly Baron Cohen has captured audiences with his character Bruno and Ali G, however, the true scope of his talent will be seen in the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, scheduled for release in 2013. Baron Cohen will star as Mercury, frontman for the band Queen, in the film, which tells the story of the years leading up to Queen's appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Academy Award® nominee Peter Morgan will write the film, with Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro producing.
Baron Cohen resided in both Los Angeles and London with his wife, actress Isla Fisher, and their two daughters.