|Sacha Baron Cohen Quick Info
|6 ft 3 in
|Date of Birth
|October 13, 1971
Sacha Baron Cohen is a British actor, comedian, and screenwriter known for his bold and obnoxious comedic style portrayed through politically incorrect films and TV characters. His roles often expand into an alter-ego status as the comedian promotes his films and TV shows in novel ways by attending promotional events and conducting interviews dressed in character. The most recognizable characters that the actor has portrayed are Ali G, Borat, and Bruno. He has a huge social media fan base with more than 500k followers on Instagram and more than 3.5 million followers on Facebook.
Sacha Noam Baron Cohen
Hammersmith, London, England, United Kingdom
- Los Angeles, California, United States
- Central London, England, United Kingdom
Sacha studied at The Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ Public School in Elstree, Hertfordshire. He later majored in History for a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts at Christ College; a constituent college of University of Cambridge and graduated in 1993.
During his undergraduate study, Sacha became an active member of the Amateur Dramatic Club (ADC), the oldest university dramatic society in England and the largest dramatic group in Cambridge. After graduating, the comedian briefly worked as a model in the fashion industry before landing his first TV gig as a presenter on Windsor local cable network.
He also joined the French theatre school École Philippe Gaulier to train with Master Clown Philippe Gaulier. He taught his students the slapstick style of comedy called bouffon to uncover their inner clown that is an exaggerated or caricatured representation of their actual personality.
Actor, Comedian, Writer (Screenplay), Executive Producer
- Father – Gerald Baron Cohen (Expired 2016) (Clothing Store Owner)
- Mother – Daniella Naomi Baron Cohen née Weiser (Movement Instructor)
- Siblings – Erran Baron Cohen (Brother) (Composer, Trumpet Player, Founder of the band Zohar), Amnon Baron Cohen (Brother) (Computer Programmer)
- Others – Morris Cohen (Paternal Grandfather) (Holocaust Survivor, who later added Baron to his last name), Miriam Nichelby (Paternal Grandmother) (Ballet Dancer in Germany), Hans Weiser (Maternal Grandfather), Leisel Levi (Maternal Grandmother), Ash Baron-Cohen, (Cousin) (Filmmaker), Dan Baron-Cohen (Cousin) (Playwright, Community-Theatre Director, Cultural Theorist, Arts-educator), Simon Baron-Cohen (Cousin) (Award-winning Clinical Psychologist, Director of Autism Research Centre at University of Cambridge), Sam Baron (Nephew, Simon’s son) (Screenwriter, Film Director), Kate Lindley Baron-Cohen (Niece, Simon’s daughter) (Doctoral Researcher in Oxytocin and postnatal depression at University College London, Psychologist), Connor Reid (Step-Brother-in-Law) (Director, Producer, Cinematographer)
Sacha Baron Cohen is represented by –
- Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
- Ziffren Brittenham LLP (Law Firm)
- Sunshine Sachs & Associates (PR Firm)
6 ft 3 in or 190.5 cm
80 kg or 176.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Sacha Baron Cohen has dated –
- Isla Fisher (2002–Present) – Sacha first met Scottish-Australian actress Isla Fisher at a party in Australia in 2002. The couple started dating shortly after and got engaged in 2004. Their first home was an apartment in Primrose Hill, London that Isla considers to be one of the most romantic places in the city. Their first daughter named Olive was born in October 2007. Fisher converted to Judaism in early 2007 after 3 years of studying Theology and took the Hebrew name, Ayala. The couple got married on March 15, 2010, in an intimate ceremony comprising of only 6 close family members in Paris. They welcomed their 2nd daughter, Elula Lottie Miriam Cohen in August 2010. Sacha and Isla also have a son named Montgomery Moses Brian Baron Cohen born on March 17, 2015, at Los Angeles Cedars Sinai Hospital.
Race / Ethnicity
He has Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.
- Curly hair
- Tall and lean build
- Master of disguise, voiceover, and accents
12.5 (US) or 11.5 (UK) or 45.5 (EU)
- He has appeared in the TV commercials for several brands such as Amstel Beer and McCain’s Micro Chips.
- In 1999, Sacha was cast to play the character of Super Greg, a fictional DJ to participate in an online viral marketing campaign for Lee Jeans that concluded with a TV commercial.
- He was featured in a TV commercial for NBA Basketball on TNT in 2005.
Best Known For
- Creating iconic fictional characters to create cultural commentary in the form of satire
- Portraying memorable roles in full-length films such Alistair Leslie Graham aka Ali G in Ali G Indahouse (2002), Borat Sagdiyev in Borat (2006), Brüno Gehard in Brüno (2009), and Admiral General Haffaz Aladeen in The Dictator (2012)
He made his first theatrical film debut as Vinnie in the drama film, The Jolly Boys’ Last Stand in 2000.
As a voice actor, he made his theatrical film debut by lending his voice for the character of a lemur named King Julien XIII in an Indian accent in the animated film Madagascar in 2005.
First TV Show
He made his TV show debut as a presenter on Pump TV in 1995.
His first voiceover role on a TV series was for the character of Jakob in an episode titled The Greatest Story Ever D’ohed of The Simpsons in 2010.
The comedian does not deem himself particularly religious but follows the Jewish dietary laws of Kashrut.
Sacha Baron Cohen Facts
- He speaks fluent Hebrew.
- His mother wanted him to attend law school. When Sacha told his parents he wanted to become an actor, they thought he was intentionally choosing a life of poverty.
- Upon finishing college, Sacha set a time limit of 5 years to earn a decent income as an actor before training for another profession in case he failed. At the end of those 5 years, the comedian got the break to play the first of his many iconic characters Ali G, on The 11 O’Clock Show on British network Channel 4 that first aired in September 1998.
- His wife stated in an interview that Sacha would often come home dressed in character and confuse their children.
- Sacha’s King Julien character in Madagascar (2005) was only meant to have a two-line dialogue. The comedian improvised 8 minutes of dialogue in Indian accent during the audition process that the makers decided to retain in the movie.
- The actor saw his first comedy film at the age of 8. Watching the audience react to Life of Brian (1979) planted the seed of Sacha’s budding interest in film-making and comedy.
- He repeatedly credits British impressionist Peter Sellers as the primary influence on his comedic style. He was also inspired by the work of the surreal comedy group, Monty Python.
- In his early stand-up gigs and sketches, Sacha used to perform as an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist named Mujahideen who wanted an alternative career as a comedian. The character often generated a hostile reaction from some members of the audience. Hence, Sacha created Ali G to replace it.
- During the first decade of the actor’s career, the public was not aware of what he looked like in reality and thought of Ali G as a real person.
- After an 8 episode dedicated segment to the character of Ali G in The 11 O’Clock Show, Sacha earned his first TV series with him as the lead named Da Ali G Show that ran from 2000 to 2004 on Channel 4 in UK and HBO in the USA. Sacha got a national platform in 2 countries to introduce the characters of Ali G, Bruno, and Borat on this show while conducting and filming real interviews with unsuspecting celebrities and public figures.
- For playing Ali G, Sacha won the British Comedy Award for ‘Best Male Comedy Newcomer” in 1999 and the BAFTA TV Award for “Best Comedy Series” in 2001.
- The characters created by Sacha are often criticized for making brash and distasteful statements against women, particular communities, nationalities or religious groups. He has defended his comedic style stating that public figures often let their guard down when they hear his character’s outrageous opinions, eventually exposing their own prejudices.
- He arrived and delivered his speech at Harvard’s Class Day Ceremony of 2004 as Ali G and accepted the British Comedy Award of “Outstanding Achievement” in 2012 from Sir Ben Kingsley dressed in the same alter ego.
- The actor earned numerous award nominations across the globe for playing the Kazakh reporter Borat such as the Film Critics Association award for “Best Actor” in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto in 2006, the Best International Comedy Award in Germany (2006) and the Golden Globe for “Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy” (2007).
- The character of Borat is based on the personality of a Southern Russian doctor that Sacha met at the age of 23 while visiting Astrakhan on vacation.
- Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi inspired Sacha’s creation of Admiral General Aladeen.
- While developing The Dictator (2012), Sacha and co-writer Larry Charles released a fabricated story to the media that they were adapting an anonymously published romance novel written by Saddam Hussein to protect themselves from possible violence from Middle East dictators. The United Nations also banned them from shooting on their premises because they did not want to offend any dictators.
- Sacha preferred to exclusively make public appearances in character to protect his personal life. It was not until 2004 that he revealed his real-life persona by visiting as a guest on American talk shows such as Late Show with David Letterman and The Howard Stern Show.
- The Academy Award-winning role of Freddie Mercury played by Rami Malek was originally intended for Sacha who worked on developing the project from 2010 to 2013. Cohen wanted to develop an R-rated brash comedy exclusively focused on the character of Freddie but the surviving members of the artist’s band, Queen, wanted a musical drama causing Sacha to drop out owing to creative differences.
- Similar to the format of Da Ali G Show, Sacha created a series of new fictional characters in 2018 for Showtime network titled Who is America? It included the character of Israeli anti-terrorism expert Erran Morad who interviewed American politicians. The series provoked many participants to express anger upon being duped and manipulated that included Sarah Palin, Joe Walsh, and Roy Moore. Sarah Palin’s interview was not aired. Roy Moore sued Sacha for $95 million for implying allegations of pedophilia against him and State Representative of Georgia; Jason Spencer had to resign from office for getting influenced into using racial epithets and baring his buttocks on camera as a way of warding off a terrorist attack against his better judgment.
- Sacha is a fan of WWE Wrestling and a friend of John Cena.
- The name of his production company Four By Two originated as a rhyme for the word ‘Jew.’
- He was considered for the role of Boris the Animal in Men in Black 3 (2012) that was eventually played by Jemaine Clement.
- The actor is a supporter of Save the Children and International Rescue Committee and as of December 2015 donated £335,000 each to both the organizations.
- In 2020, Sacha had donated $100,000 to the Borat 2 babysitter Jeanise Jones’ Oklahoma City community. More than $155,000 were also raised in her name via a GoFundMe campaign.
- In 2021, he received the Golden Globe Award in the “Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy” category for his role in Borat 2 (2020).
- During the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards, he was honored with the “Comedic Genius Award”.
Featured Image by Joella Marano / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0