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Russell Brand - Biography

The English actor, comedian and former husband of Katy Perry rose to fame on E4's 'Big Brother's Big Mouth' in 2004.

Russell Brand at Esquire Townhouse with Dior
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Russell Brand's early life

Russell Brand himself describes his early life in Grays, Essex, as “a trivial Greek tragedy”. With a father who was often absent and a mother who battled repeated bouts of cancer, he suffered from bulimia aged 11, was treated for depression and threw himself into theatre work – securing a place at the prestigious Italia Conti school, funded by Essex council.

After being expelled from the school, he joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) but was already dealing with substance abuse. He later dropped out of RADA to focus on comedy rather than acting.

Russell Brand's Career

He got work as a presenter on MTV, but was sacked when he turned up to work dressed as Osama Bin Laden on September 12, 2001. 

He landed a job on E4’s Big Brother spin-off show Big Brother’s Big Mouth, and his womanising and ability to attract controversy made him a tabloid favourite. His stand-up tours at this time were sell-outs. He secured his own TV show, Ponderland, as well as a Hollywood movie role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

When it looked as though he had put his troubles behind him, he was forced to quit his job as a presenter on BBC Radio 2 after a national outcry over “lewd” and inappropriate messages he and friend Jonathan Ross left on Andrew Sach’s answerphone. “I felt I didn’t have any choice but to resign,” he says of the incident. “I thought, ‘I don’t have to do that radio show, I’m only doing it for a laugh and it’s become not a laugh.’ And then it was a relief.” 

He moved to America where he was already making a name for himself, having hosted the MTV Music Awards in his typical controversial manner where he made derogatory comments about the then-President George W Bush. 

Russell Brand's Personal Life

“My personality was defined by solitude,” he’s said, admitting he never fitted in as a child. He was expelled from the school for substance abuse, and by the time he applied for a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he was a heroin addict with an alcohol problem. Typically, Russell looks back at this period with wry humour and has detailed his lifestyle in his bestselling autobiography My Booky Wook. “My life is just a series of embarrassing incidents strung together by telling people about those embarrassing incidents,” says the comedian, who has been arrested 11 times and attended rehab for drink, drug and sex addiction. 

Despite his life of debauchery, Russell was always ambitious and determined to be famous. 

Russell brand's Relationships

A year after moving to the USA, while filming Get Him To The Greek – a movie based around the character he played in hit film Forgetting Sarah Marshall – he met songstress Katy Perry. By September 2009, the two were dating, and became engaged while on holiday in India over the Christmas period. He proved his commitment to the singer when he made his vows in a beautiful, Indian wedding ceremony on October 23, 2010. "The very private and spiritual ceremony, attended by the couple's closest family and friends, was performed by a Christian minister and long time friend of the Hudson Family," said a spokesman for the couple, who later both wrote on Twitter: "WE DID!" as a confirmation for their fans. 

The two divorced on July 16 2012, then Russell married Laura Gallagher , the sister of TV presenter Kirsty Gallagher, in 2017. The couple has two daughters, Mabel born in November 2016 and Peggy who arrived in July 2018. 

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