Adrien Brody (born April 14, 1973) is an American actor and film producer. He received widespread recognition and subsequent acclaim after starring in Roman Polanski's The Pianist (2002). He is the youngest actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, at 29 years old.
Brody was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the son of Sylvia Plachy, a photojournalist, and Elliot Brody, a retired history professor and painter. Brody's father is of Polish-Jewish descent; Brody's mother - who was raised Catholic - was born in Budapest, Hungary, the daughter of a Catholic Hungarian aristocrat father and a Czech Jewish mother. Brody was raised "without a strong connection to" Judaism and Catholicism. As a child, he performed magic shows at children's birthday parties as "The Amazing Adrien". He attended the Joseph Pulitzer Middle School (I.S.145) and New York's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (famous as the inspiration for television's Fame). His parents enrolled him in acting classes to distance him from the dangerous children with whom he associated. He attended summer camp at Long Lake Camp for the Arts in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. Brody attended New York's Queens College from 1991 to 1993, majoring in Performance Art, but returned to acting before graduation.
In 1992, Brody was seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident in which he flew over a car and crashed head-first into a crosswalk. He spent months recuperating. He has broken his nose three times doing stunts. His nose was broken once again during the filming of Summer of Sam.