Russell Brand to join Oscars judging body

Comedian among a galaxy of stars invited to join the Academy

Comedian Russell Brand has been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars.

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The Get Him to the Greek star is one of 178 actors, film-makers and Hollywood bigwigs nominated for membership of the Academy this year.  Their names will be added to the current list of more than 6,000 members eligible to vote for the 2012 Academy Awards.

Although best known in this country as a stand-up performer, Brand has appeared in a string of Hollywood films since 2008, including Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hop and a remake of ’80s comedy hit Arthur.  His American profile has also recently been elevated by his marriage to US pop performer Katy Perry.

Other stars up for membership this year include Robbie Coltrane, David Duchovny, Hangover actor Bradley Cooper, Beyoncé Knowles and Brand’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall co-star Mila Kunis.

The list also includes the name of documentary-maker Tim Hetherington, who was killed while filming in Libya in April.

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The new members will be sworn in to the Academy at an invitation-only reception this September.