Joseph Brooks was born Joseph Kaplan on March 11, 1938, in New York City, NY and was raised in Lawrence, Long Island, NY..when he grew up, he changed his name to Brooks for professional purposes. Brooks tried songwriting and singing with Joey Brooks & the Baroque Folk in the 1960's, but was unable to make money at it. He turned to jingles and at one time in the 70's, he had 150 commercials simultaneously. Brooks won 21 Clio Awards during his career. He moonlighted, writing songs for "The Lords of Flatbush" in 1974. He wanted to direct films, and in 1977 released "You Light Up My Life." The film grossed more than $40 million on a budget of less than $1 million. Brooks next decided to act and took on the role of Bob Morrison, Madison Avenue jingles writer, in the film "If Ever I See You Again," which he also scored, directed, wrote (with friend Martin Davidson), and produced. The film was widely panned but does have a devoted cult following. Columbia passed on a third Brooks venture. He was infamous for his ego and became legend for his chutzpah. Brooks was quite the ladies man and had a reputation for bedding many on the infamous "casting couch." He married ex-playmate Susan Paul in the late '70s, and they had two children: Amanda, born in 1981, and Nicholas, born in 1986. The Brooks' collaborated and co-wrote "Invitation to a Wedding" in 1983, in which Susan Brooks also starred, and London's "Metropolis" which played at the PIcadilly Theater in 1989. Soon thereafter, Susan filed for divorce and won custody of the children. Brooks returned to his native New York and eventually regained custody. In 1994, he and Amanda became estranged and remained so until his death. He raised Nicholas and moved him to Hawaii, Los Angeles, and eventually back to New York. Brooks' last project was "In My Life" in 2005, which played on Broadway and was critically scorned. Tragedy befell him in April, 2008, when he was stricken with a stroke that ended his composing. He became more and more frail, notably for a cocaine habit. From 2005-2008, he allegedly sexually assaulted at least 13 actresses, whom he lured to his apartment with Craigslist with the promise of auditions for his next film. During the same period, the Manhattan Madam, Kristin Davis, noted that Brooks was a client who became increasingly abusive when his drug use spiraled out of control. In June 2009, Brooks was finally indicted on multiple counts of sexual assault, rape, sodomy, and other charges. He pleaded not guilty and was able to remain free on bail untill his death. Meanwhile, son Nicholas was charged with the December, 2010 murder of his girlfriend, Sylvie Cachay. The father/son relationship had been volatile and Joseph did not attend his son's arraignment nor did he contact him after his arrest. Shortly before his death, Joseph learned that the DA planned to call an additional 12 women to testify against him in his rape trial. He was also on the verge of losing his apartment, which he had used as collateral on a $2.4 million loan from a friend years earlier. On May 22, 2011, he committed suicide using a helium tank and plastic dry cleaning bag. He was found in his apartment with a 3 page suicide note by his side. At that time, no trial date had yet been set. Joseph Brooks lived life in superlatives...from the pinnacle of success to the depths of despair.
There is a serious defect in the thinking of someone who wants -- more than anything else -- to become rich. As long as they don't have the money, it'll seem like a worthwhile goal. Once they do, they'll understand how important other things are -- and have always been.