Thursday, September 30, 2004 | return to: celebrities


Celebrity Jews

by nate b

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Who's Jewish?

Here are the Jewish thespians you'll see as the networks roll out their new shows:

Seinfeld's Jason Alexander tries again to be a solo hit in the new series "Listen-Up," based on Washington Post Jewish sportswriter Tony Kornheiser (Mondays, CBS). Wendy Makkena ("Oliver Beene") co-stars.

Also on CBS (Sunday) is "Clubhouse," about a kid who becomes a major league batboy. Mare Winningham plays the boy's mother. Meanwhile, Goldie Hawn's son, Oliver Hudson, gets his first starring TV role in the WB series, "The Mountain." Talented actress Barbara Hershey co-stars.

An exciting newcomer is handsome actor Jon Foster, 20, the co-star of the ABC teen drama "Life as We Know It" (Thursdays). Foster is the younger brother of Ben Foster ("Six Feet Under"). Jon recently co-starred with Kim Basinger in the flick, "Door in the Floor."

Pretty actress Lisa Edelstein has to wait until November before her new doctor series, "The House," premieres on Fox. Edelstein has been in a number of well-received, but short-lived series, like "Sports Night."

No idol worshipper

"Canadian Idol," which is virtually identical to "American Idol," is a big hit north of the border. The "nasty" Simon Cowell judge role is filled by entertainment lawyer Zack Werner, who just "pulled a Sandy Koufax" and refused to judge the show finale, which fell on Rosh Hashanah.

It would be interesting to see if Paula Abdul, whose career revived as a judge on "American Idol," would be a no-show if the American version fell on a High Holy Day. Abdul has hardly spoken about being Jewish, but it seems most Jews know she is. Her mother is from a Canadian Jewish family. Bio profiles leave it unclear whether her father is a Sephardic Jew or a Syrian non-Jew. However, in a radio interview, Abdul told an L.A. rabbi that "she's Jewish" and that she "believes in God."

One thing is certain: Abdul needs help with the fashion thing. People magazine savaged the hairdo she wore on Emmy night: Abdul "clearly hoped for a royal air with a tiara nestled in her hair, but instead looks like a little girl playing dress-up."

Ouch! Does Simon Cowell write for People?

Next roles

Never a fashion failure is the always-stylish Emmy-winning Sarah Jessica Parker. After the Emmys, she told Fox News that she's signed to star in a film remake of the 1930s George S. Kaufman/Moss Hart hit play, "The Man Who Came to Dinner."

Like Parker, Lisa Kudrow is not resting on the laurels of being in a hit series. She has co-written an HBO pilot, with Michael Patrick King, a former writer for "Sex and the City," called "Comeback." It's a drama about a former sit-com star trying to revive her career.

Columnist Nate Bloom is the Oakland-based editor of


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