Friday, January 25, 2008 | return to: celebrities



by nate bloom

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Star turn for Rudd

The likable and handsome Paul Rudd, 38, has turned in charming movie and TV performances for almost 15 years. Following his wonderful performances in "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," people are finally starting to notice him. He stars in the new film comedy, "Over Her Dead Body." (Opens Feb. 1.)

Rudd plays a skeptic who falls in love with a genuine psychic (Lake Bell), but their romance is hampered by the ghost of his late girlfriend (Eva Longoria). Bell, a tall beauty, is Jewish on her father's side. She's best known for playing Sally Heep on TV's "Boston Legal."

Recently, Julia Roberts told "Variety" that Rudd is the perfect dinner date: "Paul's the most unexpected movie star ... Comedy is hard work; he makes it look easy. At a dinner party, if you're seated next to Paul, you'll leave thinking, 'I'm so funny.' I always want to be seated next to Paul."

Oldies with a local twist

The Game Show Network has decided to bring back nightly showings of two of the most intelligent game shows of the past: "What's My Line" and "I've Got a Secret" (airing at midnight and 12:30 a.m., respectively). "What's My Line" featured Jewish panelists Martin Gabel and Bennett Cerf, the founder of Random House. "Secret" had the only Jewish Miss America, Bess Myerson, as a panelist.

Gabel was long married to fellow panelist Arlene Francis, and their son, Peter Gabel, was president of New College of San Francisco for 20 years. He's also an associate editor of the Jewish magazine Tikkun. Peter recently told a Web site that Arlene Francis discovered very late in life that she had some Jewish ancestry on her mother's side. (Her father was Armenian.)

Bratman boychik

Pop singer Christina Aguilera, 27, gave birth to her first child, Max Liron Bratman, on Jan. 12. Her husband is music executive Jordan Bratman, 30, whom she married in a Jewish ceremony in 2006. On her Web site, Aguilera writes: "Max Liron means the 'greatest joy' or the 'greatest song' in Hebrew ... Watch out ... he's going to be a strong-willed dude!"

Aguilera is up for two major 2008 Grammy awards: best female pop performance and best vocal collaboration for "Steppin' Out" with Tony Bennett.

Defining Day-Lewis

The Screen Actors Guild Awards may be the only major film/TV awards ceremony to take place "as usual" until the Writers' Guild strike is settled. (On TNT and TBS, 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27.) The SAG awards have a waiver from the writers union, while the upcoming Oscars do not.

Daniel Day-Lewis, 50, is the favorite to win the award for best actor for "There Will Be Blood." Day-Lewis is often described as a Jewish actor because his mother, English actress Jill Balcon, 83, is Jewish. His late father, famous poet Cecil Day-Lewis, was of Irish Protestant background, the son of a minister. Daniel was baptized into the Anglican Church and he sang in the church choir as a boy.

Day-Lewis is married to filmmaker Rebecca Miller, whose late father was the famous Jewish writer Arthur Miller. But Rebecca's mother was not Jewish and Rebecca was raised in no faith. Day-Lewis and Miller married in a church ceremony presided over by the famous Rev. William Sloane Coffin, a friend of Arthur Miller's.

In 2005, Day-Lewis accompanied Doctors Without Borders psychologists to Gaza, and the London Times article he wrote on his experience can be fairly labeled as an unbalanced diatribe against Israel.

No question, Day-Lewis is a great actor. I just don't think he should be called a Jewish actor.

Columnist Nate Bloom , an Oaklander, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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