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Gary Freedman's Blog – November 2009 Archive (17)

Famous Half-Jews: Leah Remini

Leah Marie Remini (born June 15, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Carrie Heffernan on the CBS sitcom The King of Queens.



Leah Remini was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City, the daughter of Vicki Marshall, a private school teacher, and George Remini, who owned an asbestos removal company. Her mother was of Austrian-Jewish background and her father was Sicilian. Remini has an older sister, Nicole Remini (born 1969), who was her assistant on The… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 30, 2009 at 9:41am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: Geraldo Rivera

Geraldo "Gerry" Rivera (born Gerald Riviera on July 4, 1943) is an American attorney, journalist, writer, reporter and former talk show host. He is known to have an affinity for melodramatic, high-profile stories. Rivera hosts the newsmagazine program Geraldo at Large, and appears regularly on Fox News Channel.



Rivera was born in Manhattan, New York, the son of Lillian (née Friedman), a waitress, and Cruz "Allen" Rivera, a restaurant worker and cab driver. Rivera's father was Puerto… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 29, 2009 at 11:16am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: Noah Wyle

Noah Strausser Speer Wyle (born June 4, 1971) is an American film, television and theater actor. He is best known for his role as Dr. John Carter on the TV drama ER. He has also played Steve Jobs in the 1999 docudrama Pirates of Silicon Valley and Flynn Carsen in The Librarian franchise. Wyle was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People magazine in 2001.



Wyle, the middle one of three children, was born in Hollywood, California, the son of Marjorie (née Speer), a registered… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 28, 2009 at 9:40am — No Comments

Half-Jewish (and then some!): Ben Stiller

Benjamin Edward "Ben" Stiller (born November 30, 1965) is an American comedian, actor, writer, film director, and producer. He is the son of veteran comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.



After beginning his acting career with a play, Stiller wrote several mockumentaries, and was offered two of his own shows, both entitled The Ben Stiller Show. After acting in a few films, Stiller had his directorial debut with Reality Bites, and has since written, starred in, directed,… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 27, 2009 at 9:54am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: Paul Newman

Paul Leonard Newman (January 26, 1925 — September 26, 2008) was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and auto racing enthusiast. He won numerous awards, including an Academy Award for his performance in the 1986 Martin Scorsese film The Color of Money and eight other nominations three Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award, an Emmy award, and many honorary awards. He also won several national championships as a… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 25, 2009 at 9:13am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: Pierre Salinger

Pierre Emil George Salinger (June 14, 1925 – October 16, 2004) was a White House Press Secretary to U.S. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He later became known for his work as an ABC News correspondent, and in particular for his stories on the American hostage crisis in Iran, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland, and his claims as to the cause of the explosion of TWA flight 800.



Salinger served briefly as a Democratic United States Senator in 1964… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 24, 2009 at 10:18am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker (born March 25, 1965) is an American film, television and theatre actress and producer. She is best known for her leading role as Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO television series Sex and the City, for which she won four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Emmy Awards. She played the same role in the 2008 feature film version of the show, Sex and the City: The Movie and its sequel, which opens in 2010.



Parker is also known as a film actress, in… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 23, 2009 at 9:31am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Kate Paltrow (born September 27, 1972) is an American actress.



The daughter of Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner, Paltrow dropped out of her university to follow an acting career. She began her career in theatre in 1990, and made her film debut the following year. Her early films include such successes as Seven (1995), Emma (1996), in which she played the title role, and Sliding Doors (1998). Her performance in Shakespeare in Love (1998) brought her widespread recognition; she… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 21, 2009 at 9:42am — 1 Comment

Infamous Suspected Jews: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

In America, when someone tries to discredit a political rival, they usually go after one's sexual liaisons or financial transgressions.



In Iran, one would just say that their rival is Jewish.



All liaisons (and remember, there are no homosexuals in Iran, so that eliminates that area altogether) and transgressions would pale by comparison.



So it should come to no surprise that the son of Ayatollah Khazali, rival to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has written on his blog(!)… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 20, 2009 at 9:49am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: William S. Cohen

William Sebastian Cohen (born 28 August 1940) is an author and American politician from the U.S. state of Maine. A Republican, Cohen served as Secretary of Defense (1997–2001) under Democratic President Bill Clinton.



Cohen was born in Bangor, Maine. His mother, Clara, was of Protestant Irish ancestry, while his father, Reuben Cohen, was a Russian Jewish immigrant; the two owned the Bangor Rye Bread Co. Cohen attended Hebrew school as a child.



After graduating from Bangor… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 19, 2009 at 10:40am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: David Duchovny

David William Duchovny (born August 7, 1960) is an American actor. He has won Golden Globe awards for his work as FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder on The X-Files and as Hank Moody on Californication.



Duchovny was born in New York City, New York, the son of Margaret "Meg" (née Miller), a school administrator and teacher, and Amram Ducovny (1927-2003), a writer and publicist who worked for the American Jewish Committee. David Duchovny's paternal grandparents were Russian Jews and his… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 18, 2009 at 9:09am — 3 Comments

Famous Half-Jews: Joshua Bell

Joshua David Bell (born December 9, 1967) is an American Grammy Award-winning violinist.



Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana, United States, the son of a psychologist and a therapist. His mother is Jewish and his father a Christian. Bell's father is the late Alan P. Bell, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Indiana University, in Bloomington, a former Kinsey researcher.



Bell began taking violin lessons at the age of four after his mother discovered her son had taken rubber… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 17, 2009 at 10:23am — No Comments

Famous Half Jews: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Daniel Day Lewis

Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis (born 29 April 1957) is an English actor with British and Irish citizenship. He is known as one of the most selective actors in the film industry, having starred in only four films since 1997, with as many as five years between roles. He is a method actor, known for his constant devotion to and research of his roles. Often, he will remain completely in character for the duration of the shooting schedule of his films.



His portrayals of Christy Brown in… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 16, 2009 at 9:41am — No Comments

Famous Half Jews: Jake Gyllenhaal

Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal (born December 19, 1980) is an American actor. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at age ten. He has appeared in diverse roles since his first lead role in 1999's October Sky, followed by the 2001 indie cult hit Donnie Darko, in which he played a psychologically troubled teen and onscreen brother to his real-life sister, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. In the 2004 blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow he… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 15, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Famous Half Jews: Jonathan Togo

Jonathan Frederick Togo (born August 25, 1977) is an American actor best known for his role in CSI: Miami as Ryan Wolfe.



Togo was born in Rockland, Massachusetts, the son of Sheila, a store owner, and Michael Togo, a graphic designer.Togo's mother is of Italian and Irish descent and his father is Jewish, with the original family surname, "Tonkaviev", shortened by a forefather who wanted something snappier for his carpet business.



He was raised in Rockland, Massachusetts.… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 13, 2009 at 9:45am — No Comments

Famous Half Jews: John Bercow

John Simon Bercow (born 19 January 1963) is the current Speaker of the British House of Commons, having been elected to this office in June 2009. He has been the Member of Parliament for Buckingham since 1997. Until he became Speaker, he sat in the House as a member of the Conservative Party. He served in the Shadow Cabinet under former Conservative leaders Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard.



Born in Edgware, London, the son of a Jewish taxi driver, Bercow attended Finchley… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 12, 2009 at 10:00am — No Comments

Famous Half-Jews: Eduard Hanslick

I've decided to start a new feature on TBD. It's called Famous Half Jews. From time to time I will bring to readers' attention the numerous individuals who have had one Jewish parent. I myself am half-Jewish. My father was a Jew; my mother, Polish Catholic. I believe that Jews have many role models. Half-Jews, however, are frequently overlooked. Half-Jews need role models, too. It is my hope that I will bring attention to high-achieving half-Jews and provide role models to the many half-Jews… Continue

Added by Gary Freedman on November 10, 2009 at 12:16pm — No Comments

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