To most people, Dennis Farina, who died Monday at age 69, may be best remembered as a tough-talking Chicago cop (which he actually was, for 18 years, before becoming an actor) or as a tough-talking New York City police detective, which he ably played for two seasons as Joe Fontana on “Law & Order.”
When he was barely out of his teens, Martin Landau was already a successful cartoonist working for the New York Daily News. In fact, the young artist was being groomed by the paper as its next theatrical caricaturist. Landau knew that if he got the job, he would never give it up.
Early in Theresa Rebeck’s comic play, “Seminar,” four aspiring writers cower in an Upper West Side New York apartment as Leonard (Jeff Goldblum), their imperious creative writing teacher, scans just one page of a short story before lambasting its author.
August Kowalczyk, a Polish actor who was the last survivor of a group of Polish prisoners who escaped from Auschwitz, has died.
Jewish Canadian actor Seth Rogen sat down recently with the South African Times and shared some personal facts about himself and what he has learned over the years.
Former "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander met with a Knesset caucus to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israeli actor Rami Baruch said he will not perform at a new cultural center in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish suburb of Hebron.
Oscars 2011 Slideshow
I don't allow myself to become vulnerable. I don't honestly share my likes and dislikes, my strengths and insecurities. I worry too much about what the guy wants to hear rather than what I truly want to say.
Oscar winner Jon Voight on Israeli TV last month expressing support on Israel's 60th Anniversary
"Everything I write is a question of identity," Jonathan Tolins says over tea after a yoga class in Sherman Oaks. "What choices do you have? What roles do you take on?"
In 2002, Leonard Nimoy, now 76, said he was retiring from acting to focus on photography. But in May 2009, he'll return to the silver screen as the pointy-eared pop culture icon who has been his alter ego since "Star Trek" debuted on television in 1966.
"I have acquired a taste for Patinkin verging on addiction," Clive Barnes wrote in the New York Post in 2001.
Maybe you know him as Inigo Montoya, the Spanish fencer in "The Princess Bride," who shouts, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"
Or perhaps you were introduced to him in "Yentl," as the serious yeshiva boy whose confused feelings for Babs' cross-dressing Torah student entwined him in romance.
Or maybe you simply know him as Mandy Patinkin, master showman.
Scene and Heard
Kirk Douglas is not done yet, not by a long shot. Just out is his ninth book, "Let's Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving and Learning." It is a mix of reminiscences, anecdotes, tributes to Hollywood luminaries now faded or gone, a critique of America's present leadership and somber thoughts on the drug-induced suicide of Eric, the youngest of his four sons.
Kirk Douglas, having survived 87 movies, countless one-night stands with Hollywood's most beautiful women, a helicopter crash, a stroke and two bar mitzvahs is beginning to hit his stride at age 90. His latest endeavor, coinciding with the publication of his ninth book, is a clarion call for tikkun olam to rouse Generation Y to repair the world through social action and respect for human rights.
In a showbiz career that has spanned nearly six decades, Israeli American actor Mike Burstyn has played everyone from Al Jolson and Tevye to Nathan Detroit and P.T. Barnum.
Alan Arkin is no more a stranger to playing curmudgeons than he is to receiving award nominations.
Here is a question for the rabbis: Can a teenager acting out a bar mitzvah on stage actually get credit for becoming a man? What if he has rehearsed for months? And what if he reads a real Haftorah? Ricky Ashley, the 17-year-old who stars in the new musical "13," never had a bar mitzvah. He was too busy acting and never found time to prepare. But now, Ashley is playing Evan Goldman, a 13-year-old who has his coming of age ceremony after moving to a new school in a new town, where the kids confuse "bar mitzvah" with "Bon Jovi."
Letters to the Editor
Richards is the former "Seinfeld" star who was videotaped at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood lashing out at hecklers using the N-word.
According to advance hints, the film is guaranteed to enrage Jews, gays, blacks, women, cowboys, Christians and college boys -- not to mention Kazakhstanis.
Sitting in her living room and poring through an enormous photo album, Alexandra More acts like the proud parent of successful offspring.
Caroline Baron, the film's producer who worked with Hoffman on "Flawless" and has known screenwriter Dan Futterman and Miller for a number of years, said that all films present challenges, but that from the outset, she had "100 percent confidence in Bennett as a director and Phil as an actor."
Elliott Goldstein grew up in a two-and-a-half room apartment in a section of Brooklyn populated by Jews, Syrians and Italians, the only child of a garment industry production manager and his wife. Both parents were born in the United States, but his grandparents emigrated from Russia, the Ukraine and Poland.
When Sam Feuer was a boy, he fell in love with "E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial" -- and with performing -- since he lived as an outsider in two cultures. Born in America to Israeli parents, the family moved to Israel when Sam was 9.
Billy Crystal has something he wants to share with you.
In the upcoming Showtime television series "Sleeper Cell," Tel Aviv-born actor Oded Fehr plays Farik, the leader of a Muslim terrorist cell, who poses as a synagogue-going Jew as his cover.
Fehr now savors the irony of the casting and plotline, but he was less enthusiastic when a producer initially approached him.
While some admirers have envisioned Wiesenthal as a Jewish John Wayne or James Bond, the diminutive Kingsley, who has played numerous Jewish characters in his film career, including Meyer Lansky in "Bugsy" and Fagin in the current "Oliver Twist," depicts him as a much more modest man, frail after the camps, dedicated to his work, not given to swagger or seduction.
In his raw, autobiographical monologue, "Who Is Floyd Stearn?" actor Michael Raynor struts onstage with a swagger reminiscent of James Caan. Raynor, playing himself, jabs a finger at a faded photograph.
The photo was taken on 185th Street in Queens, on his grandmother's lawn. In the photo, an athletic, brawny man embraces a 3-year-old. The man is Raynor's father, Floyd Stearn. The smiling boy is young Michael, who clutches a toy banjo, his blond bangs peeking out from a cowboy hat.
Raynor tells the audience that, even at 40, he cannot discuss the photo; should anyone pressure him, he angrily departs.
"Every time I see the picture I cry," he adds quietly. "That's why I can't look at it. I see the happiness in my face, and it scares me. I'm hoping it won't go away."
Yitzhak Edward Asner vocally opposes the war in Iraq, a position that has probably angered some fans of the 76-year-old actor. But that's nothing new for Asner, whose political activism, years earlier, may have cost him the best acting job he ever had -- the role of journalist Lou Grant in two separate award-winning television series.
Asner's unshrinking activism, his willingness to use his fame as a platform for causes he considers vital, made him a logical choice for Women's American ORT's Tikkun Olam Award to be presented at a luncheon on Sunday, Aug. 7, at the Beverly Hilton. The goal of the award is recognize those who honor the concept of tikkun olam, or repairing the world.
"Our Tikkun Olam Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to strengthening the community," said Judy Menikoff, the charitable organization's national president. "Ed Asner has consistently dedicated himself to the rights of the working performer and labor rights issues, as well as advocating for human rights, world peace and political freedom. We feel he represents our ideals and commitments."
Cinema suddenly seems preoccupied with male midlife crises ("Winter Solstice," "In Good Company") and actor Peter Riegert joins the trend with his comic directorial debut feature, "King of the Corner."