When Brad Garrett accepted his best supporting actor Emmy on Sunday, Sept. 22, the irony was thick as a Sicilian pizza -- or a deli sandwich. The 6-foot-8-inch Jewish actor plays Ray Romano's sullen cop brother, Robert, on the CBS hit "Everybody Loves Raymond," featuring the sitcom world's favorite Italian American family. But Garrett (born Gerstenfeld), a rabbi's son, drew huge laughs when he joked, "I just hope that this award breaks down the door for Jewish people who are trying to get into showbusiness."
Doris Roberts, meanwhile, claimed her second best supporting actress Emmy in a row for playing Garrett's overbearing TV mom. (One of her other gigs is performing staged readings at the Westside Jewish Community Center.)
So with the very Jewish Roberts as matriarch of the fictional Barone family and Garrett as her live-at-home son, are the characters Crypto-Jews instead of Italian? The answer is, they're kind of both. While the show was built around comedian Romano, series creator Phil Rosenthal also based the characters on his Jewish relatives.
Also, B.Z. Goldberg and Justine Shapiro, won the Emmy for best documentary for "Promises," a film featuring conversations with Israeli and Palestinian children. The film, which appeared on PBS, portrays the Middle East conflict through the thoughts and views of seven Israeli and Palestinian children.
Doris Roberts' can be seen in a staged play reading of "Door to Door" on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Valley Cities JCC, and Sunday Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. at Westside JCC. For tickets, call (818) 786-6310 (Valley Cities) or (323) 938-2531, ext. 2225 (Westside).