Jews in the News: Natalie Portman, Jeffrey Tambor and Carrie Fisher

Golden Globe Time

The Golden Globe awards ceremony is on Sunday, Jan. 8 (8PM, NBC). Jimmy Fallon will host. The Globes, unlike the Oscars, give separate acting awards for best actor/actress in a drama and best actor/actress in a musical or comedy. However, the best supporting actor/actress award is given to only one actor and actress, regardless of type of film.

Here are the Jewish acting nominees in the movie categories: Best actress, drama: NATALIE PORTMAN, 35, “Jackie”; Best actor, drama: ANDREW GARFIELD, 33, “Hacksaw Ridge”; Best actress, musical or comedy: HAILEE STEINFELD, 20, “The Edge of Seventeen”; Best actor, musical or comedy: JONAH HILL, 33, “War Dogs”; Supporting actor (comedy or drama): SIMON HELBERG, 36, “Florence Foster Jenkins”.

Note: As I said in a recent column, best actress (drama) nominee Isabelle Hupert (“Elle”) had a Jewish father, but was raised in her mother’s Catholic faith. Also: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, nominated for supporting actor, film (“Nocturnal Animals”), once called himself “Jewish”. However, details are few and I’ll just call myself “unsure” about him until I learn more.

Here are the Jewish actor nominees in the TV categories. Best actor, drama: LIEV SCHREIBER, 49, “Ray Donovan”; Best actor; musical or comedy: JEFFREY TAMBOR, 72, “Transparent”.

Best actress, TV drama: WINONA RYDER, 45, “Stranger Things” and EVAN RACHEL WOOD, 29, “Westworld”; Best actress, musical or comedy series: TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, 44, “Blackish”; and RACHEL BLOOM, 29, “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, and SARAH JESSICA PARKER, 51, “Divorce.”

Note: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Mandy Moore, and Lily Collins are also nominated for their movie or TV acting. All three had one Jewish grandfather. Louis-Dreyfuss and Moore have made it clear that they don’t identify as Jewish. Collins has not spoke about religious identification.

Other categories: KENNETH LONERGAN, 54, the director and writer of “Manchester-By-the-Sea” is the sole Jewish nominee in the (film) directing and screenwriting categories; Original film score: JUSTIN HURWITZ, 31, for “La La Land”—and--HANS ZIMMER, 57,  for “Hidden Figures”; Best original film song: “City of Gold”  (from “La La Land")—Hurwitz and BENJ PASEK, 31.

“Best-of-awards”, like best drama film, are given to a film or TV show’s principal producers. Often these are people little known to the public. As with other award shows, I prefer to list those “best of” that have a Jewish director, screenwriter; or, in the case of TV shows, a Jewish creator.

Best drama film: Manchester-By-the-Sea”, directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan; Best musical or comedy film: “Florence Foster Jenkins,” directed by STEPHEN FREARS, 75.

Best TV series, drama: “The Crown,” created by and written by PETER MORGAN, 53; and “Game of Thrones,” created by DAVID BENIOFF, 46, and D.B. WEISS, 46 (and often written by them); and “This is Us,” created by and written by DAN FOGELMAN, 40.

Best musical or comedy TV series: “Mozart in the Jungle”, JASON SCHWARTZMAN, 36, and PAUL WEITZ, 51 (co-creators) and “Transparent”, JILL SOLOWAY, 51 (creator and main writer);

Best TV movie or mini-series: “The Dresser”—which is based on a play by RONALD HARWOOD, 82; and “The Night Manager”, directed by SUSANNE BIER, 56; and “The Night of”, co-created by RICHARD PRICE, 67; and “The People v. O.J. Simpson”, which is based on a book by JEFFREY TOOBIN, 58. Toobin helped write the series, too. 

Note: As in all my columns, I only identify as Jewish those persons who have at least one Jewish parent and don’t identify with a faith other than Judaism (secular okay). Converts to Judaism, of course, I consider Jewish (whether or not they had a Jewish parent).

A Brief Note on Carrie and Debbie

As I write this, it is just a couple of days after the sudden deaths of CARRIE FISHER and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. I’ll have more to say in my next column—but here’s two things that struck me right away---a TV commentator, whose name I didn’t catch, made me smile when he said: “It would have been great to hear Carrie’s commentary on this event.” 

He’s right, of course: The witty and insightful Carrie would have said something memorable about the back-to-back passing of two Hollywood icons.

Next, I remembered that Reynolds had a recurring role as Grace’s Jewish mother on “Will and Grace”. In one episode, the script had Reynolds using several Hebrew and/or Yiddish words. I distinctly remember that she pronounced them perfectly and I thought, then, “Well, two Jewish ex-husbands and a lifetime in Hollywood certainly shows. Most Jewish actors couldn’t pronounce these words as well.”


Add Comment