Jews in the News: Randy Newman, Mel Brooks and Mila Kunis

Lee, the band’s bassist and lead vocalist, is an icon for progressive rock devotees. Lee was born Gary Lee Weinrib, the son of two concentration camp survivors. He’s referenced his parents’ experience in a couple of “Rush” songs. In 1995, he accompanied his mother to Bergen-Belsen to mark the 50th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.


Adler has worn many hats. His record company discovered the Mamas and the Papas. He was a mentor to CAROLE KING, 71, who sang a song in his honor at the ceremony. He produced the great (for-charity) 1967 Monterey Pop festival, which showcased incredibly talented new faces in rock music, like Jimi Hendrix.  Also, Adler had the great sense (and great mazel) to buy up the rights to the stage version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and turn it into a movie. 


By the way, Adler is the guy who always sits courtside at Lakers’ games, next to Jack Nicholson, and Nicholson was at the HOF ceremony.


On Monday, May 20, at 9PM, most PBS stations will show an “American Experience” documentary about MEL BROOKS, 86. This is the first time Brooks has helped in the making of a documentary about him and he says he’s very pleased with the film.  "American Experience" is a very high quality program and it is an honor even to be selected as the subject of one of their biographical programs.


Saving Earth, Again


J.J. ABRAMS, 46, the director of “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” says that this will be the last time he helms a ‘re-boot’ of the “Trek” franchise (Opens today). Abrams’ first Trek pic, “Star Trek” (2009), was a box office and critical success. Advance reviews of “Darkness” indicate Abrams will go out on a very high note. Chris Pine, whose maternal grandpa was Jewish, returns as Capt. Kirk. ANTON YELCHIN, 24, once again plays Ensign Pavel Chevkov.


Pretty Women News


As I write this, actress MILA KUNIS, 29, and her boyfriend of about a year, actor Ashton Kutcher, are reportedly set to travel to Israel. Kutcher is supposed to check out some high tech companies and, perhaps, touch base with his Israel-based Kabbalah Centre buddies.  Reports that Kunis is not enamored with the semi-cultish Centre seem borne out by the fact that she’s never spotted going to Centre facilities with Kutcher. Reports that Kutcher is about to convert to mainstream Judaism are only found in the “make-it-up” corners of the internet.  Still, according to NATALIE PORTMAN, 31, Kutcher knows a great deal about Judaism and can read Hebrew (it’s unclear if he can speak/understand much Hebrew). On the positive side: he probably is the driving force in getting Kunis to visit Israel and may actually lead her to be more formally (mainstream) religious. In short, it’s hard to say how the relationship between Kutcher, who follows a “Jew-Ish” religion (Kabbalah Centre), and Kunis, who has a firm, if almost completely secular Jewish identity, will play out.  By the way, FHM magazine just selected Kunis as their 2013 “sexiest woman in the world.” I guess it’s an honor, even though FHM, a UK based mag, has a peculiar idea of the “world”: almost all the women on the list are Brits and Americans and most Americans wouldn’t know who most of the Brits on the list are.


Actress KAT DENNINGS, 26 (“2 Broke Girls”) recently appeared on “The Chelsea Handler Show” and told HANDLER, 38, that she and big-time rap star DRAKE, 26, are just friends. A couple of months ago, Drake tweeted something nice about her (they met long ago when they worked on an indie film). This lead to a flood of tweets from Drake fans directed to Dennings’ twitter account. Rumors that they were dating went into overdrive when they were spotted dining at a sushi restaurant. Dennings, who is dating a TV series co-star, added that Drake is “very intelligent and a perfect gentleman.” She was a bit weirded-out, however, by the hovering presence of Drake’s large security entourage.



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