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Jason Alexander

Alexander in 2008
Born Jay Scott Greenspan[1]
September 23, 1959 (1959-09-23) (age 50)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Actor, comedian, singer
Years active 1981 – present
Spouse(s) Daena E. Title (1982-present)
(2 children)

Jason Alexander (born September 23, 1959) is an American actor, comedian and singer. He is best known for his role as George Costanza on the television series Seinfeld, appearing in the sitcom from 1989 to 1998. He also has had an active career on the stage, appearing in several Broadway musicals including Jerome Robbins' Broadway in 1989, for which he won the Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical. He appeared in the Los Angeles production of The Producers with Martin Short. He is the Artistic Director of "Reprise! Broadway's Best in Los Angeles", where he has directed several musicals. Alexander is also an avid poker player.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Alexander was born Jay Scott Greenspan in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Jewish parents Ruth Minnie (née Simon), a nurse and health care administrator, and Alexander B. Greenspan, an accounting manager.[2] He has a half-sister, Karen Van Horn, and a half-brother, Andrew Richter (who teaches at the University of Windsor). Alexander is a 1977 graduate of Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey. Alexander had a very wheezy voice growing up, primarily because of his asthma. He attended Boston University but left the summer before his senior year, after getting work in New York City. He was later given an honorary degree in 1995. He is a talented magician, and only switched to acting as a career when he realized that he was unlikely to succeed as a magician.[3]

Stage career

Alexander began his acting career on the New York stage and is an accomplished singer and dancer. On Broadway, he appeared in Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, Kander & Ebb's The Rink, Neil Simon's Broadway Bound, Accomplice, and Jerome Robbins' Broadway, for which he garnered the 1989 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Returning to the stage in 2003, Alexander was cast in a successful run, opposite Martin Short, in the Los Angeles production of Mel Brooks' The Producers.[4] Alexander also appeared with Kelsey Grammer in the 2004 musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He played Jacob Marley to Grammer's Ebenezer Scrooge.

Alexander continues to appear in live stage shows, including Barbra Streisand's memorable birthday party for Stephen Sondheim at the Hollywood Bowl, in which he appeared with Angela Lansbury, performing selections from Sweeney Todd. Alexander was recently named the Artistic Director of Reprise! Broadway's Best in Los Angeles, where he previously directed Sunday in the Park with George. He is scheduled to direct the upcoming revival of Damn Yankees at Reprise!

Television

Alexander is best known as one of the key cast members of the award-winning television sitcom Seinfeld (1989-1998), in which he played George Costanza (the Jerry Seinfeld character's best friend since childhood). Concurrently with his Seinfeld role, Alexander provided the voice of the lead character in the cult animated series Duckman (1994-1997). Alexander also voiced Catbert, the evil director of human resources, in the short-lived Dilbert animated series based on the popular comic strip. He made cameo appearances in the second season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, playing himself. Alexander also appeared in the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, along with the other three principal Seinfeld cast members.[5]

Alexander co-starred with George Clooney and Elliot Gould in the short-lived CBS sitcom E/R from 1984-1985. He played Hospital Administrator Harold Stickley.

Alexander also had a part in the ABC sitcom Dinosaurs, as Al "Sexual" Harris (who frequently engaged in sexual harassment). Despite a relatively successful career in film and stage, Alexander never managed to repeat his Seinfeld-level of success in television. 2001 marked his first post-Seinfeld return to prime-time television: the heavily-promoted but short-lived ABC sitcom Bob Patterson (which was canceled after just 5 episodes). His second chance as a TV series lead, the CBS sitcom Listen Up! (September 20, 2004 to April 25, 2005), also fell short of a second season. Based very loosely on the life of the popular sports-media personality Tony Kornheiser, Alexander was also the series' principal executive producer.

Alexander appears on the Family Guy: Live in Vegas CD singing a verse in the song "All Cartoons are Fuckin' Dicks".

He was featured in the Friends episode "The One Where Rosita Dies" as a suicidal supply manager named Earl. Phoebe rings him trying to sell him toner and she learns about his problem and tries to convince him not to commit suicide. This is referred to in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle where Alexander appears as a neurotic and critical loner called Leonard. He describes himself as free and mentions that he makes money with a job "selling toner over the phone". Also in the episode, he is repeatedly harassed by a man named George - his character's name on Seinfeld.

Alexander appeared in the 1995 TV version of the Broadway musical "Bye Bye Birdie", as Conrad Birdie's agent, Albert Peterson.

Alexander appeared on Star Trek: Voyager on the episode "Think Tank" playing a genius alien named Kurros who was trying to get Seven of Nine to serve on his ship.

He appeared in the first episode of the short-lived 2002 revival of The Twilight Zone, playing Death. He featured in the 2005 Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Other Detective" as Monk's rival, Marty Eels. On the June 26, 2006 episode of the Jimmy Kimmel Live! talk show, Alexander demonstrated several self-defense techniques. He was also the Host of the 230th July 4, 2006 of the PBS July 4 "A Capitol Fourth" Celebrations in Washington, D.C. in which he sang, danced, and played tuned drums.

On August 6, 2006, Alexander signed on to feature as a regular cast member in the second season of Everybody Hates Chris. Alexander was the host of the Comedy Central Roast of actor William Shatner on August 13, 2006 (first airdate: August 20, 2006). In 2007, Alexander was a guest star in the third episode of the improv comedy series Thank God You're Here. He is also a frequent guest and panelist on: Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect and Real Time shows; Hollywood Squares; the Late Late Show, with both Craig Kilborn and Craig Ferguson; and, the Late Show with David Letterman.

In 2008, Alexander guest-starred as a well-educated serial killer on the CBS show Criminal Minds, in the season four episode "Masterpiece". He returned to direct the later episode "Conflicted".

Movies

In addition to his roles as a misogynistic lawyer in Pretty Woman, co-starring with Richard Gere, and as the womanizer Mauricio in Shallow Hal, with Jack Black, Alexander has appeared in Love! Valour! Compassion!, Dunston Checks In, The Last Supper, psychological horror film Jacob's Ladder and "Hood of Horror".

He has also dabbled in the art of directing, starting with 1996's For Better or Worse and 1999's Just Looking. He also played the phenomenally successful US toymaker A.C. Gilbert in the 2002 movie: The Man Who Saved Christmas.

Other work

Alexander performing at an Independence Day celebration at the U.S. Capitol in 2006.

Alexander is also featured in country music star Brad Paisley's music videos "Celebrity" and "Online," the later of which he directed and won the 2007 Country Music Association's Video of the Year Award.

In January 1995, Alexander did a commercial for Rold Gold pretzels to be broadcast during the Super Bowl. The commercial depicts Jason with Frasier dog "Eddie" jumping out of an airplane with a parachute over the stadium. After the commercial, we're brought back to a supposedly "live feed" of the playing field hearing startled sports commentators as we see Jason and the dog landing in the field to applause from the crowd.

In the summer of 2005, he appeared with Lee Iacocca in ads for DaimlerChrysler. Lee Iacocca did the ads as part of a way to raise money for Dr. Denise Faustman's research to cure autoimmunity. Both Lee Iacocca and Jason Alexander have had loved ones whose lives have been adversely affected by autoimmunity.

Alexander has also done a McDonald's commercial advertising the McDLT, in which he sings. He has also appeared in KFC commercials, including one with baseball superstar Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants and another one opposite Trista Rehn of The Bachelorette. It was rumored that he no longer appears in these commercials due to the alleged cruelty to animals by KFC suppliers and slaughterhouses, but he refuted that in Adweek [August 2, 2006]. Alexander said, "That's PETA bullcrap. I loved working for KFC. I was targeted by PETA to broker something between them. I think KFC really stepped up to the plate; unfortunately PETA did not."

He performed a mentalism and magic act at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California on April 24-30 2006. He has been awarded the Parlor Magician of the year award at the Castle.

Alexander was the national spokesman for the Scleroderma Foundation, a leading organization dedicated to raising awareness of the disease and assisting those who are afflicted.

He also voiced the character Abis Mal in The Return of Jafar.

Jason Alexander guest starred in Malcolm in the Middle as an intelligent but unpleasant and unsuccessful individual(Lenard) who Malcolm meets in the park. He makes money as a telephone salesman and spends his time playing chess in the park. Like Malcolm, he is sarcastic and arrogant. Malcolm, afraid of ending up like Lenard, tries to get Lenard to change his ways and get a full time job.

Playing poker

In recent years, Alexander has also competed on televised poker shows and in various tournaments. He has appeared twice on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, winning the final table of the 8th season. In the process, Alexander won $500,000 for United Way of America of the greater New Orleans area, a charity.

An avid poker player, Jason was also one of the "famous faces"[6] due to being a regular player on the online poker website Hollywood Poker which is run in conjunction with Ongame Network. Alexander also played in the 2007 World Series of Poker main event, but was eliminated on the second day. He returned to play in 2009. He made it to Day 3 of the event, finishing in the top 30% of the field.

Alexander has also appeared on NBC's Poker After Dark in the "Celebrities and Mentors" episode, finishing in 6th place after being eliminated by professional poker player Gavin Smith. He is currently signed with PokerStars where he plays under the screen name "J. Alexander"

Recent appearances

Jason Alexander was host of the LOL Sudbury opening night Gala in Sudbury, Ontario on May 29, 2008 which was simulcast throughout Canada at 60 Cineplex theaters, a first for any comedy festival.

He has loaned his voice to several episodes of the Twilight Zone Radio Dramas.

Jason Alexander explained on Real Time with Bill Maher (July 17, 2009) that he has visited Israel many times. On his appearance, he spoke about progress towards peace that he has recently observed.

In 2008 and again in 2009, Alexander fronted "Jason Alexander's Comedy Spectacular", a routine exclusive to Australia. The show consists of stand-up and improvisation and incorporates Alexander's Broadway musical talent. He is backed up by a number of well-known Australian comedians. His first time performing a similar show of this nature was in 2006 for "Jason Alexander's Comedy Christmas."

In February/March 2010, Alexander will be starring in his own show: "The Donny Clay Experience" at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Personal life

He has been married to Daena E. Title since May 31, 1982. They have two children, Gabriel (b. May 1992) and Noah (b. February 1996).

He is also the uncle and godfather of the Irish born actor Stephen Mullan, who appeared in movies such as She's All That and Tigerland. His brother-in-law is actor/writer/director Jonathan Penner (husband to Daena Title's sister Stacy) who appeared on Survivor: Cook Islands and left due to injury on Survivor: Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites.

According to an FX trivia question during a viewing of Shallow Hal, Alexander started losing his hair at age 16.

He once acted in a dramatic play in Toronto called "Pearson Ole." The play also starred Wu-Tang affiliate F Jady and CGO Shah. Alexander co-wrote the play with filmmaker Nicholas Leone.

On January 6, 2010, it was announced that Jason is the new face of the weight loss company, Jenny Craig. [7]

Filmography

Jason Alexander appeared as a magician in the television show Remember WENN in the late 90s

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Michael Crawford
for Phantom of the Opera
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical
1989
for Jerome Robbins' Broadway
Succeeded by
James Naughton
for City of Angels

Simple English

Jason Alexander
File:Jason Alexander - Independence Day
Born Jason Scott Greenspan
September 23, 1959 (1959-09-23) (age 51)
Newark, New Jersey
Spouse Daena E. Title (1981-)

Jason Alexander (born Jason Scott Greenspan on September 23, 1959) is an United States television, cinema and musical theater actor. He is famous for his role as George Costanza on the television series Seinfeld.

Filmography

  • The Burning - Dave (1981)
  • Senior Trip - Pete (1981)
  • Mosquito Coast - Clerk (1986)
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs - Pool Player (1986)
  • Seinfeld - George Costanza (1989 - 1998)
  • Pretty Woman - Philip Stuckey (1990)
  • White Palace - Neil (1990)
  • Jacob's Ladder - Geary (1990)
  • I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore - Bernie Fishbine (1992)
  • Coneheads - Neighbor Larry Farber (1993)
  • Sexual Healing (1993)
  • For Goodness Sake (993)
  • Duckman - Duckman's voice (1994 - 1997)
  • The Paper - Marion Sandusky (1994)
  • North (1994)
  • Blankman (1994)
  • The Return of Jafar - Abis Mal - voice (1994)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame - voice (1996)
  • The Last Supper (1995)
  • Dunston Checks In (1996)
  • For Better Or Worse (1996)
  • Love! Valour! Compassion! - Buzz Hauser (1997)
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle -Boris Badenov (2000)
  • The Trumpet of the Swan - voice (2001)
  • Shallow Hal - Mauricio Wilson (2001)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame II - voice (2002)
  • The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002)

Other websites








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