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Jason Alexander

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Actor
Jason Alexander
Name Jason Scott Greenspan
Birth Date September 23, 1959
Birth Place Newark, New Jersey, US
Family Daena E. Title (wife)
Gabriel and Noah (sons)
Ruth and Alex Greenspan (parents)
Karen Van Horn (half-sister)
Andrew Richter (half-brother)
Years Active 1981 - present (onscreen)
Jason Alexander is an American actor, comedian and singer. He is best known for his role as George Costanza on the TV series Seinfeld and also has had an active and successful career on the stage, especially in several Broadway musicals.

BiographyEdit

Jason Alexander was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Jewish parents, a nurse and health care administrator, and an accounting manager. Alexander is a 1977 graduate of Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey; while living there he played flute and percussion in the Livingston Lancer's Marching Band and his acting credits got to include the shows Guys and Dolls, The Odd Couple and Oliver.

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. It wasn't until 2006 that he debuted as a professional magician at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. His act was based on studying and predicting behavioral patterns with his subjects, and he succeeded as shown by the Parlor Magician of the Year Award that he got for his spectacle.

Jason Greenspan adopted the stage name Jason Alexander while still in high school. Not only took the last name Alexander because of his father's first name, but it also helped him in auditions since the call backs were done in alphabetical order and thus he knew immediately if he was still in the running, or not, for parts. And while still in high school was when he started to loss his hair at the age of sixteen.

Costanza

The famous "Costanza" photo from Seinfeld

He attended Boston University but left a year early because he was able to find acting work in New York City during the summer before his senior year. He was later given an honorary degree in 1995. In the 2000s, he returned to University to teach acting on the faculty of the University of Southern California as the first-ever George Burns Distinguished Visiting Professor in Performance.

Alexander had a very wheezy voice growing up, primarily because of his asthma. In spite of it, he 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 in the Los Angeles production of Mel Brooks' The Producers. Alexander also appeared in the 2004 musical adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He played Jacob Marley to Kelsey Grammer's Ebenezer Scrooge. Alexander continued to appear in live stage shows, including Barbra Streisand's memorable birthday party for Stephen Sondheim at the Hollywood Bowl, in which he performed 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 has directed there the revival of Damn Yankees among other plays.

In 2008 and again in 2009, Alexander fronted Jason Alexander's Comedy Spectacular, a routine exclusive to Australia. The show consisted of stand-up and improvisation and incorporated Alexander's Broadway musical talent. He was 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 2010, Alexander began starring in his own show: The Donny Clay Experience at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Alexander hasn't got so far a lengthy career on the big screen but worth to remember some of his appearances. In addition to his roles as a misogynistic lawyer in Pretty Woman and as the womanizer Mauricio in Shallow Hal, Alexander has appeared in Love! Valour! Compassion!, Dunston Checks In, The Last Supper, psychological horror film Jacob's Ladder, and Hood of Horror. He also played the phenomenally successful US toymaker A.C. Gilbert in the 2002 movie The Man Who Saved Christmas. Currently he runs his own company in Los Angeles called Angel Ark Productions.

Alexander co-starred in the short-lived sitcom E/R from 1984-1985, where he played Hospital Administrator Harold Stickley. Alexander also had a part in the sitcom Dinosaurs, as Al 'Sexual' Harris, a character who is frequently engaged in sexual harassment. In 1994 he put the voice to Abis Mal in the series Aladdin before getting to provide the voice of the lead character in the cult animated series Duckman.

The role that would give him fame and popularity would come in the 1989-90 TV season. Alexander got to be widely known when he was cast as one of the key members of the award-winning television sitcom Seinfeld, in which he played the neurotic George Costanza (Seinfeld's best friend since childhood), a character based in part on the show's creator, Larry David. He made cameo appearances in the second season of Curb Your Enthusiasm (another Larry David's project), playing himself. Alexander also appeared in the seventh season of the series along with the other three principal Seinfeld cast members.

Despite a relatively successful career, Alexander never managed to repeat his Seinfeld-level of success in television. 2001 marked his first return to prime-time television in the heavily-promoted but short-lived sitcom Bob Patterson. His second chance as a TV series lead, the sitcom Listen Up!, 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. In between he was cast in some memorable minor roles in series like Friends, The Twilight Zone, Malcom in the Middle, Monk and Everybody Hates Chris. In 2008 Alexander guest starred as a well-educated serial killer of the series Criminal Minds and returned to direct a later episode.

One year for his birthday, his friends took him to a diner and told him to close his eyes. When he opened them, William Shatner, aka Captain James T. Kirk, was in front of him. Captain Kirk was Jason's childhood hero. He was given the opportunity to play a 'Trek' role himself with the character Kurros in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. Alexander is such an expert on 'Star Trek: The Original Series that he passed a Star Trek knowledge test on the Howard Stern program, portrayed a parody of Captain James T. Kirk in a TV special entitled Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments and went on to act with the man who originated the role of Kirk, William Shatner, in an episode of Bob Patterson (on which Alexander starred in the title role). Alexander also hosted The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner and both have appeared in the Brad Paisley music videos Celebrity and Online, the latter of which he directed and won the 2007 Country Music Association's Video of the Year Award.

Outside scripted TV he has appeared in many instances. On 2006 Alexander demonstrated several self-defense techniques in the Jimmy Kimmel Live! talk show. He was also the Host of the 230th July 4 A Capitol Fourth Celebrations in Washington, D.C. in which he sang, danced, and played tuned drums. 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.

He has been in several commercials too for McDonald's, KFC and in two memorable ones: in 1995, Alexander did a commercial to be broadcast during the Super Bowl, which depicted Jason with Frasier dog 'Eddie' jumping out of an airplane with a parachute over the stadium and, 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 in ads for DaimlerChrysler with Lee Iacocca, who did the ads as part of a way to raise money for Dr. Denise Faustman's research to cure autoimmunity, as both Lee Iacocca and Jason Alexander have had loved ones whose lives have been adversely affected by autoimmunity. Alexander did the latter as part of his compromise with the Scleroderma Foundation, a leading organization dedicated to raising awareness of the disease and assisting those who are afflicted, for which he was the national spokesman.

Jason Alexander explained on Real Time with Bill Maher (2009) that he has visited Israel many times. On his appearance, he spoke about progress towards peace that he has recently observed. Since 2004 he is a leader of One Voice, an organization which tries to propose peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

An avid poker player, Alexander has competed on televised poker shows and in various tournaments. He has appeared twice on the 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. He was also one of the 'famous faces' due to being a regular player on the online poker website Hollywood Poker and played in the 2007 World Series of Poker main event, but was eliminated on the second day. He returned to play in 2009 getting to Day 3. Alexander has too appeared on Poker After Dark in the Celebrities and Mentors episode, finishing in 6th place after being eliminated by a professional poker player and is currently signed with PokerStars where he plays under the screen name 'J. Alexander'.

Criminal MindsEdit

He portrayed serial killer Henry Grace, a narcissistic psychopath resoluted to outmaneuver Agent Rossi, in the Season Four episode Masterpiece.

Later, that same year, he directed the Season Four episode Conflicted.

FilmographyEdit

  • Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey (2010) (voice) - Moronic
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm - 5 episodes (2001-2009) TV episodes - Jason Alexander
  • Hachiko: A Dog's Story (2009) - Carl
  • Meteor - Episode #1.1 and Episode #1.2 (2009) TV episodes - Dr. Chetwyn
  • Rock Slyde (2009) - Mailman Stan
  • Criminal Minds - Masterpiece (2008) TV episode - Prof. Rothchild/Henry Grace
  • The New Adventures of Old Christine - One and a Half Men (2008) TV episode - Dr. Palmer
  • Untitled Victoria Pile Project (2008) - Lieutenant Stanley Banks
  • The Grand (2007) - Dr. Yakov Achmed
  • Everybody Hates Chris - Everybody Hates the Buddy System (2006) and Everybody Hates Snow Day (2007) TV episodes - Principal Edwards
  • Campus Ladies - A Very Special Episode (2006) TV episode - Professor
  • How to Go Out on a Date in Queens (2006) - Johnny
  • Odd Job Jack - Twenty-One You're Dead (2006) TV episode (voice) - Don
  • Hood of Horror (2006) - British Record Mogul
  • Ira & Abby (2006) - Dr. Morris Saperstein
  • Farce of the Penguins (2006) (voice) - Penguin on Belly
  • Monk - Mr. Monk and the Other Detective (2005) TV episode - Marty Eels
  • Listen Up - 22 episodes (2004-2005) TV episodes - Tony Kleinman
  • A Christmas Carol (2004) - Jacob Marley / Marley's Ghost
  • The Fairly OddParents in: Channel Chasers (2004) (voice) - Nickelodeon Manager
  • Biography - Dr. Seuss: Rhymes & Reasons (2003) TV episode (voice) - Passages Read By
  • Malcolm in the Middle - Future Malcolm (2003) TV episode - Leonard
  • 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure (2003) (voice) - Lightning
  • The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002) - A.C. Gilbert
  • The Twilight Zone - One Night at Mercy (2002) TV episode - Death
  • House of Mouse - Donald Wants to Fly (2002) TV episode (voice) - Hugo
  • Stage on Screen: The Women (2002) - Host
  • Son of the Beach - Penetration Island (2002) TV episode - Tex Finklestein
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002) (voice) - Hugo
  • Shallow Hal (2001) - Mauricio
  • Bob Patterson - 9 episodes (2001) TV episodes - Bob Patterson
  • The Legend of Tarzan - Tarzan and the Face from the Past (2001) TV episode (voice) - Zutho
  • Odessa or Bust (2001) - The Agent
  • The Trumpet of the Swan (2001) (voice) - Father
  • On Edge (2001) - Zamboni Phil
  • Friends - The One Where Rosita Dies (2001) TV episode - Earl
  • Dilbert - 9 episodes (1999-2000) TV episodes (voice) - Catbert
  • The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000) - Boris
  • Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments (1999) - Captain James T. Kirk
  • Just Looking (1999) (voice) (unaccredited) - Radio Announcer
  • Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999) - Jason Alexander
  • Love and Action in Chicago (1999) - Frank Bonner
  • Madeline: Lost in Paris (1999) (voice) - Madeline's Uncle Henri Horst
  • Star Trek: Voyager - Think Tank (1999) TV episode - Kurros
  • Jingle Bells (1999) (voice) - Elf
  • Hercules - Hercules and the Son of Poseidon (1998) TV episode (voice) - Triton
  • Seinfeld - 173 episodes (1990-1998) TV episodes - George Costanza
  • Saturday Night Live - Steve Buscemi/Third Eye Blind (1998) TV episode (voice) - Titey
  • Titey (1998) (voice) - Titey
  • Denial (1998) - Art Witz
  • Sammy the Screenplay (1997) - Dennis Bottworth, the Writer
  • Cinderella (1997) - Lionel
  • Remember WENN - Nothing Up My Sleeve (1997) TV episode - Alan Ballinger
  • Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man - 70 episodes (1994-1997) TV episodes (voice) - Eric Duckman
  • Love! Valour! Compassion! (1997) - Buzz Hauser
  • The Nanny - The Tart with Heart (1996) TV episode - Jack
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) (voice) - Hugo
  • Dunston Checks In (1996) - Robert Grant
  • Bye Bye Birdie (1995) - Albert J. Peterson
  • The Last Supper (1995) - The Anti-Environmentalist
  • For Better or Worse (1995) - Michael Makeshift
  • Aladdin - 12 episodes (1994) TV episodes (voice) - Abis Mal
  • Blankman (1994) - Mr. Stone
  • North (1994) - North's Dad
  • The Return of Jafar (1994) (voice) - Abis Mal, the Chief of the Thieves
  • The Paper (1994) - Marion Sandusky
  • Coneheads (1993) - Larry Farber
  • Dream On - Oral Sex, Lies and Videotape (1993) TV episode - Randall Townsend
  • Dinosaurs - 7 episodes (1991-1993) TV episodes (voice) - Several characters
  • Sexual Healing (1993) - Frank
  • Down on the Waterfront (1993) - Howie Silver
  • For Goodness Sake (1993) - VCR customer
  • I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore (1992) - Bernie Fishbine
  • Jacob's Ladder (1990) - Geary
  • White Palace (1990) - Neil
  • Pretty Woman (1990) - Philip Stuckey
  • The Seinfeld Chronicles (1989) - George
  • Favorite Son (1988) TV mini-series - Chris Van Allen
  • Newhart - Courtin' Disaster (1988) TV episode - Ramming
  • Everything's Relative - 10 episodes (1987) TV episodes - Julian Beeby
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986) - Pool Player #1
  • The Mosquito Coast (1986) - Hardware Clerk
  • Rockabye (1986) - Lt. Ernest Foy
  • E/R - 22 episodes (1984-1985) TV episodes - Harold Stickley
  • Senior Trip (1981) - Pete
  • The Burning (1981) - Dave

PRODUCEREdit

  • Listen Up 5 episodes (2004-2005) (producer)
  • Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004) (executive producer)
  • Agent Cody Banks (2003) (executive producer)
  • Bob Patterson (2001) TV series (executive producer) (unknown episodes)
  • Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments (1999) (executive producer)
  • The Whitey Show (1999) (co-producer)

DIRECTOREdit

  • Criminal Minds - Conflicted (2009) TV episode
  • Everybody Hates Chris - Everybody Hates Gambling (2007) and Everybody Hates Graduation (2008) TV episodes
  • Campus Ladies - A Very Special Episode (2006) TV episode
  • Just Looking (1999)
  • For Better or Worse (1995)
  • Seinfeld - The Good Samaritan (1992) TV episode

SOUNDTRACKEdit

  • Cinderella (1997) (performer: The Prince is Giving a Ball)
  • Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man - Bonfire of the Panties (1997) TV episode (performer: Jim Slate: Big Black Dick)
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) (performer: A Guy Like You)
  • Bye Bye Birdie (1995) (performer: Put On a Happy Face, A Healthy, Normal American Boy, Talk to Me, A Giant Step, Rosie)

MISCELLANEOUS CREWEdit

  • Seinfeld - Highlights of a Hundred (1995), The Clip Show: Part 1 and The Clip Show: Part 2 (1998) TV episodes (director: archive footage)

WRITEREdit

  • The Whitey Show (1999) (writer)

LINKSEdit

NotesEdit

  • He is the uncle and godfather of the Irish born actor Stephen Mullan.
  • His brother-in-law is actor/writer/director Jonathan Penner.
  • He once acted in a dramatic play in Toronto called Pearson Ole; he had co-written the play with filmmaker Nicholas Leone.
  • When he acted in Criminal Minds, much to the surprise and amusement of his fans, he had long, flowing blonde hair.

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