Superman & Soleil are back; CNN changes, Sammy’s daughter

Emmanuelle Chriqui stars as Lana Lang in the new CW series “Superman & Lois.”

By Nate Bloom, Special to the Jewish Light

“Superman & Lois,” a new CW series, premiered on Feb. 23 and moved to its regular time slot (8 p.m.) on March 2 (catch-up on episodes via on-demand or CW web site/app). This iteration of the Man of Steel saga finds Clark Kent (Superman) and Lois Lane married, with two sons, and looking to live again in Smallville, Clark’s boyhood home. EMMANUELLE CHRIQUI, 45 (Sloan on “Entourage”) has a recurring role as Lana Lang, an old friend of Clark who still lives in Smallville. Also appearing in a recurring role is STACEY FARBER, 33. She plays Leslie Larr, a business honcho.   

Both actresses are Canadian. Chriqui’s parents were Sephardi Moroccan Jews who settled in Montreal. Farber grew-up in Toronto and, like many Canadians, got her start with a big role on the popular Canadian series “DeGrassi High: The Next Generation.” Next year, she will also have a recurring role on “Virgin River,” a hit Netflix drama series.   

After years of relative obscurity, SOLEIL MOON FRYE, 43, is back. A 10-episode re-boot of “Punky Brewster,” the popular ’80s sitcom, began streaming on the Peacock Channel on Feb. 25. In the original, Punky (Frye) was a warm and funny 7-year-old abandoned by her parents. Luckily, she met a kind old man who eventually became her legal foster parent. In the new version, Izzy, a young girl who is suffering in the foster system, is taken in by (the adult) Punky (Frye, again).  

In 1998, Frye wed TV producer JASON GOLDBERG, now 48, in a traditional Jewish ceremony and they have had four children.

Sadly, they separated last year. But Goldberg is the producer of Frye’s new documentary, “kid 90.” Back in the ’90s, a teenage Frye always carried a video camera and amassed tons of footage (many shots of famous teens). Those videos provide a focus for (director) Frye and about a dozen actors, all about her age, to talk about fame, sex, drugs, aging, and the unique problems of young female actors. It starts streaming March 12 on Hulu.   

March is the last month in which WOLF BLITZER, 74, will hold the title of “lead political anchor” of CNN. Starting April 1, JAKE TAPPER, 51, will assume that title. Also, on April 1, Blitzer’s daily CNN program, “The Situation Room,” will be reduced from two hours to one. “The Lead with Jake Tapper” will expand to two hours. Meanwhile, Tapper has already begun to share his Sunday program, “The State of the Union,” with correspondent DANA BASH, 49. They host on alternate weeks.  

All three have strong Jewish backgrounds. Blitzer is the son of Auschwitz survivors and became fluent in Hebrew while working for the Jerusalem Post. Tapper is a Jewish day school grad. His mother is a Jew-by-choice, as is his wife, JENNIFER BROWN, 43, a Missourian who grew-up near Kansas City. He was married by his brother’s wife, a Conservative rabbi. 

Bash’s mother has a master’s degree in Jewish studies. She was formerly married to JEREMY BASH, the son of a Conservative rabbi, and CNN correspondent JOHN KING, 59, who converted to Judaism before marrying Bash.  

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It occurred to me that if “SNL” ever revives “Hanukkah Harry” —  the fantasy character who brings presents to Jewish kids — Harry could name his reindeer Bash, Blitzer and Tapper. Just sounds right somehow.   

A few weeks ago, I came across a publicity release from last October that said that a biopic about SAMMY DAVIS JR. (1925-1990) was in the works, and that the film would be based on a 2014 memoir, “Sammy Davis Jr.: A Personal Journey with My Father,” by TRACEY DAVIS. The release noted that Tracey Davis said she was “thrilled” by the announcement. 

I recently got a library copy of the book, a lavish production with great photos. Tracey writes about some of her family’s Jewish ties, and she includes the full text of a moving statement that a rabbi made as he presided over the 1960 interracial wedding of her father to Swedish-born actress MAY BRITT, now 86 (both converted to Judaism before the wedding).   

Tracey said her mother always celebrated Shabbat on Friday night, but, sadly, her father was rarely there because he was “always” working. She added that his work schedule, and not a lack of love, caused her parents to divorce in 1968.

Last week, I looked up Tracey and was shocked to learn she died on Nov. 2, age 59, following an unspecified “short illness.” She is survived by her four children, three brothers and her mother.