Jewish people in America seem to have natural abilities that lend them to Hollywood careers. The Jewish influence in Hollywood has been apparent since the dawn of its prime. The fact is, Jews are entertainers! Everyone knows the actors, singers, comedians and directors who are recognized for their Judaism like Ben Stiller, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Woody Allen, and Adam Sandler, but they aren’t the only ones. There are tons of A-list Jews that I bet you didn’t know are Jewish! Here’s the top 10 surprises.
#10- Amanda Bynes- That’s right! The once adorable and currently unstable actress was born to a Christian father and a Jewish mother. Known for her sketch comedy series, “The Amanda Show,” the Teen Nick hit show “What I Like About You,” “She’s the Man,” and countless other titles, Amanda openly regards herself as Jewish.
#9- Logan Lerman- The budding star of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and “The Perks of Being A Wallflower” is unquestionably Jewish. All four of his grandparents immigrated from various places in the world, including Poland in order to escape the Holocaust.
#8- Paula Abdul- A beloved “American Idol” judge and famous singer-songwriter, dancer, and choreographer, Abdul’s father was a Syrian Jew and her mother a Canadian Jew. Abdul is an avid Jew who goes to Synagogue regularly; there is even a video of her and her Rabbi on YouTube. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yYrLwO0cIk.
#7- Mila Kunis- Born in Ukraine, Milena Kunis and her family immigrated to the United States when she was nine. She went from speaking no English at nine to scoring a major role as Jackie on “That 70’s Show” at fourteen. She is well known for the voice of Meg Griffin in “Family Guy” and many movies including “Friends with Benefits” and “The Black Swan”.
#6- Adam Levine- You would think his last name gives him away, but Levine’s Jewish heritage is not well known! The lead singer of Maroon 5 and entrepreneur, Levine feels a strong spiritual connection to Judaism. When he was thirteen, he chose not to have a Bar Mitzvah. When interviewed later in life by The Jewish Chronicle, Levine explained his choice, “I felt as though a lot of kids were trying to cash in. They were trying to make a bunch of money, and that’s fine. I just don’t think it’s the most respectful way to deal with God and beliefs and years and years and years of cultural heritage.”
#5- Dianna Agron- Yes, the Jesus praising Quinn Fabray from “Glee” is played by a nice Jewish girl, Bat-Mitzvahed and everything! Her father immigrated from Russia with the last name Agronsky (which was altered at Ellis Island) and her mother converted. Agron even has some distant cousins here in St. Louis.
#4- Jason Segel- The hilarious comedy star of “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Muppets,” “I Love You, Man” and many other titles was born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. Although not technically Jewish, Segel considers himself a Jew and was a Bar-Mitzvah!
#3- Alyson Hannigan- Comedy Actress and star of “How I Met Your Mother” and “American Pie”, Hannigan was raised Jewish by her mother (Jewish) and her father (Irish).
#2- Josh Radnor- Another “How I Met Your Mother” star? It can’t be! Oh, but it is. Josh Radnor, well known for his role as Ted Mosby in the show is definitely Jewish. He attended an Orthodox elementary school and was raised conservative. Maybe they should rename “How I Met Your Mother” to “How I Met Your Imma.”
#1- Lisa Kudrow- Best known for the role of Phoebe Buffay in the classic T.V. show “Friends,” Kudrow was raised in a middle class Jewish family. She may have gotten a nose-job at 16 and dyed her hair blonde, but she is still Jewish inside!