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Jewish World Review
May 24, 2013
/ 15 Sivan, 5773
Jewz in the Newz
Memorial Day: Jews Serving and KIA in War on Terror; Liberace Bio-Pic; Jew Wins "Survivor"; Shalom, Dr. Brothers; More
MEMORIAL DAY SPECIAL
This item is outside, strictly, celebrity news. But Memorial Day is this Monday, May 27, and I thought I'd call your attention to the great website "Jews in Green," which is about all aspects of Jews in the military--including those who served in the past and those currently serving.
JEWS IN GREEN
The Jews in Green site contains a list (and linked bios) of those Jews who have fallen in "the war against terror" beginning on Sept. 11, 2001. Most died in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But one died in the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11. Most are Americans, but there is one British Jewish serviceman, and one Australian Jewish serviceman, among the fallen.
Back in 2004, I wrote an article, originally for the Forward newspaper, which contained the first such list of Jewish service people killed in this war. In updated format, it was re-posted on Jewish World Review.
Since that time, Forward newspaper staff journalists and Jews in Green website editors have (sadly) updated the list as more Jewish service people have been killed in this ongoing war.
LIBERACE: BEHIND THE SCHMALTZ
Liberace (1919-1987) was, in his own way, just about as weird as music producer PHIL SPECTOR, now 73, and like Spector, is perfect fodder for an HBO bio-pic ("Behind the Candelabra" premieres on Sunday, May 26, at 9PM). MICHAEL DOUGLAS, 68, plays Liberace, who soared to TV stardom in the early '50s as a light classical pianist who jazzed things up with flamboyant costumes, fancy candelabra laden pianos, and a beaming smile. The film centers on the gay relationship between Liberace and Scott Thorson (Matt Damon). It features the last score composed by the late MARVIN HAMLISCH.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh, co-stars include: Dan Akroyd as Liberace's real-life manager, SEYMOUR HELLER. A genuinely good guy, Heller was Liberace's manager from 1950 until the pianist's death; PAUL REISER, 56, as "Mr. Feld," a character who is a composite of Thorson's lawyers; Debbie Reynolds as Liberace's mother; and Rob Lowe as the drug-addicted, incompetent plastic surgeon Jack Startz (who I think was Jewish). By the way, Lowe's wife is Jewish and their two sons were raised Jewish.
In 1977, Liberace met Thorson, then a 16-year-old vet's assistant and became his lover. He showered Thorson with gifts and put him in his stage show. According to Thorson's memoir, the relationship foundered because Liberace was unfaithful and because Liberace insisted that Thorson have multiple plastic surgeries to look like a young Liberace! Thorson says that these painful surgeries helped turn him into a drug addict He sued Liberace for palimony in 1982 and settled for a smallish sum in 1986, a year before Liberace died of AIDS.
ANOTHER JEW "SURVIVES"
I just got tipped off that JOHN COCHRAN, the winner of the just-concluded TV season of "Survivor" ("Caramon"), is Jewish. This tip was borne by two 2011 twitter tweets. In one, Cochran, 25, explained his last name: "It's an Irish name (father's Irish Catholic). My mother's Jewish, though!" In another, he responded to a Happy Chanukah wish with: "Chag sameach!"
A Harvard Law school grad, Cochran previously competed on the show in 2011 ("South Pacific"), but didn't win. His win this season was by unanimous vote and that's only happened two other times in 25 prior competitions.
The Happy Chanukah tweet that Cochran responded to was also directed to ETHAN ZOHN, 39, and STEPHEN FISHBACH, 34. Zohn won "Survivor: Africa" in 2002. A pro soccer player, he has fought a decade long battle with cancer and he now says he's cancer-free.
Fishbach finished second in the 2009 competition, "Survivor: Tocantins." He was the valedictorian of the same Los Angeles high school class that included school basketball players JASON SEGEL (later an actor) and Jason Collins (the pro player who just came out as gay).
|INTERESTED IN YOUR FAMILY HISTORY?|
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So here's the deal: Send Nate an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell him you saw this ad on Jewish World Review and include your phone number (area code too). Nate will contact you about doing a limited family history for a modest cost (no more than $100). No upfront cost. Open to everybody; of any religious/ethnic background.
THE LAST HANGOVER
"The Hangover Part III," we are promised, will be the last "Hangover" film and, unlike the second entry in the series, will not largely repeat the plot of the first. This time the gang goes on a road trip-but there's no wedding or bachelor party. Once again, TODD PHILLIPS, 42, directs, with the whole original crew on-board, including JUSTIN BARTHA, 34, and veteran JEFFREY TAMBOR, 69. (Opened Thursday, May 23)
Dr. JOYCE BROTHERS, the famous psychologist, died on May 13, age 85. Here's some Jewish and family "color" not found in most obits: she was born Joyce Bauer, the daughter of two attorneys who were practicing Jews. She graduated from Cornell Univ., where she was a member of the mostly Jewish Sigma Delta Tau sorority. In 1949, she wed MILTON BROTHERS, then a medical student, later an internist. They had one daughter, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She was a longtime member of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies. In 1968, she received a merit award from Bar Ilan University.
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© 2013, Nate Bloom