Jews Making News: Kudrow, Spielberg

Jews Making News: Kudrow, Spielberg



Lisa Kudrow made it big in her last major TV production, "Friends". And now she's back on the small screen in a much darker role.
Lisa Kudrow made it big in her last major TV production, “Friends”. And now she’s back on the small screen in a much darker role.

Lisa Kudrow Moving Into the Darker Waters of “Scandal”

Lisa Kudrow’s career is taking a decidedly darker turn from her role as “Pheobe” on the hugely popular sitcom “Friends”.

ABC recently announced that Kudrow, now 50, will be joining the cast of the political drama, “Scandal” for season 3,  beginning Oct. 3. Few details have been released about Kudrow’s character arc, except for conjecture that she will be playing a politician of some sort.

“Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a former White House Communications Director, and was developed by “Grey’s Anatomy” head writer and executive producer, Shonda Rhimes.

Since “Friends,” Kudrow waded into the waters of production in her own right, namely with her Showtime series “Web Therapy” (she also stars in the program) and TLC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” Originally, “Web Therapy” began as an online-only project until Showtime picked it up for a half-hour, full series.

Kudrow joked about rumors of a “Friends” reunion, saying even she fell for it and subsequently assumed that since no one had told her, she had not be invited.

Born in Los Angeles, Calif., to Nedra Stern and Dr. Lee Kudrow, the actress is the youngest of three, with both an older sister and brother. The family was raised Jewish, tracing their ancestry back to Belarus in Eastern Europe, where Kudrow’s great-grandmother lost her life in the Holocaust.

Kudrow earned a BA in Biology from Vassar College before she took up acting.


Spielberg to Receive Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction

It was recently announced that director Steven Spielberg will be one of seven recipients awarded Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Israeli President Shimon Peres will present the award later this year for Spielberg’s “unique contribution to the memory of the Holocaust, to the State of Israel, to the Jewish people and Tikkun Olam.”

Spielberg’s work continues to be recognized with monetary benefits as well. The director was ranked by Forbes as the top-paid man in entertainment for 2013.

But a woman – that would be Madonna – tops the list.

Spielberg, meanwhile, took home $275 million from the global box office and has two new TV shows catching attention, “Under the Dome” and “The Americans.”

Spielberg, 66, began his life in Cincinnati, Ohio where he was born to parents Leah Posner and Arnold Spielberg. He and his three sisters later moved to Haddon Township, N.J. where he attended Hebrew school, as well as began holding screenings for his amateur films.

After interning at Universal Studios, Spielberg became the youngest director ever signed for a long-term deal with a major studio.


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