Jews Making News: Shatner, Ford

Jews Making News: Shatner, Ford

Stratford Festival Honoring Shatner

Turns out Cpt. Kirk got his start with "The Bard".
Turns out Cpt. Kirk got his start with “The Bard”.

The Ontario-based Stratford Festival, formerly known as the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, is recognizing William Shatner with this year’s Legacy Award.

A native to Canada, Shatner is a former member of the theater company, having performed from 1954 to 1957. He will be the third recipient of the Legacy award, preceded by actors Christopher Plummer and Dame Maggie Smith.

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A fundraising gala will be held Oct. 21 in Toronto where the award will be presented.

In the meantime, Shatner will be visiting our own city of Atlanta for the 27th annual Dragon Con over Labor Day weekend. He will be appearing at a number of sci-fi, fantasy and general fan culture conventions, breaking his self-imposed boycott of said events after coming to terms with the reality of just how many Trekkies had been neglected.

Raised in Canada, Shatner comes from a long line of Jews on both sides of his family, largely originating from Easter Europe. The name Shatner is an Anglicized version of his paternal grandfather’s surname “Shattner.” As a child, Shatner was raised in Conservative Judaism and belonged to a Conservative synagogue in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Move over Bruce, Harrison Is taking Over

In a dramatic, well-publicized turn of events, Harrison Ford will be replacing Bruce Willis in the upcoming action installment, “The Expendables 3.” The movie’s writer and star, Sylvester Stallone bashed Willis over Twitter, calling Willis both “greedy and lazy.” The new role marks only one of many projects for Ford, now 71, appearing in the upcoming sci-fi film, “Ender’s Game” and Jackie Robinson biopic “42.”

When he’s not filming blockbusters, Ford has been seen chatting with the likes of former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton about global conservation issues at this May’s Conservation International’s (IC) Gala Dinner. Ford has been a board member of the IC for more than 20 years and continues to help raise awareness.

Ford was born to mother Dorothy Nidelman and John William Ford, and has a younger brother, Terence Ford. His maternal grandparents, Harry Nidelman and Anna Lifschutz, immigrated to America from Minsk, Belarus. At first interested in radio work, Ford was discovered by George Lucas when the director hired him to build cabinets in his home.



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