Sydney Pollack

Movie director, producer, and actor Sydney Pollack, whose star-packed films included Tootsie, Out of Africa, The Way We Were, Absence of Malice, Three Days of the Condor, and They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, was born to immigrant parents in Lafayette, Indiana on this date in 1934. Pollack learned the directing trade through television work on “Ben […]

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March 13: The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician

Lee Falk (Leon Harrison Gross), creator of the enduring comic strips “The Phantom” and “Mandrake the Magician,” died at 87 on this date in 1999. The Phantom strip began in February 1936 and achieved a presence in more than 500 newspapers. It featured a costumed crime-fighter operating from a fictional African country called Bangalla who […]

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Jewish-Goyish

Lenny Bruce’s Mission to America by Lawrence Bush from the Summer 2016 issue of Jewish Currents LEONARD ALFRED SCHNEIDER, who took the stage as Lenny Bruce, died half a century ago on August 3, 1966, age 40. He was not the nice Jewish boy you’d want your daughter or son to marry. A drug abuser, […]

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August 3: Leon Uris

Leon Uris, the bestselling author of Exodus (1958, about the founding of Israel) and Mila 18 (1961, about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising), was born in Baltimore on this date in 1924. A high-school dropout who failed English three times, Uris enlisted in the Marine Corps after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; his first novel, […]

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March 25: “You Are There”

Humorist, critic, radio host, and television writer Goodman Ace (Aiskowitz), best known as the creator of You Are There, died at 83 on this date in 1982. In his own hey-day, Ace was a well-known kibitzer and culture critic. He played opposite his malaprop-dropping wife, Jane Ace (Epstein) in the comedic radio show Easy Aces […]

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September 26: Paul Newman

Actor, activist, and philanthropist Paul Newman died at 83 on this date in 2008. Newman was the son of a Jewish father and a Christian Scientist mother, but described himself in his adulthood as a Jew, saying that “it’s more of a challenge.” Known for his good looks, piercing blue eyes (yet he was colorblind), […]

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