Jay Scott Greenspan, better known by his stage name Jason Alexander, is an actor, comedian, film director, and television host from the United States. He is best known for his portrayal as George Costanza in the television sitcom Seinfeld (1989–1998), for which he received seven consecutive Primetime Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe nominations. Phillip Stuckey in the film Pretty Woman (1990), comic relief gargoyle Hugo in the Disney animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and the main character in the cartoon series Duckman (1994–1997) are among his other notable appearances. He’s also appeared in episodes of Dream On (1994), Curb Your Enthusiasm (2001, 2009), and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2001, 2009). (2019). He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his participation in Dream On. For “The Bad Guys?” on Brainwashed By Toons, he earned the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Song in 2020. Alexander has acted in a number of Broadway musicals, notably Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical in 1989. He had an appearance in The Producers in Los Angeles. He directed several musicals as the artistic director of “Reprise! Broadway’s Best in Los Angeles.”
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Jason Alexander is a $50 million-plus American born actor, comedian, director, producer, singer, and writer. Supporting cast members Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, and Jason Alexander were paid a pittance for their efforts on Seinfeld for the first three seasons. Before season 5, in 1993, they were able to negotiate hikes that saw them each receive $150,000 per episode, or $3.8 million every season. Supporting cast members fought for a huge raise in May 1997, looking for $1 million each episode and/ or backend ownership points.
Greenspan was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Jewish parents Ruth Minnie (née Simon), a nurse and health care administrator, and Alexander B. Greenspan, an accounting manager, after whom Jason acquired his stage name. Karen Van Horne is his half-sister, and Michael Greenspan is his half-brother.
Alexander is a 1977 Livingston High School graduate who grew up in Maplewood and Livingston, New Jersey.
He had always been fascinated by magic and intended to become a magician, but was warned at a magic camp that his hands were too little for card magic. He developed an interest in theatre and soon realised, “Wait a minute—all it’s a trick of the light. Nothing was real up there,” and the play was a “magic act.” “. He then chose to seek a career in the theatre.
Alexander is an outstanding singer and dancer who began his performing career on the New York stage. He won the 1989 Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performances in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, Kander & Ebb’s The Rink, Neil Simon’s Broadway Bound, Accomplice, and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. In 2003, he was cast opposite Martin Short in Mel Brooks’ The Producers in a Los Angeles production. He also played Jacob Marley in the 2004 musical adaption of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, alongside Kelsey Grammer. He continues to participate in live events, including Barbra Streisand’s legendary birthday party for Sondheim at the Hollywood Bowl, when he and Angela Lansbury played scenes from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Alexander is most known for playing the clumsy George Costanza (Jerry Seinfeld’s character’s best friend since boyhood) on the award-winning television sitcom Seinfeld. For the part, he was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards, although he did not win any of them, owing to his co-star Michael Richards’ triumph for his portrayal as Cosmo Kramer. He did, however, receive the 1995 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance. Alexander has previously starred in advertisements for John Deere and McDonald’s, as well as in the CBS sitcom Everything’s Relative (1987).
He voiced the principal character in the animated series Duckman (1994–1997), and Catbert, the wicked director of human resources, in the short-lived animated series Dilbert, based on the iconic comic strip, at the same time as his Seinfeld part. Alexander made cameo cameos as himself in the second season of Curb Your Enthusiasm and with his three main Seinfeld co-stars in the seventh season. He played Al “Sexual” Harris (a frequent perpetrator of sexual harassment) in the ABC sitcom Dinosaurs, among other roles. Despite a great film and stage career, Alexander was never able to replicate his Seinfeld success on television. Alexander portrayed Olix the bartender in The Orville in 2018. In the same year, he appeared in two episodes of Young Sheldon as Gene Lundy, a theatrical teacher. On one episode in 2021, he resumed his role as Gene Lundy.
In 2019, Alexander played Asher Friedman, a blacklisted Broadway playwright who is an old friend of Midge Maisel’s father Abe Weissman, on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Films and magic shows
Alexander has also appeared in Love! Valour! Compassion!, Dunston Checks In, Love and Action in Chicago, The Last Supper, and Jacob’s Ladder, in addition to his performances as an insensitive, money-hungry lawyer in Pretty Woman and as clumsy womaniser Mauricio in Shallow Hal. In Disney’s 1996 animated picture The Hunchback of Notre Dame and its direct-to-video sequel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, he voiced the gargoyle Hugo. House of Mouse and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance are two of his other Disney voice roles.
Beginning with 1996’s For Better or Worse and 1999’s Just Looking, he dabbled in directing. In the 2002 film The Man Who Saved Christmas, he played toymaker A.C. Gilbert. From April 24 to 30, 2006, Alexander performed a mentalism and magic act at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, for which he was later named The Academy of Magical Arts Parlor Magician of the Year. In 1989, he received the Academy’s Junior Achievement Award.