Celebrity news

Mrs. Maisel returns, Law and Order reboot and other Jewish celebrity news

Alex Borstein (left) and Rachel Brosnahan in ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.’ Picture: Amazon Prime

NATE BLOOM, Jewish Light Special

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Amazon Prime’s hit series about a Jewish comedian, finally returns for an eight-episode fourth season on Feb. 18 after the pandemic long delayed filming. New episodes of “Maisel” were last released in December 2019. Two episodes will be, as they say, “dropped” on February 18, and every following Friday another two episodes will be released.

Most of the main characters in “Maisel” are meant to be Jewish. Here, first, are the Jewish actors playing Jews: MICHAEL ZEGEN42 (Joel, Mrs. Maisel’s ex-husband); KEVIN POLLAK64 (father of Joel); CAROLINE ARON, 64 (Joel’s mother); and ALEX BORSTEIN50 (Susie Myerson, Mrs. Maisel’s manager).

I have long wondered if Myerson was supposed to be Jewish. Then Borstein confirmed that Myerson was Jewish in a 2019 interview — noting that Myerson, unlike other Jewish characters, comes from a working-class background.

Here are the non-Jews who play the Jews: Rachel Brosnahan, who plays Mrs. Midge Maisel (the main character); Marin Hinkle, who plays Midge’s mother; and Tony Shalhoub, who plays Midge’s father. Also note: 60s comedian in real life LENNY-BRUCEwho had a big recurring role in seasons 1-2, will have a big role in season 4. Luke Kirby, who plays Bruce, is not Jewish.


Reports indicate that the comedic material Ms. Maisel uses on stage will become more explicit and “hip” as the series moves further into the “culture-changing” 1960s.

“Lincoln’s Dilemma” is a four-part documentary that will be released in its entirety on Apple+ on February 18. It follows Lincoln’s complex journey to end slavery and his changing views on the status of African Americans. The story is told by a panel of eminent historians, educators and journalists. Emmy-nominated actors Bill Camp and Jeffrey Wright provide the voices of Frederick Douglass and Lincoln, respectively.

The documentary was made by BARAK GOODMAN, 57. Over the past 30 years, he has directed and/or produced 34 documentaries and won two Emmys. Many of his films first aired on the PBS series “The American Experience.” His wife, RACHEL DRETZIN55, has also produced and/or directed numerous documentaries, including 14 PBS “Frontline” documentaries.

His mother is JOANNE MERLIN, 90, a busy character actress. She is the last living “credited” actress or actress in “The Ten Commandments” (1956). You might know her from 43 appearances on “Law and Order: SVU” as Judge Lena Petrovsky.

The original ‘Law and Order’ series ran from 1990 to 2010 and spanned several ‘spin-offs’ including ‘Law and Order; SVU. A reboot of the original series is set to air on NBC on February 24 (7 p.m.). Sam Waterston returns as Jack McCoy, the (Chief) Manhattan District Attorney. He played this role for the last three seasons of the original. Prior to his promotion, McCoy was the top assistant district attorney for 12 seasons.

Fans will recall that McCoy worked, for five seasons, under Adam Schiff, the (Jewish) Manhattan District Attorney. Schiff was played by the late STEVEN HILL, an Orthodox Jew. The beautifully acted and well-written interaction between Schiff and McCoy was one of the highlights of the original series.

In the reboot, the best DA assistants are played by Hugh Dancy and ODELYA HALEVI, 30 years. Halevi was born and raised in Israel, the granddaughter of Yemeni Jewish immigrants. After a year of military service, she moved to the United States at age 19. She had many small roles. His reboot role in “Law and Order” is a huge career break.

CAMRYN MANHEIM60 years old, a well-known TV actress (“The Practice”, “Ghost Whisperer”), landed a plum role as the detective in charge of the entire police squad room.


“Kimi,” an HBO original movie, began streaming on February 10. ZOE KRAVITZ, 33, plays Angela, an agoraphobic technician who works from home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She discovers evidence of a violent crime while examining a data feed, but her discovery is ignored by her company. She realizes that she may have to go out to contact people who will take her seriously. (Next month, look for Kravitz as Catwoman in the new reboot of the Batman film series, titled “The Batman.”)

“Uncharted” opened on February 11. Tom Holland (the newest Spiderman) and Mark Wahlberg co-star as partners who fend off the bad guys as they pursue a long-sunken Spanish treasure ship.

The movie was made by RUBEN FLEISCHER47 years. He directed the two “Zombieland” films, which were critical and box office successes.