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Television

Jean Carroll, 1911 - 2010

Born Celine Zeigman in Paris in January 1911, the woman whom American audiences knew as the stand-up comedian Jean Carroll came to the United States with her family as a baby. She grew up in the Bronx and began her career in her early teens dancing in an amateur show. A talent agent spotted her, and soon she was performing on the vaudeville circuit.

Rebecca Lipkin, 1960 - 2009

Acclaimed journalist Rebecca Lipkin's colleagues and friends have penned glowing tributes about her storied career, consummate professionalism, and supreme news savvy. But it's obvious that she's equally revered for her warmth, inherent goodness, and sense of fun and adventure. Although I've seen splashes of Rebecca's work over the years and know that the accolades heaped upon this extraordinary woman are well deserved, that's not how I know her.

Estelle Getty, 1923 - 2008

Do I admire her because she's been described as "... evasive about her height, acknowledging only that she was under 5 feet and under 100 pounds?" Well, all the more points to Estelle Getty for being an itsy-bitsy powerhouse, but mostly I admire her for being a genuinely funny, talented woman, who never gave up on her greatest ambitions. In an industry where youth and beauty are often valued far above maturity and wit, Estelle turned the tables. She found success in her later years, cracked wise about it the whole time, and taught young women like myself a few things along the way.

Polly Spiegel Cowan, 1913 - 1976

When my mother died, my eldest brother Paul said that she was the only woman he'd ever known who had an equal passion for social justice and fashion. It was true: Pauline Spiegel Cowan profoundly cared about making the world a better place, and she adored fine clothes and beautiful furniture. Although the fire in which she and my father perished destroyed their apartment and her material possessions, her legacy of political activism remains relevant and important more than a quarter century later.

Kitty Carlisle Hart, 1911 - 2007

Kitty Carlisle Hart, 96, passed away one week after the official end of Passover. The concurrence reminded me of how few of her fans knew she was Jewish—and how lucky I was to have had the chance to hear her talk about that quiet part of her life.

We met three years ago when she granted me an interview for my book, Stars of David, which asked Jewish celebrities how much being Jewish mattered to them, and why.

Jewish girls of "Glee" gone wild?

Earlier this week, Glee's Diana Agron and Lea Michele were on the cover of GQ with co-star Cory Monteith in what can only be described as a hypersexualized spread.  Diana Agron plays popular cheerleader Quinn Fabray.  Lea Michele plays the know-it-all Jewish girl Rachel Berry. Both actresses are Jewish. (We have blogged about Jewishness on Glee here and here.)

TLC's Sister Wives: A Closer Look

I returned home from my cousin’s wedding Sunday night, happy and exhausted with barely enough energy to flop onto the couch and turn on the TV. That is how I found myself watching the two new episodes of TLC’s Sister Wives, a reality TV show about a modern polygamous family.

Will America's Next Top Model Be Modern Orthodox?

There has been a lot of talk lately in the Jewish community about a particular contestant on the CW’s reality hit America’s Next Top Model (ANTM). Esther Petrack, an 18-year-old, self-identified Modern Orthodox Jew, is an aspiring model on the show. When asked by Tyra Banks, the show’s host, whether or not she observed Shabbat, Esther said yes and proceeded to explain all that that entailed. But Tyra fired back that contestants on ANTM work on every day of the week. Would Esther be prepared to break the Sabbath in pursuit of her modeling dreams? “Yes, I would do it,” Esther replied.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" -- When Genealogy Meets Reality TV

After hearing various archivists, historians, and librarians rave or moan about the genealogy TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?” I finally got a chance to see it for myself. This show is run by the genealogy database Ancestory.com and takes various celebrities on journeys to discover their roots in an odd blend of reality TV confessionalism and historical inquiry. This is the show that recently helped “Sex and the City’s” Sarah Jessica Parker discover a distant ancestor involved in the Salem Witch Trials.

Why We Must Boycott "The Biggest Loser" Casting Call for Jews

I just found out that NBC's The Biggest Loser is looking to cast Jews in it's upcoming season. The casting agents will be in Boston July 24 and are even offering a handful of "VIP audition passes" through JewishBoston.com.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Television." (Viewed on October 23, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/television>.

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