Celebrity Jews

Mare joins the chosen herd

The Emmy nominations recently came out and a lot of Jews are in the running. An interesting nominee is actress Mare Winningham, 44, who’s up for the award for best actress in a guest shot (“Law and Order: SVU”). Winningham has been in many good small films, plus a few biggies like “Wyatt Earp.” She’s also a talented country singer. (She starred as a country singer in the indie hit film “Georgia,” co-starring Jennifer Jason Leigh. Yes, Leigh is Jewish.)

Recently, Winningham told the L.A. Jewish Journal that she converted to Judaism in 2003. She took an introduction to Judaism course, without intending to convert, but one thing led to another and she now knows how to bake challah and has even written a country song with a Jewish theme — noting that she was following the example of Kinky Friedman. Maybe she and Leigh can re-team up and entertain crowds as Friedman continues his quest to be elected governor of Texas.

Rivers swept from carpet

Joan Rivers won’t be making her usual catty remarks, doing celeb interviews on the red carpet at this September’s Emmy Awards. Rivers recently jumped from E! Cable, where she had been doing color commentary at award shows, for a lucrative deal with the TV Guide Channel. However, E! has an exclusive red-carpet contract for this year’s Emmys, leaving Joan on the sidelines. Meanwhile, the TV Guide Channel can decide if it has the technical ability to actually show an interview without a program schedule occupying half the screen.

The naked and the funny

Rodney Dangerfield is now hawking his autobiography, “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me.” Among other aspects of Dangerfield’s life, as reported in a Newsday profile: He is almost always naked, except on stage or in a public place. He is naked at home, while giving interviews, backstage, etc. When asked about this, Rodney replied: “What do I care? When you reach a certain age you throw a lot of things out the window. What do I care what people think? I’m just trying to be me.”

Other oddities include the 137 pills a day he takes for chronic depression and other assorted ills. Dangerfield also admits that he has smoked marijuana every day for the last 60 years. He even smoked a joint at the White House.

One day, Newsday reports, Rodney will be lively and getting off great one-liners (“I was an ugly kid. When I was born, after the doctor cut the cord, he hung himself.”). However, the next day he can be sullen and withdrawn. Despite all this, Dangerfield will always be most remembered as a guy who made us laugh and nurtured scores of young comedians.

Berry on JDate?

Comedian/actress Alex Borstein, formerly of “MADtv,” has a comic relief role in the recently released “Catwoman,” starring Halle Berry. Borstein, a San Francisco State University graduate, told USA Today at the film’s premiere: “I told Halle [who was recently divorced] what she needs is a nice Jewish boy, maybe a writer or a doctor. She’s got to let go of the sports thing and drop the rock ‘n’ roll.” (Berry’s first ex-husband was a pro ballplayer. Her second ex is a musician.)

Almost mazel tov time

Young actors Jonathan Lipnicki (“Stuart Little”) and Darryl Sabara (“Spy Kids”) both recently told interviewers that they are studying hard for their upcoming bar mitzvahs.

Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at [email protected].

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.