Celebrity Jews

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Garden Staters Move-On

Zach Braff, the star, director and writer of the hit movie “Garden State,” is now reaping the rewards. He just won the Hollywood Film Festival award for ‘breakthrough director,” and he’s being touted for a screenplay Oscar nomination. Braff also seems to have picked-up a “trophy girlfriend” — Mandy Moore, the pop singer-actress.

His co-star, Natalie Portman, is now being romantically linked to Chesa Boudin, a 23-year-old Rhodes Scholar, who is the son of Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert. You may remember the names — Boudin, a founder of the radical Weather Underground, spent 20 years in prison for a 1981 hold-up that caused the deaths of two police officers. Gilbert is still in jail for his involvement in the robbery. The New York Daily News, in a distasteful note, implied that Portman ought to steer clear of Chesa because of his parents.

No doubt, Harvard grad Portman already knows about Chesa’s family. His grandfather, Leonard Boudin, was one of the top liberal lawyers in the country. A maternal great-uncle was famous radical journalist I.F. Stone. Chesa was just an infant when his parents were arrested and friends of his parents raised him. Despite the Daily News, the sins of the parents are not the child’s.


While Bill O’Reilly nemesis Al Franken has remained silent so far on the phone sex scandal involving O’Reilly and a producer on O’Reilly’s show, other comedians have jumped in. Jay Leno joked, “Welcome to ‘The Tonight Show.’ What a crowd. Man, you sound like Al Franken when he heard about Bill O’Reilly.”

Jewish political comedian Andy Borowitz, who appears on CNN, satirized the scandal in his Web-based “Borowitz Report”: “Bill O’Reilly announced today that he has outsourced all of his phone sex activities to India, citing ‘heavy call volume’ as the reason behind the move. Starting this week, all phone sex normally handled by Mr. O’Reilly will instead originate from a calling center in Bangalore. … Partially in response to the heavier-than-usual call volume, the FCC announced today that it would establish a new ‘do not call list’ specifically for consumers who are grossed out by the idea of Mr. O’Reilly calling them.”

Pay to see Uncle Leo?

Nathan Lane has just replaced Richard Dreyfuss in the London production of “The Producers.” Dreyfuss was axed just before the opening, with the official press release citing the actor’s real back problems. However, the “Jaws” star gave a London paper another reason for his firing: “Well, I can’t [sing or dance]. Actually, I sing like a seal and dance like your Uncle Leo at that wedding where he got up and went ‘ya ya ya.'”Dreyfuss went on to explain that Mel Brooks coaxed him into taking the role. However, Dreyfuss wanted the show’s producers to be honest with the public about what they were paying for. Instead, the show’s producers were driven crazy by Dreyfuss’ candor with the press and they canned him.

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

Nate Bloom

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