Charlie Sheens Jewish fantasy, Rogens magical touch …

Charlie Sheen’s Jewish fantasy

On March 2, Charlie Sheen’s Jewish manager, Mark Burg, tried to quash claims that Sheen was anti-Semitic by noting that his estranged wife, Brooke Mueller, is Jewish. My research proved that Mueller, in fact, does have a Jewish mother (her late father wasn’t Jewish). Two days later, Sheen surprised the world (and almost certainly his manager) by telling “Access Hollywood” that his mother is Jewish. Long story, short — it is virtually certain that his claim of a Jewish mother is a fantasy. Sheen is the son of devout Catholic actor Martin Sheen. His mother, Janet Templeton Sheen, is the daughter of Lena Conde (nee Martin) and an unknown father. Lena, my research shows, was born and raised in rural Kentucky, and it’s almost certain her parents were not Jewish.

In addition, a friend just told me about an April 2010 interview of Charlie Sheen’s brother Emilio Estevez conducted by a priest. In it, Estevez mentions his mother had a Southern Baptist background, which created a religious conflict between his parents.

For the full interview, visit, and for many more details about Charlie, read my blog entry on the j. website at


Rogen’s magical touch

Seth Rogen, 28, has the title role in the sci-fi comedy/drama/thriller “Paul.” Two British geeks, Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost), decide to tour America’s (supposed) extraterrestrial “hot spots.” They accidentally meet Paul, a “nice” space alien who has just escaped after 60 years of captivity on a top-secret military base. Paul and the geeks are chased by federal agents (Sigourney Weaver, Jason Bateman). Along the way, they meet and travel for a time with a kooky devout Christian (Kristen Wiig). She loses her faith and turns pretty wild after she accepts that Paul is a real space alien — and that, contrary to fundamentalist scripture, there is life outside planet Earth. Paul convinces her by demonstrating, like Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.,” that he has magical healing powers. (Opens Friday, March 18.)


St. Patrick’s Day connections

Since St. Patrick’s Day was this week, I thought I’d highlight some Irish/Jewish connections. First, here are some famous actors and actresses of Irish (Protestant or Catholic) and Jewish parentage — all of whom identify, in a religious sense, as secular or Jewish: Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Connelly, Harrison Ford, Alyson Hannigan, Sean Penn and Daniel Radcliffe. Other celebrities of Irish/Jewish background include TV host Brooke Burke and Olympic gold medal–winning figure skater Sarah Hughes.

The most famous celebrity Irish Catholic convert to Judaism is probably Anne Meara, the wife of Jerry Stiller and the mother of Ben Stiller. The two most famous Jews born and raised in Ireland are Chaim Herzog (1918-1977) and Robert Briscoe (1894-1969). Herzog, the son of the chief rabbi of Ireland, had a distinguished career in the British army during WWII and as a major general in the Israeli army. He served as Israel’s U.N. ambassador and was president of Israel from 1983 to 1993. Briscoe is best known as the first Jewish Lord Mayor of Dublin, an honorary post that he was appointed to in 1956 (it is a one-year job). Less well known is that Briscoe had an important if not major role in the fight for Irish independence. Briscoe also served in the Irish Parliament, as did his son.

Briscoe, by the way, figures in one of the many funny anecdotes about Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees star catcher who is credited with such “Yogisms” as, “It’s not over ’til it’s over.” In the ’50s, a reporter told Yogi that the mayor of Dublin was Jewish. Yogi supposedly replied, “Only in America.”

Another fun aside: Legendary Irish Catholic actor James Cagney, who grew up in a Jewish neighborhood, was almost fluent in Yiddish. Cagney spoke a lot of Yiddish in a comedic scene in a 1932 film. Check it out on YouTube:

Nate Bloom

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