George Segal in a 1965 publicity shot. (Photo/JTA-Silver Screen Collection-Hulton Archive-Getty Images)
George Segal in a 1965 publicity shot. (Photo/JTA-Silver Screen Collection-Hulton Archive-Getty Images)

Farewell to Yaphet, George and Jessica; Ilana Glazer is expecting (a movie and a baby); etc.

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Three Jewish actors gone

Three notable Jewish actors have died recently. Yaphet Kotto, who passed away March 14 at the age of 81, had a long career in television and the movies. But most people didn’t know he was Jewish, as well as being a Black man of Cameroonian descent. He was known for playing Dr. Kanaga (the first Black villain in a James Bond film, “Live and Let Die” in 1973) and he received an Emmy nomination for playing Ugandan strongman Adi Amin in the TV movie “Raid on Entebbe.” He also had roles in the movie “Alien” and the TV show “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

George Segal, whose career spanned six decades, died at 87 on March 23 in Santa Rosa. Nominated for an Oscar for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 1967, Segal worked steadily from the 1960s, when he headlined movies that ranged from romances to spy thrillers. And he had a second career in TV as a neurotic Jewish grandpa in shows such as “The Goldbergs.”

And Jessica Walter, who was nominated for multiple Emmys with one win, died on March 24 at the age of 80. Walter was well known for her awarding-winning work on Broadway, moved into movie roles in the 1960s and became beloved to new generations in the 2000s with her regular role on “Arrested Development” and her voice work on the animated show “Archer.” Her Emmy was for her role in the short-lived mid-1970s TV series “Amy Prentiss,” a spin-off from “Ironside” that lasted only three episodes (two hours each).

Howie crazy for Filipino dumpling

Howie Mandel loves Filipino food and he wants everyone to know it. He was introduced to the cuisine by comedian Jo Koy, and the two discussed it on a recent episode of Vulture’s Instagram series “Two Friends.” Mandel said Koy introduced him to the steamed bun siopao and now Mandel can’t get enough. When he sees a Filipino restaurant: “I’d walk in I’d say, ‘Give me that!”

Perfect timing for Ilana Glazer

B’sha’ah tovah to Ilana Glazer! The “Broad City” actress is pregnant with her first child. She’s also got a new film coming out, which happens to be a horror thriller about conception called “False Positive,” where a young couple find all is not what it seems at a fertility clinic. Perfect timing for publicity? “This was not supposed to happen this way, but it’s just so eerie and cosmically funny that it has,” Glazer told Entertainment in an interview.

Stars come out for local nonprofit

Photo of Adam Swig
Adam Swig

Are you on the social app Clubhouse yet? If you were, you could have joined Jewish celebs at a Passover benefit hosted by Buzzfeed for San Francisco’s own Value Culture, the nonprofit run by professional cool person Adam Swig. Jeff Garlin, Tiffany Haddish, Mayim Bialik and Chloe Fineman were just some of the guests at “Night of 1,000 Jewish Stars.” Part of the event included a digital afikomen-finding experience using blockchain technology.

A big ‘Kiss’ for Billie Eilish

Gene Simmons is a Billie Eilish fan, and he wants everyone to know it. The Kiss frontman has publicly praised the 19-year-old pop star for her creativity, and recently he said he was “blown away” by Eilish’s recent documentary, calling her a “unique and original artist.”

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.