Brian Epstein riding a horse at his 30th birthday party. (Photo/JTA-Ron Joy-Belle Schwartz Estate)
Brian Epstein riding a horse at his 30th birthday party. (Photo/JTA-Ron Joy-Belle Schwartz Estate)

Brian Epstein gets a statue; Omar Sharif goes to Israel; Scarlett Johansson settles with Disney; etc.

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Lifestyles of the rich

Adrien Brody has appeared on the hit HBO show “Succession” in a cameo meant to be all-too-revealing about antisemitism. He plays a powerful investor who, rich as he is, still has to deal with barely veiled slurs from the character Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox. Brody, incidentally, won an Oscar for his portrayal of a Holocaust survivor in the 2002 film “The Pianist.”


The fifth Beatle gets memorialized

Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, sometimes called “the fifth Beatle,” is getting a statue. Epstein, who died in 1967 at 32, discovered the group and stayed with the guys as they became superstars. He’ll be the first LGBTQ person honored with a statue in Liverpool, his hometown.


The Jewish cowboy speaks up

In an interview with the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle, actor Tim Blake Nelson talks cowboy roles, the Coen Brothers and Zionism. The son of a Holocaust refugee, he grew up in Arizona. He says he’s heard antisemitic remarks spoken in front of him unknowingly: “Because my name is Nelson, and because I play so many American rubes, most assume I’m a gentile,” he said.


 Sharif goes to Israel

Omar Sharif is Jewish?! Yes … but not the Omar Sharif, the late Egyptian heartthrob who starred in “Doctor Zhivago” and “Funny Girl.” Omar Sharif Jr., his grandson and also an actor, definitely is Jewish. (The older Omar Sharif even went to the younger Omar Sharif’s bar mitzvah.) Junior, 37, who grew up in Canada and Egypt, is about to join Israeli TV show “Lehiyot Ita.” The LGBTQ activist speaks both Hebrew and Yiddish, he said, and grew up in an environment that nurtured both sides of his heritage. But the decision to take a role in an Israeli show has been controversial in Egypt, Sharif Jr. said.  “They called me a traitor,” he told the Israel Hayom newspaper.


Johansson vs. Disney

After suiting up to star in Marvel’s “Black Widow,” actress Scarlett Johansson got into a legal scuffle with the film’s distributor, Disney, in a case that summed up how streaming has changed the world of moviegoing. Johansson, who was paid based on box-office revenue, said Disney instead used her film to promote its own streaming platform, thereby reducing the box-office take (and shorting her). After an acrimonious back and forth, the two have settled. But industry insiders expect other stars may follow suit.


Goopy advice

Making fun of Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness empire Goop is de rigueur these days. That’s why it’s surprising that a New Yorker review of her new Netflix reality series “Sex, Love & Goop,” was … pretty glowing. In it, couples learn methods for a better sex life, but they also confront — and learn to accept — realities like aging bodies and unfulfilling sex lives in what the author calls “a gentle, unsensationalized exploration of the issues dogging the show’s subjects.”

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

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