Jason Alexander (born Jay Scott Greenspan on September 23, 1959) is an American actor and director. He is well known for his portrayal of George Costanza in Seinfeld. He also directed Season Three's "The Good Samaritan".
Born in Newark, New Jersey, to Jewish parents Ruth Minnie (née Simon), a nurse and health care administrator, and Alexander B. Greenspan, an accounting manager. He has a half-sister, Karen Van Horne, and a half-brother, Michael Greenspan. Jason grew up in Livingston, New Jersey and is a 1977 graduate of Livingston High School there.
He attended Boston University but left the summer before his senior year, after getting work in New York City. At Boston University, Alexander wanted to pursue classical acting, but a professor redirected him toward comedy after noticing his physique, remarking, "I know your heart and soul are Hamlet, but you will never play Hamlet." He was later given an honorary degree in 1995. He is a practicing magician, and only switched to acting as a career when he realized that he was unlikely to succeed as a magician.
Jason is best known for his prominent role as George Costanza in the television series, Seinfeld. He also portrayed the lawyer, Philip Stuckey, in the film Pretty Woman (1990). He voiced the lead character in the animated series, Duckman (1994–1997).
Alexander has had an active career on stage, appearing in several Broadway musicals including Jerome Robbins' Broadway in 1989, for which he won the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He appeared in the Los Angeles production of The Producers. He is the Artistic Director of "Reprise! Broadway's Best in Los Angeles", where he has directed several musicals.
Jason appeared as himself in five episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Notes About Nothing
- Every episode, he is credited as “and Jason Alexander as George”. This gets rid of confusion of who plays George and who plays Kramer.
- The only episode in which Jason doesn't appear is “The Pen”. However, he and Michael Richards are still credited despite the fact that neither of them appears. Jason took extreme exception to being written out for this episode. He even went to Larry David and confronted him about it. He told him, “If you do it again, do it permanently.”
- Jason Alexander Biography (1959-), published by FilmReference.com, accessed 2008-06-07, archived url: , archive date: July 3, 2015.
- Weinraub, Bernard. "At the Movies", The New York Times, October 22, 1999. Accessed February 24, 2011. "I was born in 1959 and grew up in Livingston, New Jersey, but I felt I knew these people very well"
- Seinfeld's Costanza Gives Master Class in Acting at CFA, by Amy Laslowski for Bostonia. published by Boston University, Page 4, February 2015.
- John Lovic interviewing Jason Alexander, Reel Magic Quarterly #2, DVD (US), October 2007.