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Film, theater and television actor Jason Alexander played George Costanza opposite Jerry Seinfeld on the popular television sitcom Seinfeld.
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Jason Alexander was born on September 23, 1959, in Newark, New Jersey. In 1989, he was awarded a Tony for Jerome Robbins' Broadway. After winning his Tony, he moved to Los Angeles, where he co-starred as George Costanza in Seinfeld. After Seinfeld signed off in 1998, Alexander tackled a variety of projects, including starring in a Los Angeles production of the musical The Producers in 2003.
Jason Scott Greenspan was born to Ruth and Alex Greenspan on September 23, 1959, in Newark, New Jersey, and was raised in Livingston, New Jersey. As a youth with an eye always toward the stage, Alexander connived his parents into giving him voice lessons so that he could "train for his bar mitzvah." His first tentative acting steps were taken in school plays, and by age 15 he had adopted his professional name: Jason Alexander.
Despite being granted a full scholarship to the School of Fine Arts at Boston University, he left after two years to act in a "B" film, The Burning (1981), and a made-for-TV movie, Senior Trip. His big break, however, came when he landed the lead role in the Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim/George Furth musical, Merrily We Roll Along. Unfortunately for Alexander, the play closed after just two weeks, but it gave him important visibility.
Alexander's stage reputation grew as he portrayed Tevye in a Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof and Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In 1989, his proudest moment came when he was awarded a Tony for Best Performance as a Leading Actor in a Musical for Jerome Robbins' Broadway.
In films, Alexander played supporting roles in Peter Weir's Mosquito Coast (1986), in Adrian Lyne's chilling Jacob's Ladder (1990)and in the Julia Roberts star vehicle, Pretty Woman (1990). On TV, he had small parts in a few ill-fated sitcoms and in an NBC mini-series,Favorite Son (1988). He also sang and danced the praises of McDLT sandwiches in a 1985 McDonald's commercial.
After winning his Tony, Alexander moved to Los Angeles, where he co-starred in a sitcom pilot, Seinfeld Chronicles, featuring a relatively unknown comedian, Jerry Seinfeld. The show, renamed Seinfeld, started slowly but soon gained a cult following. Eventually the series became a ratings powerhouse and critical success, with numerous Emmys to its credit.
Sometimes called "the show about nothing," Seinfeld followed the day-to-day misadventures of a stand-up comedian (Seinfeld) and his friends. Alexander played Seinfeld's longtime pal, George Constanza, who was terribly neurotic, esteem-deprived and often cheap. Despite this list of unappealing attributes, his character won over audiences with his humor, humanity and oddball schemes. For seven years in a row, Alexander was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
While working on Seinfeld, Alexander pursued a sideline as a voice-over actor, lending his voice to the ABC puppet show, Dinosaurs (1991); as Duckman in the animated show on the USA cable network(1994); as Abis Mal in the TV series, Aladdin (1993); and as Hugo in the animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996).
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