born Jay Scott Greenspan in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Ruth
Minnie (née Simon), a nurse and health care administrator,
and Alexander B. Greenspan, an accounting manager. He has a half-sister,
Karen Van Horn, and a half-brother, Michael Greenspan. Alexander
is a 1977 graduate of Livingston High School in Livingston, New
Jersey. He attended Boston University but left the summer before
his senior year, after getting work in New York City. He was later
given an honorary degree. He is a keen magician, and only switched
to acting as a career when he realized that he was unlikely to succeed
as a magician.
his acting career on the New York stage and is an accomplished singer
and dancer. On Broadway, he appeared in Stephen Sondheim's Merrily
We Roll Along, The Rink, Neil Simon's Broadway Bound, Accomplice,
and Jerome Robbins' Broadway, for which he garnered the 1989 Tony
Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Returning to the stage in 2003,
Alexander was cast in a successful run, opposite Martin Short, in
the Los Angeles production of Mel Brooks' The Producers Alexander
also appeared with Kelsey Grammer in the 2004 musical adaptation
of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He played Jacob Marley to
Grammer's Ebenezer Scrooge.
to appear in live stage shows, including Barbra Streisand's memorable
birthday party for Stephen Sondheim at the Hollywood Bowl, in which
he appeared with Angela Lansbury, performing selections from Sweeney
Todd. Alexander was recently named the Artistic Director of Reprise!
Broadway's Best in Los Angeles, where he previously directed Sunday
in the Park with George. He is scheduled to direct the upcoming
revival of Damn Yankees at Reprise!
best-known as one of the key cast members of the phenomenally successful,
award-winning television sitcom Seinfeld (1989-1998), in which he
played George Costanza (the Jerry Seinfeld character's best friend
since childhood). Concurrently with his Seinfeld role, Alexander
provided the voice of the lead character in the cult animated series
Duckman (1994-1997). Alexander also voiced Catbert, the evil director
of human resources, in the short-lived Dilbert animated series based
on the popular comic strip. He made cameo appearances in the second
season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, playing himself.
with George Clooney and Elliot Gould in the short-lived CBS sitcom
E/R from 1984-1985. He played Hospital Administrator Harold Stickley.
had a part in the ABC sitcom Dinosaurs, as Al (Sexual) Harass (who
frequently spoke about workplace sexual harassment). Despite a relatively
successful career in film and stage, Alexander never managed to
repeat his Seinfeld-level of success in television. 2001 marked
his first post-Seinfeld return to prime-time television: the heavily-promoted-but-short-lived
ABC sitcom Bob Patterson (which was canceled after just 5 episodes).
His second chance as a t.v. series lead, the CBS sitcom Listen Up!
(September 20, 2004 to April 25, 2005), also fell short of a second
season. Based very loosely on the life of the popular sports-media
personality Tony Kornheiser, Alexander was also the series' principal
on the Family Guy: Live in Vegas CD singing a verse in the song
"All Cartoons are Fuckin' Dicks". Alexander is credited
with coining the term "asshat" in a well known blooper
from the show "Seinfeld".
He was featured
in the Friends episode "The One Where Rosita Dies" as
a suicidal supply manager named Earl. Phoebe rings him trying to
sell him toner and she learns about his problem and tries to convince
him not to commit suicide. This is referred to in an episode of
Malcolm in the Middle where Alexander appears as a neurotic and
critical loner called Leonard. He describes himself as free and
mentions that he makes money with a job "selling toner over
the phone". Also in the episode, he is repeatedly harassed
by a man named George - his character's name on Seinfeld.
in the 1995 TV version of the Broadway musical "Bye Bye Birdie",
as Conrad Birdie's agent, Albert Peterson.
on Star Trek: Voyager on the episode "Think Tank" playing
a genius alien named Kurros who was trying to get Seven of Nine
to serve on his ship.
in the first episode of the short-lived 2002 revival of The Twilight
Zone, playing Death. He featured in the 2005 Monk episode "Mr.
Monk and the Other Detective" as Monk's eponymous rival, Marty
Eels. On the June 26, 2006 episode of the Jimmy Kimmel Live talk
show, Alexander demonstrated several self-defense techniques. He
was also the Host of the 230th July 4, 2006 of the PBS July 4 "A
Capitol Fourth" Celebrations in Washington, D.C. in which he
sang, danced, and played tuned drums.
appeared twice on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, winning the
final table of the 8th season. In the process, Alexander won $500,000
for United Way of the greater New Orleans area, a charity. On August
6, 2006, Alexander signed on to feature as a regular cast member
in the second season of Everybody Hates Chris. Alexander was the
host of the Comedy Central roast of actor William Shatner on August
13, 2006 (first airdate: August 20, 2006). In 2007, Alexander was
a guest star in the third episode of the improv comedy series Thank
God You're Here. He is also a frequent guest and panelist on: Bill
Maher's Politically Incorrect and Real Time shows; Hollywood Squares;
the Late Late Show, with both Craig Kilborn and Craig Ferguson;
and, the Late Show with David Letterman.
to his roles as a misogynistic lawyer in Pretty Woman, co-starring
with Richard Gere, and as the womanizer Mauricio in Shallow Hal,
with Jack Black, Alexander has appeared in a litany of Hollywood
film productions. They include Love! Valour! Compassion!, Dunston
Checks In, The Last Supper Jacob's Ladder and "Hood of Horror".
He has also dabbled in the art of directing, starting with 1996's
For Better or Worse and 1999's Just Looking.
also featured in country music star Brad Paisley's music videos
"Celebrity" and "Online," the latter of which
he directed and won the 2007 Country Music Association's Video of
the Year Award.
In January 1995,
Alexander did a commercial for Rold Gold pretzels to be broadcast
during the Super Bowl. The commercial depicts Jason with Frasier
dog "Eddie" jumping out of an airplane with a parachute
over the stadium. After the commercial, we're brought back to a
supposedly "live feed" of the playing field hearing startled
sports commentators as we see Jason and the dog landing in the field
to applause from the crowd.
In the summer
of 2005, he appeared with Lee Iacocca in ads for DaimlerChrysler.
also done a McDonald's commercial advertising the McDLT, in which
he sings. He has also appeared in KFC commercials, including one
with baseball superstar Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants
and another one opposite Trista Rehn of The Bachelorette. It was
rumored that he no longer appears in these commercials due to the
alleged cruelty to animals by KFC suppliers and slaughterhouses,
but he refuted that in Adweek [August 2, 2006]. Alexander said,
"That's PETA bullcrap. I loved working for KFC. I was targeted
by PETA to broker something between them. I think KFC really stepped
up to the plate; unfortunately PETA did not."
a mentalism and magic act at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California
on April 24-30 2006. He has been awarded the Parlor Magician of
the year award at the Castle.
the national spokesman for the Scleroderma Foundation, a leading
organization dedicated to raising awareness of the disease and assisting
those who are afflicted.
An avid poker
player, Jason was also one of the "famous faces" due
to being a regular player on the online poker website Hollywood
Poker which is run in conjunction with Ongame Network. Alexander
also played in the 2007 World Series of Poker main event, but was
eliminated on the second day.
currently starring in "Jason Alexander's Comedy Spectacular"
exclusive to Australia. This is a sold-out show where he performs
stand-up, improvisation and demonstrates some of his Broadway musical
talent. He is backed up by some well known Australian comedians.
His first time performing a similar show of this nature was in 2006
for "Jason Alexander's Comedy Christmas." Both Alexander
and his show have been receiving considerable media publicity in
Australia and particularly Melbourne. He has expressed the great
time he has had holidaying in Australia.
was host of the LOL Sudbury opening night Gala in Sudbury, Ontario
on May 29th, 2008 which was simulcast throughout Canada at 60 Cineplex
theaters, a first for any comedy festival.
He has been
married to Daena E. Title since May 31, 1982. They have two children,
Gabriel (b. May 1992) and Noah (b. February 1996).
He is also the
uncle and godfather of the Irish born actor Stephen Mullan, who
appeared in movies such as She's All That and Tigerland. His brother-in-law
is actor/writer/director Jonathan Penner (husband to Daene Title's
sister Stacy) who appeared on Survivor: Cook Islands and is currently
starring in Survivor: Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites.
an FX trivia question during a viewing of Shallow Hal, Alexander
started losing his hair at the age of 16.
- Dave (1981)
Senior Trip - Pete (1981)
The Mosquito Coast - Clerk (1986)
Brighton Beach Memoirs - Pool Player (1986)
Seinfeld - George Costanza (1989 - 1998)
Pretty Woman - Philip Stuckey (1990)
White Palace - Neil (1990)
Jacob's Ladder - Geary (1990)
I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore - Bernie Fishbine (1992)
Coneheads - Neighbor Larry Farber (1993)
Sexual Healing (1993)
For Goodness Sake (1993)
Duckman - Duckman - voice (1994 - 1997)
The Paper - Marion Sandusky (1994)
The Return of Jafar - Abis Mal - voice (1994)
Bye Bye Birdie - Albert (1995)
The Last Supper (1995)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Hugo- (voice) (1996)
Dunston Checks In (1996)
For Better Or Worse (1996)
Love! Valour! Compassion! - Buzz Hauser (1997)
Denial - Art Witz (1998)
Dilbert - Catbert - voice (1999 - 2000)
Love and Action in Chicago - Frank Bonner (1999)
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle - Boris Badenov (2000)
The Trumpet of the Swan - voice (2001)
Shallow Hal - Mauricio Wilson (2001)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II - voice (2002)
The Man Who Saved Christmas (2002)
101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure - voice (2002)
A Christmas Carol - Jacob Marley (2004)
Everybody Hates Chris - Principal of School (2006 - 2007)
Thank God You're Here! - Improv comedy (2007)
The New Adventures of Old Christine (2008)