JUF's Jewish Celebrities

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake was nominated for an Oscar for playing a broke-heart cowboy working on Brokeback Mountain. Then he was in the time-travel crime movie Source Code, in which he has to go back to an explosion over and over-- for 8 minutes at a time--until he can stop it. Next came End of Watch, about the friendship of two cops.

By the way, his last name is said "Jill in hall."

He was in the hit thriller Zodiac, about a serial killer in LA and the guys obsessed with catching him. Ione Skye was in that, too. He's also in two movies about the wars between America and Iraq, and the new film Brothers is about the impact of the war in Afghanistan. Natalie Portman is also in that last one. And, just as violent but at the other end of the seriousness spectrum, he's in Prince of Persia, which is based on a video game!

After those, Jake was in a movie about colonizing the Moon. We think people should learn how to take care of Earth, first!

Speaking of which, Jake's global-warming disaster film The Day After Tomorrow helped him to land on Hollywood's list of Top 10 Young Actors. Teen People has said he's one of the "Hottest Under 25". Hey! Maybe HE's causing that global warming!

His first film was City Slickers as Billy Crystal's son. Jake's also starred in popular films like The Good Girl (with Jennifer Aniston) and October Sky.

Jake has been friends with Maroon 5's Adam Levine since kindergarten!


Jake's older sister, Maggie, acts, too. The Gyllenhaals have even starred in movies together, like Donnie Darko.

Bonus Bonus:

The Gyllenhaal brother-and-sister acting team reminds of another sibling pair of Jewish actors, Marc and Lori Singer. They grew up in Vancouver (Canada), London, and all over the U.S. They also both happen to have starred in earlier versions of 1980s shows being remade in 2009!

Marc is best known as the star of Beastmaster, a fantasy series in which he plays a cross between Tarzan and Dr. Doolittle - he can talk to the animals, and talk them into helping him fight! Also, there is going to be a remake of the alien-invasion story V, and Marc was in the original 1980s show. And he was a castmember of the classic TV soaps Dallas and The Young and the Restless.

His other movie work is largely in the fantasy/sci-fi and action areas, and sometimes both at once! As you might expect, he had a black belt in kung fu, and, according to one source, "Marc enjoys running, sailing, boxing, skiing, and motorcycling in his spare time." His TV work includes many popular shows, from Highlander to Hotel to Hawaii Five-O. He has also played Adam from the Bible twice!

But there is another, more civilized side to Marc. He has been in several Shakespeare productions on TV and has played Sir Lancelot! His parents were both classical musicians (which explains why they moved so much as kids), and Marc plays classical piano every day.

Marc's sister Lori also plays classical music, but on the cello. She was so good, that at only 14 she became the youngest person ever accepted at the prestigious Juilliard (say: “Jule-yard”) Performing Arts School. She also danced and modeled, even playing a model in a TV movie.

You know that new movie, Fame? Well, it's a remake of a movie from the 1980s that also spun off a TV show - that ran for six years! In all its forms, Fame is about a high school for the arts, and Lori played a cello student in the TV version who also danced and sang. She wasn’t in the original movie of Fame, though.

But she was in another equally famous 1980s musical: Footloose! It’s the movie that made Kevin Bacon a star and was even made a stage musical. She beat out Madonna for the role!

Lori followed that with roles in The Falcon and the Snowman with Sean Penn and The Man with One Red Shoe with Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher. Then she won a Golden Globe for her role in the movie Short Cuts by late Jewish director Robert Altman (see this bonus). Lori also had her own sci-fi show, about virtual reality, called VR.5 in 1997. Then she took a break from acting until 2005.

In the meantime, she started a charity for models to help kids with AIDS! Many famous models, like Heidi Klum, Elle Macpherson, and Claudia Schiffer, have donated their time and money to help these sick kids.

But Marc and Lori aren’t the only showbiz people in the Singer family. Meet their cousin, Bryan, the movie director!

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