Mageina Tovah

Mageina Tovah

In Spider-Man 3, our skyscraper-swinging superhero fends off three super-baddies. But Peter has to deal with his equally tangled relationships with characters played by Jewish actors: James FrancoElizabeth Banks, and Mageina Tovah. Mageina plays Ursula in Spider-Man 2 and 3.

You say her name “mah-GAY-nah.” We’re not sure where it comes from, but the Hebrew word “magen” (mah-GAYN) means “shield”… as in Magen David, King David’s shield, which was said to have a Jewish star on it. But that’s just our guess. Interestingly, she was in an episode of the cop show called The Shield! She's also been in episodes of other crime shows: Bones, Lie to Me, Chase, and Southland. Aaand her new movie, The Factory, is about a serial kidnapper-killer.

Outside of crime-fightin' projects, she was the barista (that’s someone who works the counter in a place like Starbucks) in Failure to Launch with Sarah Jessica Parker. She was the voice of the usher in the SpongeBob movie with Scarlett Johansson. She was in Sleepover, with Sara Paxton (and a before-he-was-famous Steve Carell!) And she was in Bickford Schmeckler’s Cool Ideas, an under-appreciated comedy about a lost notebook full of… guess what.

TV-wise, Mageina was in episodes of Standoff, Road Trip, and Live so in 2007, too. And she was Glynis in the divine show Joan of Arcadia. Her other shows include crime shows like Cold Case, Bones, Lie to Me, and NYPD Blue, medical shows like Crossing Jordan and Six Feet Under, and horror shows like Buffy and Boston Public (What, you don’t think high school is a horror? Give us vampires over gym class any day!).

Somewhere along the way, Mageina was picked to be in the video for the Christina Aguilera song, “Beautiful.” So she must be!

Tovah is really her middle name; Her full name is Mageina Tovah Begtrup. Mageina was born in Hawaii but grew up in Nashville. How’s that for culture shock!

Zoe Wannamaker
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Grant Heslov
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Ike Barinholtz