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Jewish Showbiz News

by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2003-12-15

Fran Drescher Chanukah special

Fran Drescher

Actress Fran Drescher has hosted a Chanukah TV special that has aired across cable channels in the US.


A Chanukah Celebration, made by the Jewish Television Network, saw Drescher sharing her own personal memories of Chanukah. “I remember when I was a little girl we always wanted to have a candle-lighting ceremony,” Drescher said on the show, “but my mother was afraid the house would burn down. So each night we would go to the window and turn a bulb on our electric Menorah."


Drescher, best known for the sitcom The Nanny, introduced a number of guests on the hour-long show who offered their own perspective of the festival. Among those who featured were musician Craig Taubman and US TV chef Jeff Nathan who gave a new twist to classic Chanukah dishes. Other highlights included a special episode of a Jewish-themed children’s puppet show, Alef Bet…Blast Off, in which a pint-sized hero known as Mitzvah Mouse heads a re-enactment of the Chanukah story. Non-US viewers can tune into the entire show at:


Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar is to star in a remake of a Japanese horror film. The Grudge is about a supernatural curse which is created after a young woman is murdered, and jumps from person to person, killing everyone it comes into contact with. The original version, Ju-On, was released in Japan in 2000. Gellar will begin work on the film next month in Tokyo. She’ll next be seen reprising the role of ditzy Daphne in the Scooby Doo sequel, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, which will be released in the UK in April.


Designer Tara Bernard has spoken to London's ES Magazine about how she came to set up her company, the architectural and design agency Target Living. The daughter of Elliott Bernard, founder and chairman of the property development company Chelsfield, Tara founded Design Living last year “when everything around me was changing. I was going through a marriage break-up, and my father was battling cancer of the jaw (he is now in remission). I’ve always been gung ho, but my father’s illness made me realise fear is the greatest preventer.” Since setting up the company, Bernard has struck up a romance with James Archer, son of Lord Archer. “The relationship is very strong,” she says.


In Brief:


Jerry Seinfeld is to write, produce and star in a new animated film set in the bee community. "I have always been fascinated by bee society, the world's most harmoniously run organisation, and now I finally am going to be in it,” the comedian said.


Rachel Stevens has hit back at her boyfriend Jeremy Edwards after he criticised her scantily-clad new image, by voicing objection to the tight-fitting costume he wears in the new West End production of Les Liaisons Dangeureuses. “I don’t like him wearing those trousers in front of so many people,” she told The Mirror.


American Pie actor Eugene Levy has nabbed this year's Best Supporting Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle. The honour was for his performance in A Mighty Wind, a spoof documentary from the makers of This Is Spinal Tap, due for UK release in January.


Happy birthday this week to: Supergirl actress Helen Slater (40 on December 15), actor Eugene Levy (57 on December 17), director Steven Spielberg (57 on December 18), actor Jake Gyllenhaal, best known for his role in Donnie Darko (23 on December 19), TV star and author Uri Geller (57 on December 20)