‘Cheers’ actor Jay Thomas, known for playing Jewish characters, dies at 69
ay Thomas, a character actor who said he was often mistakenly thought to be Jewish because of his convincing portrayal of Jewish characters, has died at 69.
Thomas, an actor and radio personality whose work on the television series “Murphy Brown” won him two Emmy Awards in the early 1990s, died of cancer on Aug. 24 at his home in Santa Barbara, Calif., The New York Times reported.
On “Cheers,” he portrayed barmaid Carla Tortelli’s husband Eddie LeBec, a French-Canadian ice hockey player.
Thomas, who grew up in New Orleans, found amusement in the way people confused him with his television characters.
“I always seem to play the role of a Jewish person,” he said in an interview with the Times in 2000. “On ‘Love and War’ I played Jack Stein, a left-wing Jewish man. On ‘Murphy Brown’ I was Jerry Gold, a right-wing Jewish man. And I won an Emmy for that part. The trouble is, I’m not Jewish. But everyone I met in L.A. thought I was a Jewish man from Brooklyn.”
He is survived by his wife, Sally Michelson, whom he married in 1987, and their two children, Samuel and Jacob. In recent years he reunited with a son he had fathered in his 20s who was given up for adoption, the country singer J.T. Harding.
—JTA News and Features
Dorothy Silverman Pollack
Dorothy Silverman Pollack, of Rockville, died Aug. 26. She was 93. Dorothy was born in New York City and married Louis Pollack in 1945; they were married 72 years. She worked as a court transcriber for 20 years.
She is survived by her husband, Louis, and three children, Annette (Robert) Rachlin of Greensboro, N.C., Barbara Pollack Held of Belmont, Mass., and Lawrence Pollack of Springfield, Va.; her grandchildren, Aaron Held, Jordan Held, Jonathan Held, David Rachlin and Jeffrey Rachlin; four great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Contributions may be made to the Friends of the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at friendsmdlbph.org. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Alex Stouck, of Rockville, died Aug. 20. He was 90. He was the loving husband of the late Eileen M. Stouck; devoted father of Lisa (Guy) Eslin and Jerry (Mindy Buren) Stouck; and proud grandfather of Danielle Buren Stouck, David Shai Stouck, Rachel Joy Stouck and Eileen Eslin. Contributions may be made to the Joshua Stouck Endowment Fund at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
David E. Zarin
David E. Zarin, of Silver Spring, died Aug. 28. He was the loving husband of the late Thelma Zarin, devoted and loving father of Neal (Ecaterina) Zarin, Harold (Starr) Zarin, Annette (Jeffrey) Smith; loving brother of the late Lillian (Robert) Block, wonderful and loving grandfather of Scott (Jennifer) Zarin, Stacy (Adam) Goldberg, Jordan (Mike) Lanczycki and Bradley Smith; loving great-grandfather of Madison and Dylan Goldberg and Abby Lanczycki.
Contributions may be made to JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville, MD 20850. Arrangements by Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.