Jason Alexander

Jason Alexander Headshot

Actor • Songwriter • Comedian • Producer • Poker Player

Birth Date: September 23, 1959

Age: 64 years old

Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey

Jason Alexander may have split his career between Tony Award-winning musical performances and playing the voice of many animated characters, but mainstream television viewers were hard-pressed to remember him as anyone other than the worrisome, bespectacled sidekick of Jerry Seinfeld on the landmark 1990s sitcom, "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-98). The plum role of over-the-top George Costanza was indeed a superb showcase for Alexander's physical comedy and punch line timing, but attempts at headlining his own sitcom with "Bob Patterson" (ABC, 2001) and "Listen Up" (CBS, 2004-05), were short-lived. Like his fellow "Seinfeld" cast members, he found it nearly impossible to recreate the once-in-a-lifetime critical and popular success of his breakout series, but Alexander remained steadily employed as a television and theater director, stage actor, and regularly resurfaced in guest TV roles as nebbishy, neurotic types akin to the character that made him famous.

Alexander was born Jay Scott Greenspan in Newark, NJ on Sept. 23, 1959. While attending Boston University, Alexander gave up on his interest in becoming a magician and instead focused on theater, for which he was a natural. He left BU before his final year when he began to land paying stage work in New York City. Bit parts in the TV movie "Senior Trip!" (CBS, 1981) and the big screen slasher "The Burning" (1981) helped make ends meet, but professionally, Alexander made more headway onstage. In his Broadway debut, Alexander's commanding singing voice and endearing charisma made him a good choice to play a stage producer in the unsuccessful Stephen Sondheim musical, "Merrily We Roll Along" (1981). More work on- and off-Broadway followed, notably in Kander and Ebb's "The Rink" (1984), a musical co-starring Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, and Neil Simon's autobiographical play, "Broadway Bound" (1986). Meanwhile, Alexander took a few stabs at television comedy with roles in the short-lived sitcoms, "E/R" (CBS, 1984-1985) and "Everything's Relative" (CBS, 1987).

In 1989, Alexander earned a Tony Award for playing multiple roles - including Tevye from "Fiddler on the Roof" and Pseudolus from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" - in the Broadway revue, "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" (1989). But while his name was known in New York Theater circles, most television audiences were unfamiliar with Alexander when he hit primetime that year playing the manic, neurotic, and perennially unlucky George Costanza on "Seinfeld." The offbeat sitcom about a New York comedian and his close-knit group of minutiae-obsessed friends took awhile to establish fans, even as its observational comedy and well-developed characters were immediately embraced by critics. By the third season, however, "Seinfeld" was a top ratings grabber, an Emmy-winning series, and the water cooler show of its day. Called the "Beatles of Comedy" by Rolling Stone, the hallowed cast became irretrievably linked to one another, with the career-challenged, balding Costanza playing a major part in making the show a true pop culture phenomenon and the cornerstone of NBC's "Must-See" Thursday night lineup.

When he was not going on tirades over the party faux pas of "double-dipping" chips or masquerading as architect, Art Vandelay to impress women on "Seinfeld," Alexander kept one foot in the theater world as well as made a few supporting movie appearances. In 1990, he returned to Broadway in the comedy play "Accomplice," and had a key supporting role as a sleazy lawyer who hits on Julia Roberts in the smash romantic comedy, "Pretty Woman" (1990). Launching a secondary career as a voice-over actor, Alexander lent his theater elocution to the puppet series "Dinosaurs" (ABC, 1991-93) and the cult favorite, "Duckman" (The USA Network, 1994-97). He took the lead in the sleeper "I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore" (1992) and played one of the biological parents of a child (Elijah Wood) who searches the world in search of more suitable guardians in the family flop, "North" (1994). Showcasing his stage talent for the masses, Alexander was impressively charming and tuneful as Albert in the TV remake of "Bye, Bye Birdie" (ABC, 1995). Alexander expanded his realm to include directing; first helming an episode of "Seinfeld" before going on to direct the romantic comedy "For Better or Worse" (1995), in which he co-starred with James Woods and Lolita Davidovich. He voiced Hugo in the Disney feature "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996) before the broad comedy "Dunston Checks In" (1996) proved a bit of a career embarrassment. Alexander rebounded when he led the ensemble cast of "Love! Valour! Compassion!" (1997), based on Terrence McNally's Tony-winning play about a group of gay friends who spend summer holiday weekends together.

In 1998, "Seinfeld" finally left the airwaves after a highly anticipated but oddly disappointing series finale in which the foursome stand trial for not being good citizens after a man is robbed and they fail to intercede. Alexander next surfaced in supporting film roles in mainstream comedies "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" (2000) in which he played a picture-perfect, live-action version of Boris Badenov, and in the Farrelly Brothers' "Shallow Hal" (2001) as Jack Black's equally shallow pal. Looking for another television hit, Alexander took the lead in the short-lived sitcom "Bob Patterson," playing a motivational speaker who has no business advising others on how to live. Over the next few years, Alexander appeared in a number of memorable guest-starring roles (as himself) on "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David's HBO sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO, 2000- ). He starred opposite Martin Short in a Los Angeles stage production of Mel Brooks' "The Producers" in 2003, and the following year, paired with Kelsey Grammar in a musical version of "A Christmas Carol" which was then adapted into a feature film.

Making a second attempt to carry his own sitcom, Alexander was cast in "Listen Up" (CBS, 2004-05), playing a sportswriter, talk show host and family man who was again a slight variation on George Costanza, but surrounded by a dysfunctional wife and kids. When that show failed to connect with audiences, Alexander took on a recurring supporting role as eccentric high school principal Corleone on "Everybody Hates Chris" (UPN, 2005-06; The CW, 2006-09), and also directed a pair of episodes of the Golden Globe-nominated sitcom. Alexander lent his voice to the animated comedy "Farce of the Penguins" (2006) while remaining active on stage as director of a number of Los Angeles productions. The theater vet took over as Artistic Director of the "Reprise! Broadway's Best" series in Los Angeles in 2007. Meanwhile, he fielded guest role offers to play oddball professors and doctors on a number of primetime series, including former "Seinfeld" co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus' successful sitcom, "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (CBS, 2006-10).

In 2009, Alexander reunited with Louis-Dreyfus again, along with the rest of the "Seinfeld" principals, on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in a storyline involving a fictitious reunion episode of the long-departed Thursday night standby. From that highly anticipated moment, Alexander went back to his many sideline gigs, helming an episode of the procedural drama "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ) and appearing in the World Series of Poker, having established himself as a poker enthusiast over years of televised games. However, any "cool" status that poker brought Alexander was offset by his position as the new spokesman for the Jenny Craig diet plan in 2010.

Credits

Dick Van Dyke: 98 Years of MagicStream

Music Performer
Special
2023

Live with Kelly and MarkStream

Guest
Talk
2023

LeoStream

Voice
Jayda's Dad
Movie
2023
82%

Access Daily With Mario & Kit

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2022

Cinderella: The ReunionStream

Self
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2022

Cinderella: The Reunion

Self
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2022

Out of OfficeStream

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2022

Celebrity Wheel of FortuneStream

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Game Show
2021

The Rocky Horror Show: Musical Livestream

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Narrator
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2020

My Boyfriend's Meds

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Dr. Sternbach
Movie
2020

Faith Based

Actor
Nicky Steele
Movie
2020

Harley QuinnStream

Voice
Sy Borgman
Series
2019
96%

The Investigation- A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts

Actor
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2019

The ConnersStream

Guest Star
Pastor Phil
Series
2018
93%

Hit the Road

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Ken Swallow
Series
2017
14%

Hit the Road

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Ken Swallow
Show
2017

Young SheldonStream

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Mr. Lundy
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2017

The Orville: New HorizonsStream

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Olix
Series
2017
75%

Dinner With Dad

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2017

The Mark Lembeck Technique

Actor
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2016

The $100,000 PyramidStream

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Game Show
2016

The $100,000 PyramidStream

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2016

Match GameStream

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2016

To Tell the TruthStream

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2016

Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz

Voice
Mr. Bibb / The Nome King
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2016

For the Love of Spock

Self
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2016

The GrinderStream

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2015
93%

The Late Show With Stephen ColbertStream

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2015

Not Your Time

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Sid Rosenthal
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2015

The Late Late Show With James CordenStream

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Talk
2015

Misery Loves Comedy

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Movie
2015

Wild CardStream

Actor
Pinky
Movie
2015
31%

Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant

Actor
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2015

How Murray Saved Christmas

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Doc Holiday
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2014

Penn Zero: Part-Time HeroStream

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Coach Wallace
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2014

Riot

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2014

The Tom and Jerry ShowStream

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2014

The Tom and Jerry ShowStream

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Uncle Pecos
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2014

Late Night With Seth MeyersStream

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2014

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonStream

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2014

Lucky Stiff

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Vinnie Di Ruzzio
Movie
2014

KirstieStream

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2013
35%

Hollywood Game Night

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2013

Drunk HistoryStream

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2013

Live! With Kelly and Michael

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2012

Comedians in Cars Getting CoffeeStream

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George Costanza
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2012

Larry King NowStream

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2012

Comedy Bang! Bang!Stream

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2012

Clipaholics

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2012

Stars in Shorts

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Sid Rosenthal
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2012

Delhi Safari

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Male Flamingo
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2012

Franklin & BashStream

Director
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2011
61%

Franklin & BashStream

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Carter Lang
Series
2011
61%

World Series of PokerStream

Self
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2011

Harry's Law

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2011
43%

The Artist Toolbox

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2011

A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!

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Cosmo
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2011

The Voyages of Young Doctor Dolittle

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Eugene
Movie
2011

Lafflink Presents: The Platinum Comedy Series

Actor
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2010

The Talk

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Talk
2010

Mike & MollyStream

Director
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2010

Access Hollywood Live

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2010

Fish Hooks

Guest Voice
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2010

Stars in Shorts

Actor
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2010

The Marriage Ref

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2010

Not Your Time

Actor
Sid Rosenthal
Movie
2010

The Cleveland ShowStream

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Saul Friedman
Series
2009

CommunityStream

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Mountain Man
Series
2009
88%

The History of Curb Your Enthusiasm So Far

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2009

Glenn Martin, DDS

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2009

The Project

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2009

Meteor

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2009

The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien

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2009

Hachiko: A Dog's Story

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Carl
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2009

Shatner's Raw Nerve

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2008

The Wendy Williams Show

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Rachael Ray ShowStream

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Comedy Central Roast of William ShatnerStream

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The New Adventures of Old ChristineStream

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Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror

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British Record Exec.
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2006

Ira and Abby

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Dr. Morris Saperstein
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2006

How to Go Out on a Date in Queens

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Johnny
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2006

Criminal MindsStream

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2005

Criminal MindsStream

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2005

Everybody Hates ChrisStream

Director
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2005
95%

Everybody Hates ChrisStream

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Principal Edwards
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2005
95%

Robot ChickenStream

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2005

American DadStream

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Sal
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2005

American DadStream

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Mr. Orlando
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2005

The 31st Annual People's Choice Awards

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2005

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

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2005

The Aristocrats

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2005

Listen Up

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Tony Kleinman
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2004
9%

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London

Executive Producer
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2004

A Christmas Carol: The Musical

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Jacob Marley/Marley's Ghost
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2004

For Better or Worse

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Two and a Half MenStream

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Dr. Goodman
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2003
65%

Comedy Central RoastStream

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2003

Real Time With Bill MaherStream

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2003

Jimmy Kimmel Live!Stream

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2003

Agent Cody Banks

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2003

101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure

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Lightning
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2003

The Twilight ZoneStream

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2002

MonkStream

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Marty Eels
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2002
91%

The Hunchback of Notre Dame II

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Hugo
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2002

The Man Who Saved Christmas

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A.C. Gilbert
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2002

Bob Patterson

Actor
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2001
6%

Bob Patterson

Executive Producer
Series
2001
6%

Live With Regis and Kelly

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2001

The Trumpet of the Swan

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Louie's Father
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2001

Shallow HalStream

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Mauricio
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2001
50%

On Edge

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Zamboni Phil
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2001

Curb Your EnthusiasmStream

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Himself
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2000
92%

Dora the ExplorerStream

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2000

Son of the Beach

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2000

Malcolm in the MiddleStream

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2000

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

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Boris
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2000

Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Actor
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1999

DilbertStream

Guest Voice
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1999

Jingle Bells

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Elf
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1999

Mi Adorable Madeline

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Madeline's Uncle Henri Horst
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1999

Jingle Bells

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Elf
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1999

Madeline: Lost in Paris

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Henri Horst
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1999

Love and Action in Chicago

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Frank Bonner
Movie
1999

Just Looking

Director
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1999

Denial

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Art Witz
Movie
1998

The ViewStream

Guest
Talk
1997

Love! Valour! Compassion!

Actor
Buzz Hauser
Movie
1997

Rodgers & Hammerstein's CinderellaStream

Actor
Lionel
Movie
1997
86%

Muppets Tonight

Guest
Series
1996

Bucks tierische Entdeckungen der unglaublichen Art

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1996

For Better or Worse

Actor
Michael Makeshift
Movie
1996

For Better or Worse

Director
Movie
1996

Dunston Checks In

Actor
Robert Grant
Movie
1996

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Voice
Hugo
Movie
1996

Star Trek: VoyagerStream

Guest Star
Kurros
Series
1995
76%

The Last Supper

Actor
The Anti-Environmentalist
Movie
1995

Bye Bye Birdie

Actor
Albert J. Peterson
Movie
1995

FriendsStream

Guest Star
Earl
Series
1994
78%

Aladdin

Guest Voice
Series
1994

Duckman

Voice
Eric Duckman
Series
1994
93%

The Paper

Actor
Marion Sandusky, New York Parking Commissioner
Movie
1994

The Return of Jafar

Voice
Abis Mal - the Chief of the Thieves
Movie
1994

North

Actor
North's Dad
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1994

Blankman

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Mr. Stone
Movie
1994

The NannyStream

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Series
1993

Walker, Texas RangerStream

Guest Star
Series
1993

Sexual Healing

Actor
Movie
1993

I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore

Actor
Bernie FIshbine
Movie
1992

DinosaursStream

Actor
UFO! Host/Announcer
Series
1991
91%

DinosaursStream

Guest Voice
The Job Wizard
Series
1991
91%

Pretty WomanStream

Actor
Philip 'Phil' Stuckey
Movie
1990
64%

White Palace

Actor
Neil
Movie
1990
50%

Jacob's LadderStream

Actor
Geary
Movie
1990
72%

The SimpsonsStream

Guest Voice
Bourbon Verlander
Series
1989
85%

SeinfeldStream

Actor
George Costanza
Series
1989
89%

SeinfeldStream

Director
Series
1989
89%

Everything's Relative

Actor
Julian Beeby
Show
1987

Tráfico de Niños

Actor
Movie
1986

Rockabye

Actor
Lt. Ernest Foy
Movie
1986

The Mosquito CoastStream

Actor
Hardware Clerk
Movie
1986
75%

E/R

Actor
Harold Stickley
Show
1984

E/R

Guest Star
Harold Stickley
Show
1984

NewhartStream

Guest Star
Series
1982

Entertainment Tonight

Guest
News
1981

The Burning

Actor
Dave
Movie
1981

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

Saturday Night LiveStream

Host
Series
1975

Sesame StreetStream

Guest Star
Series
1969

TodayStream

Guest
News
1952

News aboutJason Alexander

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TV Tattle

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