Jason Alexander



Also Known As
Jay Scott Greenspan
Birth Place
Newark, New Jersey, USA
September 23, 1959


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 wa...

Family & Companions

Daena Enid Title
Artist, actor, writer. Born c. 1957; married in 1982.


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.



Director (Feature Film)

Just Looking (1999)
For Better or Worse... (1995)

Cast (Feature Film)

Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz (2016)
The Nome King
Lucky Stiff (2015)
Misery Loves Comedy (2015)
Wild Card (2015)
Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant (2015)
Quantum Quest (2012)
Stars In Shorts (2012)
A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! (2011)
Rock Slyde (2010)
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
Meteor (2009)
The Man Who Saved Christmas (2008)
Farce of the Penguins (2007)
The Grand (2007)
Ira & Abby (2006)
Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror (2006)
The Aristocrats (2005)
A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002)
The Trumpet of the Swan (2001)
Voice Of Louie'S Father
Shallow Hal (2001)
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000)
Love & Action in Chicago (1999)
With Friends Like These (1998)
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1997)
Love! Valour! Compassion! (1997)
Buzz Hauser
Dunston Checks In (1996)
Good Money (1996)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Bye Bye Birdie (1995)
The Last Supper (1995)
Guest--The Anti-Environmentalist
For Better or Worse... (1995)
Michael Makeshift
The Paper (1994)
The Return of Jafar (1994)
Blankman (1994)
North (1994)
Coneheads (1993)
Down on the Waterfront (1993)
I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore (1992)
White Palace (1990)
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Pretty Woman (1990)
Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986)
The Mosquito Coast (1986)
Rockabye (1986)
Senior Trip! (1981)
The Burning (1981)

Producer (Feature Film)

Agent Cody Banks: Destination London (2004)
Executive Producer
Agent Cody Banks (2003)
Executive Producer

Music (Feature Film)

Burning Sands (2017)
Music Supervisor
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002)
Song Performer
Bye Bye Birdie (1995)
Song Performer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Misery Loves Comedy (2015)
The Aristocrats (2005)

Director (Special)

Seinfeld: The Chronicle (1998)
Segment Director

Cast (Special)

The 46th Annual Grammy Awards (2004)
The 29th Annual People's Choice Awards (2003)
A Life of Laughter: Remembering John Ritter (2003)
The 57th Annual Tony Awards (2003)
The Women (2002)
Host ("Stage On Screen")
Totally Tube (2001)
Magic's Greatest Illusions (2000)
Edmar Discount Hairpiece (2000)
The 10th Annual IFP Gotham Awards (2000)
6th Annual Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (2000)
Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999)
Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments (1999)
The Comedy Central Presents the New York Friars Club Roast of Jerry Stiller (1999)
Uncomfortably Close With Michael McKean: Jason Alexander (1999)
Comic Relief VIII (1998)
Hollywood & Vinyl: Disney's 101 Greatest Musical Moments (1998)
Seinfeld: The Chronicle (1998)
Sideshow (1997)
The Screen Actors Guild Awards (1997)
Smithsonian Fantastic Journey (1996)
The Making of Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
The Late Show With David Letterman Video Special 2 (1996)
A Tribute to Stephen Sondheim (1995)
47th Annual Emmy Awards (1995)
The 9th Annual American Comedy Awards (1995)
46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1994)
A Day in the Lives of Melrose Place (1994)
Down at the Waterfront (1994)
Comic Relief VI (1994)
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1993)
The American Television Awards (1993)
Sexual Healing (1993)
The First Annual Comedy Hall of Fame (1993)
Comic Relief V (1992)
The Search For the New Ideal Man (1992)
1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards (1992)
Music By Richard Rodgers (1990)
The 43rd Annual Tony Awards (1989)

Producer (Special)

Ultimate Trek: Star Trek's Greatest Moments (1999)
Executive Producer

Music (Special)

The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (1993)
Song Performer

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Denial (1998)
Favorite Son (1988)
Chris Van Allen

Life Events


First professional acting job at age 17 in the children's theater special, "The Pushcart Players: Feelings and Friends"


Feature acting debut, "The Burning"


Television acting debut, "Senior Trip!" (CBS)


Made Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along"; played a Broadway producer


Played the recurring role of Harold Stickley on the CBS sitcom, "E.R.," starring Elliott Gould


Returned to features after five years to play a small role as a hardware store clerk in Peter Weir's "The Mosquito Coast"


Starred as Julian Beeby on the short-lived CBS sitcom, "Everything's Relative"


First TV miniseries, "Favorite Son" (NBC)


Won a Tony Award playing multiple roles, including the narrator, in the musical revue "Jerome Robbins' Broadway"


Played George Costanza on the popular NBC comedy series, "Seinfeld"; earned Golden Globe (1993, 1994, 1995, 1998), Emmy (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998) and SAG (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999) nominations for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series


Played Richard Gere's misogynistic lawyer in "Pretty Woman"


Made TV directorial debut with "The Good Samaritan" episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC), earned a nomination from the Directors Guild of America


Cast as Harry Truman in a Los Angeles revival of the one-person stage play, "Give 'Em Hell, Harry"


First leading role in a feature, "I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore"


Taught "How to Break into Show Business" at the Los Angeles Learning Annex


Had a small role as the parking commissioner in "The Paper"


Voiced the title character in the USA Network's animated series "Duckman"


Feature directorial debut, "For Better or Worse" (opened in limited release and later aired on TNT)


Played a hotel manager coping with an orangutang in "Dunston Checks In"


Voiced one of the gargoyles in Disney's animated "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"


Played an HIV-positive musical/comedy loving gay man in "Love! Valour! Compassion!"


AngelArk signed production agreement with Universal TV


Directed the feature "Just Looking/Cherry Pink"; screened at the 1999 Hamptons Film Festival


Featured in the festival screened "Love in Action in Chicago"


Portrayed Boris Badenov in the part live action, part animated feature, "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle"


Directed the coming-of-age comedy feature "Just Looking"


Co-starred as the title character's best friend in "Shallow Hal"


Returned to series TV as star of the short-lived ABC fall sitcom "Bob Patterson"


Appeared as himself on episodes of "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David's HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm"


Served as Executive Producer on the action feature "Agent Cody Banks"


Returned to the stage to star as Max Bialystock in the Los Angeles production of "The Producers"


Starred in the short-lived CBS comedy "Listen Up," as a character based on sportswriter Tony Kornheiser


Guest-starred on two episodes of the UPN sitcom, "Everybody Hates Chris"


Cast as Jennifer Westfeldt's (Abby) therapist in "Ira and Abby"


Named Artistic Director of the 10-year-old "Reprise! Broadway's Best" series in Los Angeles


Re-teamed with "Seinfeld" co-creator, Larry David, and the other three principal "Seinfeld" cast members, to appear as himself on several episodes of David's HBO series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"


Starred in the one-man show "The Donny Clay Experience" in Las Vegas


Was the narrator of the short-lived video-clip series "Clipaholics"


Had the recurring role of Cliff Bemis on "The Grinder"


Replaced Larry David in the lead role of David's Broadway production "Fish in the Dark"


Alex Greenspan
Office manager. Born c. 1911; married Alexander's mother in 1958; second marriage.
Ruth Greenspan
Nursing school director. Married Alexander's father in 1958.
Michael Greenspan
Older, born c. 1940.
Karen Van Horn
Older, born c. 1948; works at Texas Commerce Bank; suffers with schleroderma.
Gabriel Title Greenspan
Born on May 14, 1992.
Noah Greenspan
Born in February 1996.


Daena Enid Title
Artist, actor, writer. Born c. 1957; married in 1982.