Jason Alexander
Born: September 23, 1959, in Newark, New Jersey
Grew up in: Maplewood and Livingston, New Jersey
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2018: Performing Arts

It figures that Jason Alexander would be nominated for seven consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards—but never win—for his work as George Costanza on the classic TV series “Seinfeld.” George—as created by Jason—was TV’s ultimate loser.

Born Jay Scott Greenspan, the future George Costanza was the son of a nurse/health-care administrator mother and an accounting-manager father. As a youth, Alexander aspired to be a magician, but later set his sights on acting. He studied acting at Boston University, but left after his third year to take an acting job in New York.

Alexander brought more than acting skills to the New York stage; he can also sing and dance. In 1981, at the age of 22, he made his Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along.” His many stage roles include the Narrator in Jerome Robbins’ “Broadway,” for which he won a 1989 Tony Award as best leading actor in a musical.

Alexander’s earliest film and TV appearances also date to 1981. His first memorable film role came in 1990, when he played the smarmy businessman Philip Stuckey in “Pretty Woman.” One year earlier, he was cast in the role that would make him a household name. “Seinfeld” ran for nine seasons and 180 episodes. As the title character’s conniving and insecure best friend, Alexander’s George Costanza entered the pantheon of all-time great TV wimps. In addition to his seven Emmy nominations, Alexander earned four Golden Globe nominations for “Seinfeld.” He didn’t win one of those, either.

Throughout his career, Alexander has had a steady stream of film and TV roles. He played the gargoyle Hugo in the Disney animated feature “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1996), and the title character in the animated series “Duckman” (1994-1997). He has also made guest appearances on shows such as “Dream On” (1994), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (2001, 2009), and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (2019). For his role in “Dream On,” Alexander was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series. He ultimately won a Daytime Emmy in 2020 for outstanding original song from the animated series “Brainwashed by Toons.”

The versatile Alexander has also directed for the stage and television, including one installment of “Seinfeld” and an episode of the comedy hit “Mike & Molly.”

Intro/Acceptance Video