Catching up with Members of the Tribe in the public eye. Names of Jewish stars are in boldface.
Crystal steps up
Who knew the real Oscar drama would be off screen? You probably heard by now that film director Brett Ratner, 43, resigned earlier this month as the producer of the Feb. 26, 2012, Academy Awards telecast. His departure was prompted by negative reaction to an anti-gay slur that Ratner made (and promptly apologized for). Ratner's buddy Eddie Murphy, who was set to host the show, decided almost immediately to follow Ratner out the door.
Mega-producer Brian Grazer, 60, promptly stepped in to run the telecast, but Murphy's departure left the Academy scrambling for a replacement host. They turned to "old reliable" Billy Crystal, 63, universally viewed as "the gold standard" of Oscar hosts. It will be his ninth time hosting. Crystal's quick acceptance led one of the Academy's Governors to tell the New York Times: "He's a mensch."
Before Crystal was selected, there was a Facebook campaign pushing "The Muppets" star and co-writer Jason Segel, 31, as host alongside his Muppet pals.
The annual People magazine "Sexiest Man Alive" issue hit newsstands mid-November. Actor Bradley Cooper won the title and cover story this year. About a dozen other honorable mentions got an individual bio sketch and picture. Included in this group are Anton Yelchin, 24, and Josh Charles, 40. "Star Trek" star Yelchin is now in the hit indie movie "Like Crazy," and Charles co-stars in the hit TV show "The Good Wife."
Guys listed under the category "sexy at any age" only get a head shot. In this group are Maroon 5 rocker and "The Voice" judge Adam Levine, 32, and actors Jake Gyllenhaal, 30, and James Franco, 33.