GAME OF THRONES: IN THE TRIBE
I only got hooked on Games of Thrones (GOT) in July 2016. I then binge-watched the series and am now an avid fan. Even if you don’t watch the show, pass this item to someone Jewish who does — they will love learning, as I did, that two characters every fan knows are played by Jewish actors. Up until now, this news has not been in this column or anywhere in the Jewish media.
Last week, I chanced upon a list of seventh season characters and the actors who played them. One name was familiar: Paul Kaye. I vaguely recalled an English Jewish comedian named Paul Kaye. They are, I found out, one and the same.
Paul Kaye, 52, played Thoros of Myr (also known as the Red Priest) in GOT. His character died in the sixth episode of season seven (“Beyond the Wall”). He is among the party, led by Jon Snow, that heroically travels “beyond the wall” to capture and bring back a zombie-like “wight.” Thoros is the Lord of Light drunken priest who, we learn in season three, can re-animate (revive from death) Beric Dondarrion, the leader of the Brotherhood without Banners. Thoros revived Dondarrion six times, but his death means Dondarrion is no longer virtually immortal.
Kaye grew up in London. In 1984, he took a year off from college to work on an Israeli kibbutz. There he met his wife, Orly Katz. They wed in 1989 and have two children. A rocket launched from Gaza killed his mother-in-law in 2010. Kaye first became famous in the ’90s as “Dennis Pennis,” a satirical radio host. Since 2000, he has mostly acted, appearing on TV and on the stage.
Anton Lesser, 65, plays Qyburn, the accomplice of the evil Queen Cersei. Qyburn turned “the Mountain” into a zombie-like killer. He presided over the murder of the former head Maester and he invented a catapult that can launch a huge spear that can wound a good dragon. Lesser, who is best known as a Shakespearean stage actor, won a British “Emmy” (BAFTA Award) for playing Sir Thomas More in the BBC mini-series Wolf Hall. In 2015, he played Charles Dickens’ Jewish character Fagin on stage, and he told a reporter that he is Jewish in real life.
A friend clued me in — talk about a stealth Jew: actor Richard Anderson died on Aug. 31, age 91. He appeared in hundreds of roles (mostly TV). But he’s best known as Oscar Goldman, the supervisor in the ’70s series The Six Million Dollar Man (as well as its spinoff, The Bionic Woman). Anderson looked like a WASP, but his real first name was Max. His parents, Harry and Olga Anderson (née Lurie), were the children of Russian Jewish immigrants.
Nate Bloom COLUMNIST
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