KUNIS AND RUDD:
MAN AND WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals club honored Paul Rudd, 48, and Mila Kunis, 34, as their respective man and woman of the year on Jan. 25. The country’s oldest theater organization (founded in 1844) gives the award annually to “performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment.” The honorees were treated to a fun-filled parade before being presented with the “Pudding Pot” in Farkas Hall, the Hastys’ historic home in Harvard Square.
The woman of the year award began in 1951 and the man of the year award began in 1967. Kunis and Rudd are the second Jewish duo to win in the same year. In 1978, the late opera singer Beverly Sills and actor Richard Dreyfuss, now 70, won. As of 2018, 13 Jewish men and 10 Jewish women have won the award.
Harvard was an all-male college when Hasty Pudding, a private club, began. Men dressed as women to play female characters in club shows. Harvard admitted women in 1977 (when it merged with Radcliffe), but men are still playing all the women’s parts in club shows. Pressure is building fast to let “women play women.” A star role in a Hasty production can open professional doors. Activists are trying to get Kunis, among others, to speak out about this.
SUPER BOWL NOTES
The 52nd Super Bowl takes place on Feb. 4. The New England Patriots, last year’s winner, are looking for a repeat win. The Philadelphia Eagles were the surprise team of the playoffs and are looking for their first Super Bowl win in franchise history. The
Eagles have appeared in two Super Bowls, most recently in Super Bowl 39 (2005), where they lost to the Patriots. The Patriots have appeared in nine Super Bowls, winning five (all wins came in 2002 or later).
Last year, I highlighted two players on the Patriots: star receiver Julian Edelman and special teams’ superstar Nate Ebner, 29. Edelman tore his ACL in preseason play and is out for this season. Sadly, Ebner suffered a knee injury in late November and he, too, is out for the season. Ebner grew up in a religious Jewish home. Edelman had one Jewish great-grandfather, but has called himself Jewish and he’s gone out of his way to emphasize his ties to the Jewish community.
Robert Kraft, 76, has owned the Patriots since 1994. Kraft grew up in an Orthodox home and is an observant Jew whose family fortune stems from a paper-products company (Kraft Group). His many philanthropies include education and health care. His son Jonathan, 53, is the president of the Kraft Group and president of the Patriots.
The Eagles are owned by Jeffrey Lurie, 66, and his ex-wife, Christina Weiss Lurie, 66ish. Lurie’s wealth stems from a movie theater chain founded by his grandfather. He grew up in the Boston area and tried to purchase the Patriots in 1993 and bought the Eagles in 1994. Jeffrey and Christina divorced in 2012, and she retains substantial ownership in the team. Despite her first name, Christina’s parents were both Jewish. In a 2010 interview, she said both she and Jeffrey come from secular Jewish homes and their practice of Judaism was limited to Passover seders. Both have academic backgrounds in film and she was a documentary maker. Jeffrey is an active Hollywood film producer.