Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Hanukkah Hotness, Night Seven: Tony Goldwyn

Tony Goldwyn is the grandson of Samuel Goldwyn of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) fame, but the family named itself after the studio, not the other way around. I read this story in Bill Bryson's Made in America (a book you will find fascinating if you're any kind of amateur or professional etymologist).

Bryson writes, "Some understandable confusion exists concerning Samuel Goldwyn and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Though his name accounts for the middle initial in MGM, Goldwyn was never part of the company. In 1924, he sold out to the Metro studios and Louis B. Mayer, and was astonished to discover that they took his name with them. But then that was no more than Goldwyn himself had done. The Goldwyn Picture Company was not in fact named for Goldwyn, but rather he for it. His real name was Schmuel [also sometimes spelled Szmuel] Gelbfisz, though for his first thirty years in America he had called himself - perhaps a little unwisely - Samuel Goldfish. Goldwyn was a portmanteau of the names of the studio's two founders: Samuel Goldfish and Edgar Selwyn. It wasn't until 1918, tired of being the butt of endless fishbowl jokes, that he named himself after his corporation. After the MGM takeover, he had to go to court to win permission to continue making movies under the Goldwyn name."

public domain image
Apparently, he won. I can proudly say that the Gelbfisz family came from Warsaw. Poland, the same place as my ancestors, the Templin family. My grandmother's grandmother was named Antonia Templin.

At one time, I knew Tony Gelbfisz/Goldfish/Goldwyn primarily as the villain in the Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore romance Ghost. Now he's playing the U.S. president on Scandal...

...but perhaps (since I don't watch that show) I'd like him even better as Andrew Prior in the film version of Veronica Roth's Divergent.

I'm sorry, Tris Prior, but your dad is a complete DILF.

This is what Tony Goldwyn looks like dressed casually.

This is what he looks like dressed formally.

This is what he looks like with no shirt on.

He's not technically a Jewish Disney prince, but he did provide the voice of Tarzan in the Disney cartoon.

Having a happy Hanukkah so far? Good. There's one more night to go.

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