Tag Archives: Bronx

Jew of the Week: Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts, R.I.P (Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com)

Doris Roberts (Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com)

Doris May Green (1925-2016) was born in St. Louis and raised in the Bronx by her single mother and grandparents, who were of Russian-Jewish heritage. After her mother remarried, Doris took on her new stepfather’s last name: Roberts. She began acting as a child, and after studying journalism for a short time, went to acting school. In 1952, Roberts appeared on a TV show for the first time. She would make appearances on another four television shows before starring in her first film in 1961. Roberts went on to play roles in over 30 movies (four of which will be released later this year), and over 60 television programs, including Full House, Grey’s Anatomy, The King of Queens, Lizzie McGuire, Law & Order, Desperate Housewives, and Walker, Texas Ranger. However, she is undoubtedly most famous for her role as Marie Barone, the mother of Ray Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond – a role which brought her four Emmy Awards. Roberts was chosen among 100 women who tried out for the part, and helped to make the show one of the greatest sitcoms in TV history. Roberts also had a successful Broadway career spanning nearly twenty years. She has won a Screen Actors Guild Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sadly, Roberts passed away in her sleep earlier this week.

Words of the Week

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a Spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a Spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.
– Albert Einstein

Jew of the Week: Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks

Oliver Wolf Sacks (1933-2015) was born in London to Jewish parents who were both doctors. His mother came from an Orthodox family and was among the first female surgeons in the UK. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Sacks became a doctor in 1960. He completed his residencies in neurology in San Francisco and at UCLA, then worked as a neurologist in New York. Based on his work at the Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx, Sacks wrote the autobiographical book Awakenings, which became a bestseller and was adapted to the Oscar-nominated film starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. In addition to his neurology practice, for nearly fifty years Sacks was a neurology and psychiatry professor at a number of schools, including Columbia and NYU. He has written over a dozen books and countless articles and publications – all by hand or on a typewriter. His writings, translated into over 25 languages, have won numerous awards. The New York Times described him as a “poet laureate of contemporary medicine”. He contributed immensely to the field of neurology, and is credited with inspiring many of the today’s top neuroscientists. Interestingly, Sacks himself suffered from a neurological disorder called prosopagnosia, an inability to recognize faces. Despite being well-known for his great love and compassion for others, Sacks never married, and was celibate for 35 years. He spent time as a bodybuilder (at one point setting a state weightlifting record by squatting 600 pounds), nearly died while mountain climbing solo, held 12 honorary doctorates, and had a planet named after him. Sadly, Sacks passed away last week after a battle with cancer.

Words of the Week

I love to discover potential in people who aren’t thought to have any.
– Oliver Sacks