Jewish mothers don’t always get the best publicity. The nagging, take-a-sweater image has pretty much taken over Hollywood’s portrayal of the Jewish mom, but in real life, we know that’s just not the case. Here are 20 famous Jewish mamas that have proven not only to break the stereotypes, but to look awesome while doing it.
1. Bette Midler
From a clam shell bra to Academy Award nominations to spiffing up New York City Parks with her New York Restoration Project, this mom of one has continued to live up to her Divine Miss M moniker.
2. Sara Gilbert
She’s a proud lesbian with two kids, she’s smart and sassy, and is a child star who didn’t flame out and/or end up on a crappy reality show. Now that’s stylish!
3. LeeLee Sobieski
From the time a talent scout spotted her in a school cafeteria, Sobieski has seemingly never stopped working. From fame from Deep Impact to surviving an appearance in The Wicker Man, this mommy of one daughter has a teflon career and is totally hot. She’s not 100% Jewish (paternal grandfather) but so what, I’m claiming her for the team.
4. Isla Fisher
This Aussie actress and writer has two children and a list of credits as long as her legs. She converted to Judaism to wed writer/comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. She has spoken out against the lack of opportunities for comediennes, which in my book is so cool that if she and Baron Cohen ever split, I’ll propose.
5. Mayim Bialik
She’s a child star who still acts, she’s got two boys and has a PhD in neuroscience. Oh and she turned down Harvard and Yale to stay near her parents. I know, you kind of want to hate her right? This Kveller contributor is anti-TV but walks the walk — I heard she homeschools and doesn’t have a nanny. How does she do it? Can she sneeze on me please?
6. Scarlett Johansson
She grew up without much money in New York City, is GQ’s woman of the year, does all sorts of charity works and was, until very recently, married to People Magazine’s Sexiest Man 2010. OK fine, she doesn’t have kids, so probably doesn’t count. But come on — tick tock — she’s going to be on this list (along with Alicia Silverstone) in no time flat.
7. Jennifer Connelly
She gets on beautiful women lists nearly every day with a “y” in it, she has an Academy Award for her work in A Beautiful Mind and she’s got two boys. This educated, big-eyebrowed momma is an example of how you can do it all.* *If you are blessed with beauty and brains and are very lucky and don’t make any missteps.
8. Soleil Moon Frye
She may have had a kick-started career being born to an actor father and talent agent mother, but since she has proved herself to be way more than Punky Brewster, what with writing and directing and generally not being a crazy-actress type. OK, she named her daughters Poet Rose Sienna and Jagger Joseph Blue, but if that’s the way she gets her freak on, fine. She’s super cool in my book.
9. Lot’s Wife
10. Maggie Gyllenhaal
Do I really need to explain that someone this stylish is stylish? Nopers. She was born to film producing and directing parents and then strapped those connections on her bodacious bod and jet-packed to fame. She has one daughter.
11. Kate Hudson
12. Edith Felber a/k/a Edith Layton
She was a mother of three with no publishing connections and went on to a vibrant career as a historical novelist. Oh and she was my mom. But if you don’t believe she was a style icon, here’s proof. FYI, the book My Mom the Style Icon by Piper Weiss will be released in 2011.
13. Amanda Peet
She’s got two daughters, an Ivy league education and an impressive stage and screen acting career. She also had the guts to come out in favor of life-saving vaccinations for children, which in my opinion shouldn’t even be controversial, but is, thanks to fear and pseudo-science.
14. Keri Russell
15. Tori Spelling
She’s got two kids, grew up so wealthy that her Dad made it snow in California and sure — questionable acting talents. That said, she has stood the test of time, ignored the haters and she is stylish, like a real-life Princess Barbie. It’s not just the fag hag in me that says, “Tori, I salute you.”
16. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Two kids, married for 56 years and is on the Supreme Court. Bonus points for her trademark bun and staying slim even though her kickin’ bod is camouflaged in a big robe. I’m convinced Wintour stole the whole owly glasses thing from the big RBG.
17. Lisa Bonet
Two kids, big fame in the 80’s with the Cosby Show and still working–not enough in my opinion, Hollywood! She and former spouse Lenny Kravitz reportedly bonded on the one Jewish parent thing, and in my next life, I wanna look like her.
18. Rachel Dratch
She had her first kid this past August, and is a poster child for getting knocked up after 40. She’s hella funny and back when I wrote fashion police crap for US Weekly I met Dratch in the bathroom at their holiday party. She was charming, beautiful (she’s just unafraid to be ugly for laughs) and I never washed the hand that touched the stall door that she touched ever again. OK that’s a lie. But I love her long time.
19. Sarah Jessica Parker
How could she not be on this list? She’s got three kids, a frackin’ amazing career and I swear, the woman is so fashion-conscious she sweats Chanel No. 5. She’s beautiful, talented and anyone who says she looks equine is just jealous.
20. Katherine Graham
If you don’t know who she is, you should. This mother of four took over the reigns of The Washington Post after her manic-depressive husband committed suicide. She was in charge of the paper during the Watergate scandal years and mixed it up with the most powerful people in the world. Known for pearls, suits and perfect hair, she passed away in 2001 but her memoir earned a Pulitzer Prize so getting to know her isn’t so hard.