THE NAME’S THE SAME: Jerry and the Gang
For most of his life, the only notable thing about being called Jerry Seinfeld was that people misspelled and mispronounced his name. Then the kibitzing started. “You don’t look like you do on TV,” some said. Others asked, “Do you color your hair for the show?” Seinfeld, 68, a retired appliance-store owner whose shop was in Ocean-side, N.Y. (not far from where the Jerry grew up), doesn’t mind the Seinfeld-ian remarks—though his wife of 46 years, Alicia, thinks the two J.S.’s aren’t that much alike. “Mine,” she says, “is better looking.” Back in the ’80s, the unfamous Jerry met his namesake in Atlantic City. In a brief chat, the two established that their roots traced to Austria. The older Jerry, who now lives in Henderson, Nev., says, “We’re probably related somewhere down the line.” His wife seems less interested in genealogy. Says Alicia: “Just send me one of the other Jerry’s paychecks.”
ELAINE BENES, 52; Westchester, Ill.
Benes, a clerical worker who likes to ride motorcycles with her husband, Bob, says she has little in common with her “scatterbrained and paranoid” namesake. Still, she does admit to being a bad dancer. Few comment on her name, she says, and that’s just as well: “I’m a bigger Frasier fan.”
NEWMAN THE MAILMAN, 33; Philadelphia, Pa.
Since his first name is Paul, he’s used to being teased, but now he often gets Seinfeld’s singnature “Hel-lo new-man.” His wife, Gayle (they have six kids bettween them), watches the show more, but when he finally saw Newman last month, “I thought he looked cool.”
GEORGE COSTANZA, 78; West Roxbury, Mass.
“My relatives tell people, ‘We know who the real George Costanza is,’ ” says the still-active owner of a sing-painting business. Costanza finds the character ” lovable,” but unlike him “I work—and have hair,” He and his wife, Edith, watch Seinfeld “to see what George is up to”—unless the Red Sox are on.
Are you that Cosmo guy? Scoop couldn’t find a Cosmo Kramer anywhere, but if you exist—or if you know someone with that exact name—please e-mail us (at FindKramer@people.com) or write (PEOPLE Magazine, 1271 Ave. of the Americas, N.Y., N.Y. 10020). Results of the search in a future issue.
Terms of Endearment
The Ramseys speak out—but they’re still picking their spots
After a year’s silence, John and Patsy Ramsey will soon speak out in a TV documentary about the aftermath of their daughter’s murder—but don’t expect a Mike Wallace-style in-your-face exposé. David Mills, 54, coproducer of JonBenét’s America (to be broadcast on England’s Channel 4), said, “The Ramseys have no editorial control—it’s entirely in our hands.” But coproducer Michael Tracey, 49, a British-born journalism professor at the University of Colorado, secured the couple’s cooperation after letting them know that the filmmakers shared their skepticism toward the American press—and that the film would focus on how the media covered the case.
The Ramseys, still under suspicion by the Boulder, Colo., police in the December 1996 slaying, sat for five days of filmed interviews in their Atlanta home in late February and April. There were no ground rules for the as-yet-unscheduled show, the producers say, but two of the interviewers were freelance correspondents for Newsweek, Dan Glick and Sherry Keene-Osborn, whose previous coverage the Ramseys found fair.
The film is still being edited, so it remains to be seen if the public will gain any new insight. Everyone involved, though, already seems assured of benefitting. Newsweek gets to run excerpts from the Glick-Osborn interviews, and the Mills-Tracey team gets a film that, apart from how much it makes in Britain, could bring a large sum from a U.S. network. Tracey insists that money is not a concern: “We’re doing this to raise some issues about what is happening in American journalism.” Still, he adds, speaking of the American networks he’s otherwise so critical of, “We’ve had a lot of interest.”
A Flight of Memories
Last January the students from a private school in South Carolina decided to make some 1.2 million paper butterflies to represent the children killed in the Holocaust. The idea was to have the colorful symbols ready for April 23, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Working feverishly, 125 students—along with volunteers—cut out and colored butterflies, but by late February they had only 8,000. Concerned, teachers contacted USA Today, PBS and TIME FOR KIDS, each of which publicized the school’s plight. Soon bundles of butterflies started arriving.
On an overcast day last week, the kids brightened fields and meadows with more than 1.3 million butterflies. “We heard from people from all over,” says Eleanor Schiller, a teacher at Myrtle Beach’s Chabad Academy, who noted that contributions came from as near as Myrtle Beach Elementary School, down the street, and as far as Australia. The next project for the school? Writing 3,000 thank you notes to the people who made Operation Butterfly possible.
Are the fights on The Jerry Springer Show fake? Some ex-guests say yes. Springer insists he’s honest. To get a professional opinion, Scoop went to wrestling legend Hulk Hogan, who viewed some episodes on his way to Vancouver to film The Death Merchant for TNT.
So, Hulk, what about this Springer show?
A bunch of lost people with sick problems. I’ve heard a lot of controversy about the fights being fake, but from what I see, it’s real hostility and real hatred. I’m surprised no one’s lost an eye yet. If it is fake, they need to go to wrestling school because they need to learn to take better care of the other person so they don’t get hurt.
What surprised me was the females were meaner than the men.
What advice would you give people thinking of taking their problems on The Jerry Springer Show?
Break clean, go back to your corners and start over.
Would you ever wrestle on his show?
That show’s a little over the top. I just wouldn’t want to be a part of it.
Mary Green WANTS TO KNOW
As a onetime teen idol, what advice can you offer Leonardo DiCaprio?
Former Blossom star Joey Lawrence, 22
“My advice to Leonardo is, ‘Don’t do any movies with animatronic monkeys.’ No, seriously, I applaud all of his creative choices.”
Herman’s Hermit Peter Noone, 51
“Be nice to all the little girls now, because one day they’ll be 40-plus, and they’ll still be coming to see you.”
Actor-singer Leif Garrett, 36
“If there is anything I would tell anybody in this profession, it is never believe your own press. Rock on, Leo.”
No, you didn’t stumble into Joey Buttafuoco’s chat room—that was an April 27 America Online session with Koko, a 26-year-old gorilla who has been taught to communicate by trainer Penny Patterson. “Are you hungry?” was one of the 13,000 cyberquestions submitted. “Eat now,” answered Koko, who’s said to understand 2,500 spoken and signed words. Koko’s word for her mate—whom she was mad at: “Toilet.”
Gulp! Snapple owner Nelson Peltz paid roughly $22 million for the 50-acre estate in Bedford, N.Y., once shared by singer Mariah Carey and her music-honcho ex, Tommy Mottola. The 20,000-square-foot home comes with two pools, a recording studio and 14 bathrooms.
The three most Prevalent religions in the U.S. are Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and United Methodist. Many showbiz folk are not nearly as traditional, preferring Buddhism, Scientology and the New Age teachings of such gurus as Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson. Here’s a look at how some of our idols worship:
Still Catholic, she also believes in the ancient branch of Judaism called Kabbalah: “It’s helped me stand up and take responsibility for everything to do with me.”
Michael Jackson, New Age
Raised a Jehovah’s Witness, he left the faith in 1987. Lately the singer has become friends with Deepak Chopra.
Humanism “My family is Jewish, Buddhist, Baptist and Catholic. I don’t believe in man-made religions.”
Tom Cruise, Scientology
He entered a Franciscan seminary at age 14, intending to become a priest—but quickly abandoned the idea, saying later that he “loved women too much to give that up.”
Courtney Love, Kabbalah
Previously, Love studied Buddhism; she set up an altar in her home for the ashes of her late husband Kurt Cobain.
Robert De Niro, Religion Unknown
In Hollywood he has played a priest in three movies, but he has managed to keep his own religion private.
Susan Sarandon, Lapsed Catholic
“I was always asking questions [the nuns] couldn’t answer, so I was labeled as having an overabundance of original sin.”
Richard Gere, Buddhism
A Buddhist for more than a decade, Gere is Hollywood’s leader in the fight for Tibetan freedom, even getting himself banned from the Oscars for anti-China comments he made at the 1993 ceremony.
Olivia Newton-John, New Age
She has been a follower of Deepak Chopra, whose teachings she first learned of when she was battling breast cancer several years back.
John Travolta, ]Scientology
Raised a Catholic, he converted in 1975. “When I was upset, I had a place to go.”
Lisa Marie Presley, Scientology
Though Elvis sang at his local Assembly of God church, his daughter says Scientology “saved my life and my sanity many times.”
Goldie Hawn, Eastern Spirituality
The daughter of a Presbyterian father and a Jewish mother, Hawn has studied many faiths, including Buddhism. “I look at it as a path to life.”
Charlton Heston, Episcopal
“I played Moses [in The Ten Commandments]. I’m not Moses. I have no religious credentials.”