Jay Scott Greenspan (born September 23, 1959), known professionally as Jason Alexander, is an American actor, comedian, film director, and television presenter. An Emmy and Tony winner, he is best known for his role as George Costanza in the television series Seinfeld (1989–1998), for which he was nominated for seven consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards. His other well-known roles include Phillip Stuckey in the film Pretty Woman (1990), comic relief gargoyle Hugo in the Disney animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), and the title character in the animated series Duckman (1994–1997). He has also made guest appearances on shows such as Dream On (1994), Curb Your Enthusiasm (2001, 2009), and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2019). For his role in Dream On, he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. He won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Song in 2020 for "The Bad Guys?" on Brainwashed By Toons.
Alexander has been active on stage, appearing in several Broadway musicals, including Jerome Robbins' Broadway in 1989, for which he won the Tony Award as Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He appeared in the Los Angeles production of The Producers. He was the artistic director of "Reprise! Broadway's Best in Los Angeles", where he has directed several musicals.
Alexander has been married to Daena E. Title, cousin of director Stacy Title, since May 31, 1982. They have two sons, Gabriel and Noah.
Greenspan was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Jewish parents Ruth Minnie (née Simon), a nurse and health care administrator, and Alexander B. Greenspan, an accounting manager, whose first name Jason later borrowed to create his stage name. He has a half-sister, Karen Van Horne, and a half-brother, Michael Greenspan.Alexander grew up in Maplewood and Livingston, New Jersey, and is a 1977 graduate of Livingston High School. Interested in magic from an early age, he initially hoped to be a magician, but while attending a magic camp was told that his hands were too small for card magic. He became interested in theater, eventually realizing, "Wait a minute—the whole thing's an illusion. Nothing up there is real" and that theater was "a magic trick". He then decided to pursue a theater career.After high school, he studied theatre at Boston University. He wanted to pursue classical acting, but a professor redirected him toward comedy after noticing his physique, remarking, "I know your heart and soul are Hamlet, but you will never play Hamlet." Alexander left Boston University without a degree after his third year to take a full-time acting job in New York City. The university awarded him an honorary degree in 1995.