Most everyone who went to high school in Livingston, NJ, with Newark-born Jason Alexander knew that the lad was destined to become a major actor. Though inclined to stoutness -- and baldness -- from age 16 onward, Alexander had such a commanding stage presence that he was invariably cast as the star in school plays, in roles ranging from romantic leads to elderly character parts. While attending Boston University, the 20-year-old Alexander was cast in the lead of the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Merrily We Roll Along, which might have made him an overnight star had it not closed almost as soon as it opened. Alexander's first film role was in 1981's The Burning; that same year he made his TV-movie bow in Senior Trip. By 1989, Alexander had two major industry awards to his credit: the Tony and Grammy, both for his participation in Jerome Robbins' Broadway. In 1990, he was cast as clueless loser George Costanza in the popular sitcom Seinfeld (the character was allegedly based on series co-creator Larry David). And in 1994, his voice could be heard each week on the USA cable network as the web-footed, sex-obsessed private eye hero of the animated cartoon series Duckman. Though still best-known for his portrayal of George Costanza, Alexander's feature film career picked up speed during the '90s as both a character actor in major comedies such as Dunston Checks In and a voice-over artist on such animated Disney features as Aladdin and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In 1997, he played a more dramatic role as an AIDS-afflicted drag queen who finds romance in Love! Valour! Compassion! (1997). After a disappointing blink-and-you-miss-it comeback to the small screen as a self-help guru in Bob Patterson, Alexander leapt back to the big screen opposite Jack Black in the Farrelly brothers' Shallow Hal. He directed the sex comedy Just Looking in 1999.
He had another small-screen misfire with Listen Up. But he continued to appear regularly in movies including the documentary The Aristocrats, the improvised poker movie The Grand, and Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror. He has lent his voice to a handful of animated projects over the years, and in 2012 he appeared in the family film A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up Timmy Turner.
~ Hal Erickson, Rovi