Jay Scott Greenspan , better known by his stage name Jason Alexander, is an American actor, comedian, magician and voice artist. Alexander is best known for his prominent role as George Costanza in the television series Seinfeld. He portrayed the lawyer Philip Stuckey in the film Pretty Woman . He has also had an active career 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 is the Artistic Director of Reprise Broadways Best in Los Angeles, where he has directed several musicals. He also voiced the lead character in the animated series Duckman .
Alexander was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Jewish parents Ruth Minnie , a nurse and health care administrator, and Alexander B. Greenspan, an accounting manager. He has a halfsister, Karen Van Horne, and a halfbrother, Michael Greenspan. Alexander grew up in Livingston, New Jersey and is a 1977 graduate of Livingston High School. He attended Boston University but left the summer before his senior year, after getting work in New York City. At Boston University, Alexander 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. He was later given an honorary degree in 1995. He is a practicing magician, and only switched to acting as a career when he realized that he was unlikely to succeed as a magician.