David Krumholtz, the actor known for starring in the CBS drama “Numb3rs,” has publicly pointed out a fun fact from his Jewish family history: his grandfather was a chaffeur for the infamous Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky.
Krumholtz, 41, revealed the tidbit while talking with the New York Post at the premiere of HBO’s upcoming “The Plot Against America” series, an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel of the same name.
“He was a bad dude, probably a murderer,” Krumholtz said. “Yeah, I come from a long line of tough Jews.”
Lansky was one of the most well-known figures in the Jewish mob of the mid-20th century and one of the men most instrumental in the establishment of the National Crime Syndicate. In 1970, he fled to Israel to avoid tax evasion charges.
Krumholtz had been asked about how Jews have been persecuted throughout history, likely since the show (and novel) imagines an alternate world in which Charles Lindbergh became U.S. president and the country descends into a state of rampant anti-Semitism.
The actor, who has Hungarian and Polish Jewish roots, added that in a biography on Lansky, the mobster was quoted as calling Krumholtz’s grandfather the “dumbest Jew he ever met.”
“The Plot Against America” debuts on HBO on March 16.