Sacha Baron Cohen on Monday landed a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a limited series or TV movie for portraying Israeli spy Eli Cohen in Netflix’s “The Spy.”
The English Jewish actor tweeted his thanks, including to the show’s “visionary” Israeli writer and producer Gideon Raff, and said he shares the recognition with Eli Cohen’s family.
“I am hugely proud of The Spy and thrilled that it has been seen and embraced by audiences around the globe,” Baron Cohen said.
Eli Cohen, who spied for Israel in Syria during the 1960s, provided valuable intelligence that was said to have greatly assisted the Israeli military in the 1967 Six Day War. Cohen was caught and eventually executed by Syrian authorities in 1965. Israel has worked to retrieve his remains for decades.
A heartfelt thank you to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this honour. I have long wanted to move away from comedy and do something uncommercial, not reliant on jokes, that few people would see – which I achieved with the The Brothers Grimsby.
— Sacha Baron Cohen (@SachaBaronCohen) December 9, 2019
Last year, Baron Cohen was nominated for a Golden Globe for best musical or comedy television actor for his performance in his satirical ambush show “Who is America,” in which he pranked politicians, including by posing as an Israeli counterterrorism expert.
“Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi’s anti-hate satire about a German boy who wants to be a Nazi toward the end of World War II, is up for best musical or comedy film.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” about Jewish New Yorkers in the 1950s, got a nod for best TV comedy series.
Other Jews who earned nominations this year include Scarlett Johansson, nominated for best actress in a drama for her role in “Marriage Story.”
Henry Winkler was nominated for best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series for his work on the HBO dark comedy “Barry,” and Paul Rudd was nominated for best performance in a musical or comedy series for “Living with Yourself.”
Natasha Lyonne, who is from an Orthodox family and lived in Israel for a time as a child, was nominated for best performance by an actress in a TV series for “Russian Doll.” She was also a co-creator of the show, which includes many Jewish references.
Broadway star Ben Platt is up for best actor in a TV comedy for his performance in Netflix’s “The Politician.”
Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, both Jewish, earned nominations for their performances in “The Kominsky Method,” Douglas for lead actor in a TV comedy series and Arkin for supporting actor in “a series, limited series or motion picture made for television.” They play an aging Jewish acting coach and his aging Jewish agent, respectively.
The awards show will be broadcast on NBC on January 5.