For someone who spent a large portion of his life in the public eye, there are many discrepancies about television's favorite vampire, Al Lewis. His real name? Albert Meister... or possibly Alexander Meister. His birthplace? Brooklyn... or possibly upstate New York. Birthdate? 1923... or possibly 1910.
(That last one deserves its own discussion. Lewis, best-known for his role as Grandpa on "The Munsters", lied about his age, tacking on thirteen years because he was a year YOUNGER than the woman who was cast to play his daughter, Yvonne De Carlo. Talk about an anomaly.)
Al Lewis' heritage? Well, this one is simple. Jewish, of course. Al Lewis' religion? Oh boy.
Well, born Jewish, obviously. Lived Jewish for most of his life, through marriage to his first wife. But in his 60s (or is it 70s? Talk about virility!) he married his second wife, the goyishe Karen Ingenthron, who was younger than him by 22 (surely not 35!) years, and... well, it's not clear. We do know that he was cremated and the funeral was held in a church. So did he go senile in his old (but not quite as old as he proclaimed) age? Did he trade his Judaism for a youngish shiksa?
We wish we had a clear answer here, but at least Al's Jewishness is less muddy than his first job: according to him, circus dung shoveler. We're not gonna touch that one with a ten-foot pole.