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Actor Jeff Goldblum was rumored to have died the same day as Michael Jackson, but reports of his death were greatly exaggerated. His days are numbered, though, so I did some work on his obituary.

Jeffrey Lynn Goldblum was born 22 Oct. 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Dr. Harold L. and Shirley S. (Temeles) Goldblum. His father (whose obituary may be read here) was the son of Joseph and Lillian (Leventon) Goldblum of Pittsburgh. Dr. Goldblum's mother's maiden name was suggested by this article about his brother, which mentions an uncle Max Leventon, Census records confirm that Lillian and Max were siblings, children of Russian immigrants Harry and Sarah Leventon. Note also that Max Leventon witnessed Joseph Goldblum's petition for naturalization in 1922.

Jeff's paternal grandfather sought to stymie future genealogists by changing his name to "Goldblum," but it didn't work. Joseph Goldblum was born Josef Povartzik, 15 May 1896 in Tinkowitz, Minsk, Russia (now Timkovichi, Belarus), and arrived in Baltimore, Maryland, 25 Nov. 1911 aboard the S.S. Rhein. (His surname was also spelled "Powarczyk," "Powarczik," etc.) Joseph's father was Zelik Povartzik, who arrived in Philadelphia aboard the S.S. Koln, 23 Mar. 1911, and submitted his own petition for naturalization in 1923.

Jeff Goldblum's maternal ancestry was no less Eastern European. His mother was born in West Virginia in 1926, the daughter of Samuel Louis and Anna G. (Katz) Temeles. Samuel was born 26 Feb. 1894 in Zloczów, Galicia (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), and died 18 Sept. 1939 in Weirton, West Virginia (his death certificate). His parents were Abraham and Beila (Shapiro) Temeles, both natives of Podkamien, Galicia. Samuel arrived in New York aboard the S.S. Amerika, 28 May 1910. His father, Abraham, came by way of Montreal, Quebec, in August 1911, with his mother arriving at Ellis Island two months later.

Corrections and additions are welcome in the comments.

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Comment by Chris Dunham on July 8, 2009 at 11:10pm
Dying can do wonders for one's career. Just look at how many albums Michael Jackson is selling these days.
Comment by Jeanie DiLeonardo on July 8, 2009 at 11:05pm
This explains why I've seen him on late night TV so frequently as of late.
Comment by tami osmer glatz on July 8, 2009 at 11:00pm
evidently Jeff Goldblum gets added to the list every time there is an abundance of celebrity deaths... can't figure that one out. I kinda like him... anyone remember him in the Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension?
Comment by Chris Dunham on July 8, 2009 at 2:24pm
If your family member appeared in an awesome movie like The Fly, I'd consider it.
Comment by Cindy Johnston Sorley on July 8, 2009 at 2:22pm
Hey will you spend that much time doing research on just ONE family member of mine... this was amazing.
Comment by Miriam Robbins Midkiff on July 8, 2009 at 1:29pm
There were also rumors that Tony Danza had died the same day as Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. Not true.
Comment by Chris Dunham on July 8, 2009 at 1:27pm
Thanks, Cindy!
Comment by Cindy Johnston Sorley on July 8, 2009 at 1:26pm
This is a brilliant piece of work and really made my day.


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