The famous alumni of Midwood High School

What do Woody Allen, Marvin Hamlisch, and Emmanuel Lewis all have in common? All three graduated from Brooklyn’s Midwood High School. Woody got his diploma in 1953, Hamlisch in the early 1960s, and Webster in the ’80s.

MidwoodhighOther famous Midwood students include Grease‘s Didi Conn, poet June Jordan, and Prison Break star Wentworth Miller (though Miller transferred elsewhere before graduating).

For a school known for its math and science brainiacs, Midwood seems to produce a lot of actors and musicians too.

Midwood was built in 1940 on Bedford Avenue and Glenwood Road; construction costs ran to $2 million. Looks like the board of education got a good deal. It’s a lovely looking school building, with its six columns and cupola crowning the top.

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37 Responses to “The famous alumni of Midwood High School”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    So did Joe Cassano, head of AIG’s London office during the great failure of 2008.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Cassano

  2. claire Jaffee Speciner Says:

    I’d like to speak for those of us who are not famous. Midwood was an extraordinary educational experience: our teachers were bright, enthusiastic and delighted in teaching. Any student who was interested in the subject was encouraged to work hard and was rewarded for effort. Our student government, the City of Midwood, introduced us to politics and personal responsibility and the Sing taught us that cooperation was essential to produce a great show.

    Two other famous alumni are the composer, John Corigliano, and the writer, my cousin, Barbara Klaus.

    Claire Jaffee Speciner, Class of 1950

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks for writing in. I’ve heard a lot about the quality of Brooklyn public high schools in the 1940s and 1950s; my father graduated from Lincoln in 1951 and his cousin graduated from Midwood in 1950, your year. These huge high schools really worked back then, and Midwood is still a top school today. (Don’t hear much about Lincoln, however.)

  4. Robert Seasonwein Says:

    What about Morty Gunty–a great Borscht Belt comedian. RGS, ’63

  5. Richards Says:

    Batchmates.com a nice alumni site to join and reunite with your friends.

  6. 1970s Brooklyn on TV: Welcome Back Kotter « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] It’s also where David Geffen, Buddy Hackett, and Moe and Curly Howard went to high school. That’s quite an illustrious list of alumni–almost as good as nearby Midwood High School. [...]

  7. LEFTSIDE Says:

    Victor Williams, who played Deacon, on CBS’ King Of Queens, is a Midwood grad from the 80′s

  8. Larry Mars Says:

    You forgot Larry Mars. He bar mitzahed with Woody Allen in 1948 at the the Talmud Torah of Flatbush. This off course was before high school

    • Joan Leach Says:

      Hi Larry,
      Haven’t heard from you in a long time. You never really shared your successes. Are you coming to the Midwood High School anniversary next Sunday? I realize you’re living in California.
      Joan (Gross) Leach

      • Larry bergman Says:

        Joan Gross, a name from the past. Related to Ricky & Frank Romano?
        Larry Bergman

  9. AL Says:

    How about Hal Fishman, news anchor for KTLA here in Los Angeles. I graduated Jube 1950

  10. jim ganis Says:

    Eric Segal also went to Midwood – 1954

  11. Richard G. Says:

    Gerald Gutierrez, Broadway director, Tony(s) and Drama Desk award winner. Class of ’67. Died in 2003.

    “Tony Award-winning director Gerald Gutierrez, who helmed Lincoln Center Theater productions of Dinner at Eight, The Most Happy Fella, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, The Heiress, A Delicate Balance and more, has died, a spokesperson for Lincoln Center Theater confirmed Dec. 30.”

  12. Paul Meyers Says:

    What a great school to be part of…

  13. Bob Harris Says:

    Bob Harris: Voted Class Artist on graduation, went on to career in the then new television industry. Editor of pioneer trade magazine, Televiser, Advertising & Promotion Director of channel 13, then on to California and Hollywood.

  14. john sheehan Says:

    john sheehan here graduating class of 1971 thanks to the great very dedicated teaching staff at midwood i went on to attend brooklyn college and graduated from B.C in 1975 , i retired as a nyc dept of corrections captain in 2000, 20 year pension you cant beat that 20 year pension. during my years at midwood high school the vietnam war was raging with many demonstrations in front of the school, we are still at war somthings never change . thank you for posting my comment here

  15. Franklyn Elliott Says:

    Lucky me. transferred the year Midwood opened (from Madison High) Grad in the 40′s. So long ago an such rich memories of students and staff. Franklyn Elliott..semi retired Psychologist.

  16. Jeff Krantz Says:

    Can anyone help me identify a 1970 Midwood High Class ring with the initials E G? It also says Drilling 10K and Hornets on the front. Where can I get a year book or alumni for that year. Thanks. Jeff

  17. Stars who started out at Seward Park High School « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] This Brooklyn high school has also enrolled its share of future celebs and stars. [...]

  18. Big Sis Says:

    I taught there for 1 term– Spring 1988. Then I was excessed. I could have gone to Midwood but I chose…Murrow!

  19. Boo Modi Says:

    Also from Midwood HS are Victor Williams from the show King of Queens and Andy Richtman from Man vs. Food on TLC.

  20. chuck Says:

    what about artist Charles Zuppardi ’63

  21. THOMAS GUARIANO Says:

    I ATTENDED MIDWOOD HS FROM 1953 TO 1957 AND THOSE WERE SOME OF THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE SPENT IN AND AROUND IT I REMEMBER THE SUGAR BOWL ON CAMPUS RD AND ALL MY FRIENDS FROM THOSE WOUNDERFULL SIMPLE YEARS FEEDING THE JUKE BOX AND HANGING OUT YEP I SPENT MANY PERIODS THEIR LOL CUTTING CLASSES I DIDN’T LIKE IT WENT BY SO FAST SO TO ALL MY FRIENDS BAXCK THEN I HOPE ONE DAY WE ALL CAN MEET IN THAT BIG SUGAR BOWL IN THE SKY AND UNTIL THEN I WISH ALL OF YOU GOOD HEALTH AND GOD BLESS WE HAD A BLAST DIDN’T WE ? TOMMY GUARIANO

    • al Says:

      I graduated in 1950 . Sadly those days are gone forever.

      • ephemeralnewyork Says:

        A relative of mine graduated that year too. Her name then was Shirley Mintz; she went on to Barnard.

      • al Says:

        I went to City College. Now live in Southern Calif.

    • Jodie Polansky-Maoz Says:

      Hi.to Thomas Guariano. Did you live on East 9th street between foster ave and ave H. You’re grandparents lived downstairs? A sister named Jeannie? My name is Jodie and I lived 2 houses down. I believe it was your sister that babysat for me and you filled in when she wasn’t available. Sorry if I got the wrong person

  22. Marc Geschwind Says:

    I live in LOS ANGELES and am Involved in the entertainment industry. It is remarkable how many famous people- both in front of , and behind the camera – came from. MIDWOOD classes 1975 & 1976 ! WE talk about Midwood and our high school days frequently and with passion.

    • Bob Harris Says:

      Hi Marc – I also live in Los Angeles and involved with the entertainment industry (started Back Stage West, the entertainment trade paper, for one of many activities. As a Midwood graduate and proud of my Brooklyn background I’d like to join the conversation.

    • Julie Sarinsky Says:

      Hi Marc:
      I am a not famous alum from the 80′s but my very creative daughter is presently going to school there. The school is in bad financial condition and the auditorium in is ill-repair. Part of the lighting system died two years ago before SING and it has never been repaired. I would like to try to do a fund raiser to see if we can refurbish the auditorium and keep a strong arts program in this school. With the looming NYC budget cuts, it again looks like the arts will take a hit again.

  23. Linda Effrat Zolet Says:

    Linda Effrat Zolet: No other educational institution could compare with the Midwood I attended in the ’50s.We survived the first city-wide teachers’ strike and had a staff of truly devoted instructors. Anyone knowing Art Chairman Marvin Mandel who went on to head
    Art Dept. at Brooklyn College- I owe much of my life’s work to him and have tried to find him for years. We were the luckiest of the lucky to be blessed during those “Happy Days”!

  24. Thomas Guariano Says:

    You missed one lady who became a huge stage and movie star her name Lanie Kazan (Katz) who was multi talented performing comedy and drama she also i believe was an understudy for Barbara Striezand and happy to say my neighbor and school mate then She lived then withher Mom and Dad in the only terrace apartment on Ave H and E 9th st She was a wounderful girl and nice as can be If you are reading this Lanie God bless you Darlin Tommy Guariano ther little tough Italian from E9th st LOL

  25. gary drexler Says:

    i am lookingt for lorraine heckler grad about 1968-9 please respomnds to river4us2@charter.net

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