Fred Melamed

Melamed in 2010, photo by s_bukley/

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 13, 1956

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Fred Melamed is an American actor, comedian, and writer.

Fred was adopted by Syma (Krichefsky), an actress, and Louis Melamed, a television producer. His biological parents are actress and director Nancy Zala, who was born in New York, and psychoanalyst Stanley J. Silverstone, who was born in London, England. Both Fred’s adoptive and biological parents were born Jewish. Fred’s biological father was a relative of actors/acting teaches Luther Adler and Stella Adler.

Fred is married to Leslee Spieler, with whom he has two children.

Louis Melamed was the son of Michael Melamed and Bolissa Melamed, who were born in Israel.

Fred’s biological paternal grandfather was named Joe Silverstone.

Fred’s biological paternal grandmother was named Anne Disner.

Fred’s paternal great-grandparents lived in South Africa.

Fred’s biological maternal grandfather was Alfred Frances/Ferencz Grünbaum Zala (the son of Ferencz Pál Grünbaum Zala and Bertha/Berta Klein or Wolf). Alfred was born in Nagykanizsa, Hungary. Pal was born in Zalaszentgrót, Zala, Hungary. Bertha Wolf was born in Timișoara, Romania, the daughter of Adolf Wolf and Klára Buli, and Berta Klein was the daughter of Moritz Klein and Nina Gruber.

Fred’s biological maternal grandmother was named Elizabeth/Erzsébet Boksan. Elizabeth was born in Munkacs, Hungary, present-day Ukraine.

Sources: Genealogy of Fred Melamed (focusing on his adoptive father’s side) –

Obituary of Fred’s biological father –

Fred’s biological maternal grandparents, Alfred Frances/Ferencz Grünbaum Zala and Elizabeth/Erzsébet Boksan, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogies of Fred’s biological maternal great-grandparents, Ferencz Pál Grünbaum Zala and Bertha/Berta Wolf –

4 Responses

  1. madman says:

    Are you sure his biological mother’s family was Jewish?

    • follers says:

      Well, his grandfather was Jewish, and I kind of doubt he was a Hungarian Jewish immigrant married to a Hungarian Catholic immigrant in New York in 1930. For whatever reason, have just never seen such a thing. Maybe bablah can find something on his grandmother that lists her parents or confirms it or something.

      Also, since Fred was adopted by a Jewish couple in the 1950s, most likely his matrilineal line would have to be Jewish. If it wasn’t, the baby might have been given to a non-Jewish adoptive agency (i.e. like Finn Wolfhard’s mother).

      I think both Nancy and Elsie Zala married Jewish spouses.

      • madman says:

        I thought especially his grandfather could’ve been Jewish (Grünbaum, Wolf), hence why I didn’t mention her grandparents’ background at all. All I know is that Boksan sounds more Hungarian than Jewish to me. Almost every person on Family Search with the surname seems to be either Hungarian or Slovak.

        On Elizabeth’s naturalization record, it says that her name used to be Elizabeth Juconen (at some point). Juconen sounds Finnish, although I suspect it’s misspelled since hardly anyone has that name. She came to the U.S. in 1913 and married Alfred in 1925, so maybe Juconen is from a former husband. I didn’t find anything more about that though.

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