Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from American National Biography. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

Fields, Lewis Mauricelocked

(01 January 1867–20 July 1941)
  • Armond Fields


Fields, Lewis Maurice (01 January 1867–20 July 1941), theater performer and producer, was born Moses Schoenfeld in Poland, the son of Solomon Schoenfeld, a tailor, and Sarah Franks. The family immigrated to New York City during his childhood. He made his stage debut at the age of ten as half of a bumbling blackface act in a Lower East Side amateur show. From that time on the stage was his passion and his meal ticket. Growing up in the Bowery slums in the 1870s, Schoenfeld embraced acting as an alternative to working in a sweatshop, as did his father and brothers, or running with a gang. He found early encouragement among his classmates at Public School No. 42 on Allen Street; they responded with laughter to his acrobatic antics while the teacher’s back was turned. From the very beginning, Fields’s philosophy was simply, in his own words, “to give the public what it wants.”...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription