You are looking at  1-11 of 11 articles  for:

  • Media and performing arts x
  • stage actor or actress x
  • film actor or actress x
Clear All

Article

Adler, Luther (04 May 1903–08 December 1984), stage, film, and television actor, was born in New York City, the son of Jacob Pavlovich Adler, founder of the American Yiddish theater movement, and Sara Levitzkaya Adler, an actress. While all of the children acted professionally, only Luther and his sister ...

Article

Adler, Sara (1860?–28 April 1953), actress, was born in Odessa, Ukraine, the daughter of Ellye Levitzky and Pessye (maiden name unknown), merchants. She attended a Russian school, where she made her dramatic debut at age eight in the role of Emilia in Schiller’s ...

Article

Adler, Stella (10 February 1901–21 December 1992), actress and acting teacher, was born in New York City, the daughter of Jacob Adler, an actor, and Sara Levitzky Adler, an actress and producer. As part of the first family of the American Yiddish theater, Adler was acting from the age of five. Like her parents and five siblings, she was in constant demand as her parents’ Independent Yiddish Art Company played its ever-expanding repertory to packed houses on the city’s Lower East Side. The child-actor’s schedule allowed little time for formal education beyond reading and theatergoing....

Article

Albert, Eddie (22 April 1906–26 May 2005), actor and environmental activist, was born Edward Albert Heimberger in Rock Island, Illinois, the son of Frank Daniel Heimberger, a realtor, and Julia Jones. At the age of one his family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended parochial school before graduating from Central High School in 1924. He then entered the University of Minnesota where he majored in business and worked his way up to manager at the local theater. Young Eddie left school without graduating and worked a series of odd jobs before joining a singing trio that appeared on the local radio station. Tired of hearing his name mangled as “hamburger” he changed it to Eddie Albert, and after successfully auditioning at NBC he moved to New York with partner Grace Bradt to star in ...

Article

Dee, Ruby (27 Oct. 1922–11 June 2014), actor, author, and civil rights activist, was born Ruby Anne Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio, to Edward Nathaniel Wallace, who held various positions with the Pennsylvania Railroad, and Gladys Hightower. When the unstable Gladys left the family, her father married Emma Amelia Benson, a former teacher....

Article

Dennis, Sandy (27 Apr. 1937–2 Mar. 1992), actress, was born Sandra Dale Dennis in Hastings, Nebraska, to Jack Dennis, a salesman and postal clerk, and Yvonne Hudson Dennis, a secretary. She grew up in Lincoln, where she attended public schools and developed a lifelong love of literature, including poetry. She also enjoyed watching plays on television, at a time when that medium was a showcase for outstanding drama. One in particular, Horton Foote’s ...

Article

Divine (19 Oct. 1945–7 March 1988), film actor, stage performer, and singer, was born Harris Glenn Milstead in Baltimore, Maryland, to Harris Bernard Milstead and Frances Vukovich Milstead. Milstead was educated in the public schools in suburban Baltimore and graduated from Towson High School in ...

Article

Griffith, Andy (7 June 1926–3 July 2012), Broadway, film, and television star, was born Andy Samuel Griffith, the only child of Carl Lee Griffith, a carpenter, and Geneva Nann (Nunn) Griffith in Mount Airy, North Carolina. His parents moved to Ohio, looking for work, and their toddler was raised by his maternal grandmother until he was three. In ...

Article

Rolle, Esther (8 Nov. 1920–17 Nov. 1998), film, television and stage actress, was born in Pompano Beach, Florida, the ninth child (sometimes reported as the tenth) out of eighteen of Jonathan and Elizabeth Dames Rolle. Her parents both emigrated from the Bahamas to live on a ten-acre vegetable farm, where Jonathan Rolle worked as a sharecropper. As a child Rolle was surrounded by performers, as her older siblings formed a dramatic musical group, The Family Circle, and performed skits and songs for family, friends, and at churches and other similar venues. Unfortunately, by the time she was old enough to join the group, they had disbanded. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami in the late 1930s, she moved to New York to live with her older sister and continue her education....

Article

Wallach, Eli Herschel (7 Dec. 1915–24 June 2014), actor, was born in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, to Abram Wallach and Bertha Schorr Wallach. His parents, Jewish immigrants from Poland, owned a candy store that provided an adequate living for Eli and his three siblings. As a child he enjoyed imitating the actors he saw in silent films, and he entertained his family by performing stories from newspaper comics. During his youth he dreamed of becoming an actor, but by the time of his graduation from Erasmus Hall High School in ...

Article

Wilder, Gene (11 June 1933–29 Aug. 2016), actor, writer, director, and novelist, was born Jerome “Jerry” Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Velvel (William) Silberman, a Jewish salesman who emigrated from Russia, and Jeanne (Baer) Silberman, from a Polish Jewish family in Chicago.

Jerry became a comedian when he was eight, hoping to make his mother laugh as she recovered from her first heart attack. “If my mother hadn’t laughed, I probably wouldn’t be a comic actor” (...