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Celia Adler

The young Celia Adler
Born December 6, 1889(1889-12-06)
New York, New York
Died January 31, 1979 (aged 89)
Bronx, New York
Occupation Stage, film, television actress
Spouse(s) Lazar Freed, Jack Cone,
Nathan Forman

Celia Feinman Adler (6 December 1889 – 31 January 1979) was an American Jewish actress, known as the "First Lady of the Yiddish Theatre".[1]

She was the daughter of Jacob Adler and Dinah Shtettin, and the older half-sister of Stella, Luther Adler and Jacob Adler's five other children.[1][2] Unlike Stella and Luther, who became well known for their work with the Group Theater, their film work and as theorists of the craft of acting, she was almost exclusively a stage actress.[2]

Mainly known for her work in Yiddish theater, where she was associated with the Yiddish Art Theater movement of the 1920s and 1930s,[2] she also gave one of the first theatrical portrayals of a Holocaust survivor, in Luther Adler's 1946 Broadway production of A Flag Is Born (written by Ben Hecht and featuring a 22-year-old Marlon Brando, Stella Adler's prize pupil in method acting).[3] Adler, along with co-stars Paul Muni and Marlon Brando, refused to accept compensation above the Actor's Equity minimum wage because of her commitment to the cause of creating a Jewish State in Israel.[4]

In 1937, Celia Adler starred in the Henry Lynn Yiddish film, Where Is My Child. From 1937 to 1952, Adler appeared in several films and TV programs.[5] Her last film was a 1985 British documentary with archive footage, Almonds and Raisins[6], narrated by Orson Welles, Herschel Bernardi, Joseph Green, (born 1900), and Seymour Rechzeit.[1]

She was married three times, to actor Lazar Freed, theatrical manager Jack Cone, and businessman Nathan Forman.[1] All three marriages ended in divorce. One of her sons by Lazar Freed, Dr. Selwyn Freed, was a renowned urologist in New York City.

She is buried in the Yiddish Theatre Section of Mount Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, New York, USA.[7]

Her autobiography was ghost-written by Jacob Tickman. צילי אדלער דערציילט / Tsili Adler dertseylt by אדלער, צילי, 1899-1979. Celia Adler Language: Yiddish Type: Book Publisher: צילי אדלער פאונדיישאן און בוך־קאָמיטעט, Nyu-York: Tsili Adler Faundeyshon un Bukh-Komitet, 1959.


  1. ^ a b c d Celia Adler at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ a b c Adler, Jacob (1999). A Life on the Stage: A Memoir, translated with commentary by Lulla Rosenfeld. New York: Knopf. p. 381 (commentary). ISBN 0-679-41351-0.  
  3. ^ Medoff, Rafael (2004-07-07). "When Marlon Brando Spoke Up for the Jews". Israel Resource Review. Retrieved 2007-04-09.  
  4. ^ David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies: Welcome
  5. ^ Bridge of Light (Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds), pages 36,51,111n,209,212,253,306, J. Hoberman, Museum of Modern Art, Published by Shocken Books, 1991, YIVO translations
  6. ^ Bridge of Light (Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds), page 358n, J. Hoberman, Museum of Modern Art, Published by Shocken Books, 1991, YIVO translations
  7. ^ Celia Adler at Find a Grave

External links



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