Lives in the Yiddish Theatre
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"

1931-1969
 

Helen Bernardi
(Laina Lampel -- Topf)

 

B. was born on 31 March 1882 in Berlin, Germany. Her parents were Galitzianers. One of her uncles was the famous badkhan, R' Alter Melitzer. She was raised in Berlin and had no knowledge of Yiddish, although her parents had spoken Yiddish between them.

In 1899 a Yiddish troupe came to Berlin, which had performed there for two years. As such this was a new experience for her, and each evening she attended the theatre. She also became acquainted with the actor Berl Topf (his surname was later changed to Bernardi), who had eventually brought her onto the stage. Her first role was "Abigail" in the play "Shulamis".

Two years later Bernardi brought her to America, and here they were married.

Since then she has acted with various troupes across America and Canada, in the beginning as a soubrette, and then in mother roles. In 1929-30 she was at the Lyric Theatre.

Her daughter [Faigele -- ed.] is a chorus singer in the Yiddish theatre.


Sh. E.

 


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 206.
 

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