He swept the
floors of the Windsor Theatre in New York City,
and took the most menial chores, as long as they
were connected to the theatre. At last he
achieved the status of being accepted into a
dramatic club -- an achievement in that era --
and from there it was on to the Brownsville
Metropolitan Singers Hall, where he was at last
cast in a small role in a play called "Chaim in
America", and later he received larger roles.
He worked himself up
to a role in the sensation of the year, in a
play called "Der vilder mensch (The Wild Man)",
and from there he went on to the Golden Rule
Hall, then the Thalia Music Hall in New York
City, where he performed for the next two years
until he finally hooked up with a road company
that traveled all around the United States and
Canada. That brought him Baltimore, Maryland,
where he fell in love and married a young lady
named Sadie Shapiro.
Sadie was not an
actress. she was the daughter of the actress
Anna Shapiro, who was a member of the acting
company in Baltimore that Jacob had joined for
the season. Anna's husband Charles, also an
actor, had passed away two years earlier, in
1909, and this was now 1911.
In 1914, already the
proud father of a baby girl, Jacob traveled
around the country in English vaudeville, until
returning once again to the Yiddish theatre,
this time in Toronto, Canada. There he partnered
with Nathan Goldberg and Isidore Meltzer in a
venture, until finally he went over to Max
Gabel's theatre in New York, followed by a
season with Maurice Schwartz at the old Irving
Place Theatre (now a landmark). After that, he
once again tried his hand at becoming a manager,
as well as an actor, this time along with the
fine actor Joseph Schoengold and Sam Auerbach,
another actor, they became partners in a theatre
in Chicago. The season there was quite a
Then G. went back to
New York again for a series of seasons in
various theatres in New York, until 1925, which
again saw him trying his luck as director and
impresario, as well as an actor at the Capitol
Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles,
at the time, was not a theatre-oriented town,
and this attempt was a complete disaster.
In 1926, he once
again returned to New York to the National
Theatre, and there he became a member of the
company, followed by two years with Maurice
Schwartz and his Yiddish Art Theatre. By 1929,
it was the Folks Theatre on Second Avenue in New
York City. Mischa and Lucy Gehrman were the
stars there then.
In 1930, G. was with
the company at the newly opened Lawndale Theatre
in Chicago, Illinois.
All throughout these
years, G. remained an involved, active member of
the Hebrew Actors Union, often serving most
efficiently on its Executive Board, earning the
trust of the other Board members, as well as the
membership of the Union, his colleagues, for his
honesty and integrity, considering all the
decisions he was faced with making.
By season 1930-31,
G.'s daughter, Charlotte, was already an
actress, following in her father's footsteps.
They were both engaged to perform in the same
theatre in Detroit.
daughter Charlotte, in 1931-2, G. was so healthy
and strong, never having been sick a day in his
life. However G.'s last performance was given in
Boston, as he succumbed to pneumonia there,
which had quickly escalated from a simple cold.
This occurred in the era before penicillin was
discovered, which could have easily saved his
G. passed away on 19
April 1932, and he was greatly mourned by his
wife and daughter, and by all who knew and
Per his loving
daughter, Charlotte Goldstein, she refers to her
father this way:
"I, his daughter, do
so cherish the memory of my father and take such
pride in the legacy he left behind, of a caring
and compassionate person..."
On the sad occasion
of G.'s passing, he was eulogized by a close
friend, as such:
"Jacob Goldstein was
a man possessed of untold wealth, incalculable
when measured against his sense of truth and
from his daughter Charlotte Goldstein.