Lives in the Yiddish
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN
THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"
Wilner was born on 18
December 1895 in Bzhozov (Brzozow), Galicia, to Chasidic
parents. His father was a prayer leader.
W. learned Gemora in a cheder with tusfut, and he was
a choir boy for his father and also for the city's cantor. At
home he studied German and Polish with a Jewish teacher.
In 1908 W. went with his
father to America, and here for six months he studied in
a public school, afterwards working in a tailor's shop.
He had a cousin who used to
work the curtains in a vaudeville theatre, who often
used to be behind the scenes. So in 1910 W. was given
the opportunity to act in the "role" of a policeman.
From then on, W. acted with "amateurs" across the
In 1917 he was recommended
to Sigmund Weintraub and Bessie Thomashefsky for "lover
roles", and in 1918 he acted as a "buff-comic".
From 1922 to 1927 W. acted
at the Second Avenue Theatre; in 1927-8 at the National
Theatre, and from 1928-30 back at the Second Avenue
Theatre. W. is a member of the Executive (Council) of
the Yiddish Actor's Union.
Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the "Lexicon
of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig,
Volume 1, page 718.
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