Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Rosa Becker


Besides the difficult life of the actor, B. felt like most of the Yiddish provincial actors in the former Russia. She also had experienced many private, tragic events.

She was born in Grodzisk, Poland, in a rabbi's court, a grandchild of R' Sheyle, and they had her, due to the death of two children earlier, according to the advice of a "good Jew," mshdkh [?] after birth was with the Praga's rabbi's wife's son, who was born after her. As "this born child," yearlong she wore "white clothing." After her father's death, she, with her mother came to Lodz. Here a friend took her into a Yiddish theatre and she became acquainted with her cousin, the actor Kalinsky, who she had as a girl of twelve, was attacked, and she gave birth to a girl. The family diverted itself from her, and declared that she was dead, that they would sit shiva for her. Soon after the birth, the child Mindl (Manye) was taken away from her, and the mother as her aunt.

B. was connected to the Yiddish theatre, and at the age of sixteen she married the actor Sasha Becker, and they played in the troupes of Fiszon, Kompaneyets and others, until Becker founded his own troupe. Already having a piece of dirt under her feet, she finally got in touch with her mother, that she should come to her in Vitebsk, where she was acting, and there she demanded of her where her daughter could be found. After long-term efforts she finally was put into contact with her daughter, who in the meantime became a Yiddish actress, and was invited by her to Minsk to join her at her evening of honor. She traveled there, but due to the circumstances of communication at that

time, the production had already come and passed, she found the theatre had already closed, but outside the theatre there was a great racket, and shtelt fest that her daughter who she personally had never seen, went out from the theatre and was killed in an automobile collision.

After her husband's death B. came to America.

In America for fifteen years B played together with Louis Kremer in his dramatic ketches, and also she had the opportunity to play in "Yoshe Kalb" with Maurice Schwartz, and in "Hello Molly" (under the name Molly Beck) with Molly Picon.

In her husband's troupe, and later in the "Baku Yiddish Theatre" B. had the opportunity to play the top dramatic roles in the plays: "Kreutzer Sonata," "The Oath," "God, Man and Devil" (Freydenyu) by Gordin, "The Idle Inn" by Hirshbein, "John and Madalena" by Mirabeau, "The Eternal Corpse" ("Olga"), "Anna Karenina," per Tolstoy, and in the melodrama "Trouble from Children (Tsures fun kinder)."

She settled in Los Angeles, where year-round she used to perform for various societies with scenes from various plays, until the time when she entered into a local sanitarium.







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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 7, page 6209.

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