Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Samuel B. Grossman


Born August 27, 1879, in Zboró, Hungary.

His father was a merchant.

He learned in yeshiva, and studied secular subjects privately with a tutor. At twelve years old Grossman became an orphan, and went to his brother, a Rav in Lemish who kept him for two years in a yeshiva. From there Grossman traveled in 1893 to America, where he worked the first years in various jobs.

He frequented the Yiddish theatre and Grossman harbored the desire to be an actor. He joined the “Progressive Dramatic Club,” in which he took part in the performances from time to time.

In 1903 Grossman cast off all his jobs and became absorbed by acting for two years in the New York area.

In 1905 Grossman was engaged by [Samuel] Aged in the Clinton Vaudeville House. A short time later, Grossman married Fannie Adler and in 1906 took over the management of the Third Street Theatre, where he performed together with his wife.

In 1907 Grossman managed the Columbia Theatre in Boston, and from 1908-1913 managed various theatres in Chicago and then in Winnipeg, Canada.

Over the last fifteen years Grossman toured with his troupe, and wherever [he went] his children also performed, both in America and Canada, and for three years he was the first to perform Yiddish theatre (in the Savoy Theatre) in San Francisco, California. In 1927 Grossman initiated the building of the Rolland Theatre in Brooklyn.

After many years of traveling through North America and bringing Yiddish theatre to the west coast and Canada, Grossman settled in Chicago, founding the Grossman-Reinhart Repertory Co. He and his wife, Fannie Ader Grossman, wrote, produced and performed plays that also featured their four children: Helen, Irving, Joe and Miriam. The company also employed members of the Jacobson families, i.e. Hymie, Irving, Henrietta and their parents, as well as the Bernardis (Berel, Sam, Jack, Boris, Herschel and Feygie). They also took in as a young actor a man named Muni Weisenfrund, who went on to Broadway and Hollywood stardom as Paul Muni.

Soon after leaving Chicago with the dissolving of the company there, Grossman returned to New York where he remained involved in Yiddish theatre. After the death of his wife in 1947, he retired from theatre and became a licensed commercial real estate broker in New York City. Samuel B. Grossman passed away on 20 June 1960, survived by three children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Sh. E. from Sholem Perlmutter and Rick Grossman.






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You can find Samuel B. Grossman's original Lexicon biography in Vol. 1.

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