Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Anna Held


Born circa 1865 in Warsaw, Poland. Together with her parents she came to Paris at an early age, where her mother worked in a market stall, selling. H. learned in school, and at the same time she helped earn an income by selling flowers on the street.

In 1885, after the death of her father, she came with her mother and the other children to London, and possessing a beautiful voice, she entered into Smith's Theatre. H.'s appeal and graceful figure drew her to the attention of Adler, who attended a performance of "Shulamis" in which she debuted, afterwards attended one with Max Rosenthal, she in the role of "Dinah" in "Bar Kokhba".

After acting for a short time on the Yiddish stage in London, H. went over to French vaudeville, then to English in London and to German in Berlin.

Everywhere H. made a grand impression and was one of the most popular artists in her genre, until in 1896 when she became engaged by Ziegfeld in New York for his "Ziegfeld's Follies". Also here, H. had a great success.

In February 1918 H. suddenly became ill, and on 12 August 1918 she passed away in New York. She came to her eternal rest in the Christian Woodlawn Cemetery.


M. E. from Max Rosenthal, Dinah Feinman, M. D. Vaksman, Leon Nadolsky, Israel Tabachnikoff, Sarah Nadolsky and Yitzhak Perkof.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, pp. 47, 150, 151.

  • [Anonymous] -- Anna Held, -- "Forward", 28 May 1918.

  • Y. Maslin -- A idishe tokhter vos iz berimt gevoren oyf der goy'isher bine, "Di varhayt", 1 June 1918.

  • Mary Diamond -- Anna Held als aktrise un mensh, "Di varhayt", 14 August 1918.

  • Ester Baltik -- Der kristlikher toyt fun a idishe tokhter, "Di varhayt", 16 August 1918.

  • Dr. Sh. M. Melamed -- Anna held, "Di varhayt", 28 September 1918.

  • Jacob P. Adler -- "Meyn leben", "Di neye varhayt", 26 April, 9 May 1925.

  • Zalmen Zylbercweig -- Lebn ful freyd un der tragisher toyt fun ana held, "Frimorgn", Riga, 2 December 1928.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 629.

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