Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sam Lowenwirth


L. was born on 5 May 1880 in London, England. His parents (born in Galicia) were the owners of a hotel, in which Yiddish actors used to live. He completed public school and sang in temple. When his father was business manager of a Yiddish theatre in a club in Hundzvitsh 10, L. was given a children's role there by Adler, debuting in the play "Meshugene oys libe."

When the greater part of the actors left London, L. together with his brothers and sister: Manny, Annie, Alex and Emilia, acted in 1886 in the play "Bal tshuva" together with the popular actors Solomon and Annie Manne, Leibush Gold and Jacob Katzman, then they acted in "Der royber fun yarmilov", "Doctor Almasado" and other plays, guest-starring later also across the English province (Manchester, Liverpool and Lidz).

In 1898 L.'s entire family was brought to America by Moshe Zilberman and they performed in the Oriental Theatre in "Shulamis", then they acted in Newark, Boston, Philadelphia,  and Chicago and then returned to New York, where they performed in the Grand Theatre on Grand Street with 13 productions a day (from 11 in the morning to 12 at night) in "Shulamis" and other Goldfaden operettas (charging a ten-cents admission fee), and later in other Yiddish vaudeville houses.

In 1907 he went with his brother Manny to London, where they acted for two years in English vaudeville, then they returned to


America and again traveled back to England, where L. performed for nine years, together with Charles Cohan, in English vaudeville.

Returning from England, L. performed again in various Yiddish vaudeville houses in new York and specialized at last as a conférencier in various theatre and concert productions.

L. is the author of many theatrical songs, which were sung by him, and by other actors in various plays, especially popular were his songs "In hoys vu men veynt un men lekht", "Ax ma shneydt meyn fleysh zol keyn blut loyfn" [taken into Gordin's "Der vilder mensh"], "Di ende fun bestn aktyor" and "Di oysgeshplite akterise".

Many of L.'s songs were sung for Columbia Records.

L. is especially popular with his jokes, mainly about theatre life. A  part of the jokes he had in 1924 published in New York in a small book under the name of "Sam Lowenwirth's Original Jokes about Yiddish Theatre". [42 pp., 32°].

In 1932 L. participated in the motion picture "Zayn vaybs lyubovnik" by Sheyne-Rukhl Simkoff (with Satz).

L.'s wife is the Yiddish actress Eva Katz, sister of the actress Mary Wilensky.

M. E.

Db'Sh. -- Di hayntselmankhen, "Di tsukunft", London, 50, 1886.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1155.

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