Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Sam Morris
(Shmuel Moshe Ganz)


M. was born in a village near Kolbuszowa, Galicia. His father was the owner of an [introduction home=areynfor-hoyz]. As a child of about four he came with his family to America, where he learned in a public school until he was thirteen. As a child he acted in a children's role in the troupe "Khayim in amerika" in an amateur club.

At the age of sixteen he let himself [iberreydn] for actor Isidor Levenstein to travel to perform in New Orleans' Yiddish theatre. There he debuted in the role of a father. His family brought him, but he returned to New York, where he founded a drama circle in his name, in which a certain Fridman was directing Lateiner's "Kbud ab". Soon however he traveled again with actor Cesar Greenberg to act in theatre in Montreal, where he became the buff comic of the troupe and he went then across to the troupe of Mitnik, but after several months of acting, his parents brought him back home again. Here he entered into the "David Kessler Dramatic Club", where he acted under the direction of David Kessler in the title role in Gordin's "Shoimke sharlatan".

M.'s success in that role encouraged him to become a professional actor and he took to wandering with the provincial troupes (in Chicago with Glickman, Cleveland with Bernstein, again with Glickman and then with Largman in Baltimore), where he had the possibility of acting with all the guest-starring Yiddish stars.


He returned to New York, and M. entered into vaudeville in the Irving Music Hall, then he became a buff comic in the Hub Theatre in Boston, and he performed again in New York in vaudeville (110 Fifth Avenue), where he performed three times a day with Berta Gerstin and Mae Simon and he then crossed over to the Odeon Theatre, where he for the first time acted in vaudeville and then full plays. Here he acted in September 1913 in he title role of Leon Kobrin's "Yankel Boyle", attracting the attention of the critics.

After acting for three seasons in Winnipeg, twelve seasons in Los Angeles, where he also acted for eight weeks in English in the melodrama "Subway Express", M. returned to the eastern part of the United States. In the 1930-31 season he performed in Philadelphia in the Yiddish Gerard Theatre, 1931-32 in the McKinley Square Theatre. The entire three seasons stood under the jurisdiction of the Yiddish Actors League.

M. E.

  • Israel The Yankee -- "Yankel boyle," "Theater un moving piktures", N. Y., 2, 1913.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 2, page 1247.

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