Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Charles Shapiro


Born in 1865 in Ciechanowiec, Galicia. He immigrated with his parents to America, where his father, [after] settling himself in Boston, was involved with lottery tickets.

He became acquainted with actors, and there came to him a desire for the stage, and he participated in Boston with various actors.

He arrived in New York, where he became known to Anna Kaufman, and he wanted to marry her, but due to his acting in the theatre, she couldn't leave her mother to get married, [that] he has a trade and learned how to be a house painter. A short time later, he gave himself to the trade in order to "make a living". He kept on "the border" (kvartirantn), and he acted from time to time in the halls of the former Labor Lyceums.

In 1900 he was engaged to Elias Glickman in Chicago in the theatre profession. In 1903 Chicago had a big fire in an English theatre, where hundreds of men, women and children were killed, and for this reason the laws concerning fire insurance became very harsh, and not being to meet the new laws, and also because of them, the actors organized into a union, that Glickman had closed his theatre, and the actors had begun to wander. Sh. acted for a short time with Largman in Baltimore, and when Jacob P. and Sara Adler came there to act in the then sensation "Broken Hearts", he engaged them for his Hub Theatre


in Boston, where he acted until the end of the season, and later he acted with them in the "Grand" and "Windsor" Theatres in New York, as well as with David Kessler.

In 1908 Sh. became ill, laid [in bed] for a year with a swollen neck, [and] passed away on 30 June 1909, and came to his eternal rest at Washington Cemetery [Brooklyn, New York -- ed.]

Sh. had possessed a magnificent baritone voice. His specialty was in comical, character roles, and thanks to that he was taken in as a member of the Yiddish Actors Union. Sh. was the first to perform the role of "R' Yakov Elkhonen" in Gordin's "On a heym (Homeless/Without a Home)" (October 1907 in the "Grand" Theatre ).

Sh.'s wife, Anna, was a Yiddish actress. Their daughter, Sadie, was married to actor Jacob Goldstein, and their daughter, Charlotte, has acted on the Yiddish stage.


Sh. E. from his daughter Sadie Goldstein.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5338.

You can read Charles' amended biography, written by granddaughter (and Yiddish actress) Charlotte Goldstein, in the Lexicon's Vol. 8.

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