Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Leyzer Zhelazo


Born on 21 September 1877 in Radzyn, Siedlce Gubernia, Poland. His father was a restaurant owner, who had to optgn his wife due to his epikursus. Z.'s mother took him then across to Warsaw, wherein she took her son, who helped her in a haberdashery business that she had opened up there.

Z. learned in a cheder, a Bet HaMedrash, and some other subjects. Attending the Polish theatre, there was quarreling behind the scenes(?), and it came to Z. a desire for the stage, and together with his friends, the late actors Shapiro and Weiner, "made the theatre in private houses, then Z. left from home and traveled around with "amateurs", playing in "Treyfniak" and in "Bar Kochba". He returned home after two years again and toured for almost a year with Rabinovitsh's troupe, later he sang in a quartet with Herman Berman in a garden in Lodz, then entered into a chorus of Fishzon, and after three months he performed as an actor in "Yoshke Yoshevitsh" in Shakespeare's "Dgl mkhnh yehuda".

After acting for four years with Fishzon, Z. was hired by Zandberg in Lodz, where he acted for three years, later he acted in dramatic repertoire with Meeerson across Russia, then with Sam Adler and Spivakovski and a single year in the "United Dramatic Troupe" under the direction of Kaminski, where his acting drew attention in Gordin's repertoire.


In 1910 -- Z. acted in Lodz in the united troupe under the leadership of Titelman, then a season in the Feinman Theatre in London, came again to Poland, where he acted until the outbreak of war with Kaminska, then in Odessa with Rappel, entered into a member troupe and later into "Unzer vinkl (Our Corner)" in Kharkov, a short time also in Lodz's Colisseum Theatre and with Sniegoff across Poland, until he entered into the troupe of the "Vilna Yiddish Theatre Society", and from there to the "Vilna Troupe", and in 1924 he immigrated to America with Azro's section of the "Vilna Troupe", with whom he played there until the 1927 season. In 1927-28 -- Z. acted in Brooklyn's Hopkinson Theatre, and in 1928-29 -- with the newly organized "Vilna Troupe" in intimate theatre in the Bronx, New York.

M. E.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Alte bekente tsvishn di vilner, "Morning Journal", N. Y., 11 January 1924.

  • M. Osherowitz -- Noakh nakhbush un l. zhelazo in eyn role, "Forward", 21 March 1924.

  • Dr. A. Mukdoni -- Zikhrunus fun a yidishn teater-kritiker, "Archive", pp. 363, 368.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 797.

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