Celia Adler

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Celia Adler
Celia Adler PD image.jpg
The young Celia Adler
Born Celia Feinman Adler
(1889-12-06)December 6, 1889
New York, New York, U.S.
Died January 31, 1979(1979-01-31) (aged 89)
Bronx, New York, U.S.
Resting place Mount Hebron Cemetery
Yiddish Theatre Section
Occupation Actress
Years active 1937–1961
Spouse(s) Lazar Freed
Jack Cone
Nathan Forman
Celia Adler as a child

Celia Feinman Adler (December 6, 1889 – January 31, 1979) was an American actress, known as the "First Lady of the Yiddish Theatre".[1]

Early life[edit]

She was the daughter of Jacob Adler and Dinah Shtettin, and the older half-sister of Stella, Luther Adler and Jacob Adler's five other children.[1][2] Unlike Stella and Luther, who became well known for their work with the Group Theater, their film work and as theorists of the craft of acting, she was almost exclusively a stage actress.[2]


Mainly known for her work in Yiddish theater, where she was associated with the Yiddish Art Theater movement of the 1920s and 1930s,[2] she also gave one of the first theatrical portrayals of a Holocaust survivor, in Luther Adler's 1946 Broadway production of A Flag Is Born (written by Ben Hecht and featuring a 22-year-old Marlon Brando, Stella Adler's prize pupil in method acting).[3] Adler, along with co-stars Paul Muni and Marlon Brando, refused to accept compensation above the Actor's Equity minimum wage because of her commitment to the cause of creating a Jewish State in Israel.[4]

In 1937, Celia Adler starred in the Henry Lynn Yiddish film, Where Is My Child. From 1937-1952, she appeared in several films and television programs.[5] Her last film was a 1985 British documentary with archive footage, Almonds and Raisins,[6] narrated by, among others, Orson Welles, Herschel Bernardi and Seymour Rechzeit.[1]

Personal life[edit]

She was married three times,[7] to actor Lazar Freed, theatrical manager Jack Cone, and businessman Nathan Forman.[1]


She is buried in the Yiddish Theatre Section of Mount Hebron Cemetery having died from a heart attack


  1. ^ a b c d Celia Adler at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ a b c Adler, Jacob (1999). A Life on the Stage: A Memoir, translated with commentary by Lulla Rosenfeld. New York: Knopf. p. 381 (commentary). ISBN 0-679-41351-0. 
  3. ^ Medoff, Rafael (2004-07-07). "When Marlon Brando Spoke Up for the Jews". Israel Resource Review. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  4. ^ David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies
  5. ^ Bridge of Light (Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds), pages 36,51,111n,209,212,253,306, J. Hoberman, Museum of Modern Art, Published by Shocken Books, 1991, YIVO translations
  6. ^ Bridge of Light (Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds), page 358n, J. Hoberman, Museum of Modern Art, Published by Shocken Books, 1991, YIVO translations
  7. ^ "Adler, Celia (1890–1979)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Gale Research Inc. Retrieved 9 January 2013. (subscription required)

External links[edit]