Helen Beverley

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Helen Beverley, sometimes credited as Helen Beverly, (November 9, 1916 – July 15, 2011) was an American film and stage actress, who began her career in Yiddish theater and films.[1]

Beverley was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, Anna and Louis Smuckler.[2][3] Beverley began her career in Yiddish theater and the Yiddish-language films, including a starring role in Peretz Hirshbein's Green Fields in 1937.[1] Screenwriter Hirshbein adapted the film from his 1916 play of the same name and cast Beverley in the lead role.[1] The National Center of Jewish Cinema has praised Green Fields, saying the film "heralded the Golden Age of Yiddish cinema."[1]

She next starred in The Light Ahead, a 1939 film directed by Edgar G. Ulmer and filmed in New Jersey.[1] She also appeared in the 1940 Yiddish film, Overture to Glory about a cantor.[1][4][5] Her sole Broadway role was in Clean Beds in 1939.[5]

Beverley began appearing in mainstream English language Hollywood films during the 1940s.[5] her credits from this period included Black Magic in 1944; The Master Race, a 1944 film about the dangers of Nazi Germany;[1] and Stairway for a Star, a 1947 musical co-starring Cornel Wilde.[5] She continued to appear in smaller film roles during the 1950s, including The Robe as Rebecca and The Shrike in 1955.[1] She appeared in an episode of the television series, The Rifleman, in 1960.[1] Her last film appearance was in Ada, a 1961 movie starring Susan Hayward and Dean Martin.[1][5]


She was the first wife of actor Lee J. Cobb, who married her in 1940; they divorced during the 1950s.[5] Their daughter, Julie Cobb, is an actress.


Beverley died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, on July 15, 2011, aged 94.[4] She was survived by her daughter, and a granddaughter.[5] Her interment was at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Actress Helen Beverley dies at 94". Variety. 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF9Q-MPV
  4. ^ a b "Passings: Joe Lee Wilson, Helen Beverley, Martin Weinberger, Jolene Combs". Los Angeles Times. 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Simonson, Robert (2011-07-26). "Helen Beverley, Yiddish Theatre Actress, Dies at 94". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2011-08-09. 

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