May 13, 1914|
September 30, 1993 (aged 79)|
New York City
|Other names||Rose Bozyk, Róża Bożyk|
|Occupation||Yiddish theatre actress|
Reizl Bozyk (born 13 May 1914, Poland – 1 October 1993, New York, New York, USA), also known as Rose Bozyk and Róża Bożyk, was a Polish-born American actress of the Yiddish theatre. Her claim to mainstream fame was her sole film role in which she played the interfering grandmother of Amy Irving in Joan Micklin Silver's film Crossing Delancey (1988). She also appeared in a memorable "Law and Order" episode "Night and Fog" which aired in season 3.
Life and career
She was an enduring star of the Yiddish stage in New York, and earlier in Poland and Argentina, appearing in hundreds of productions, often as a comedian and later as the familiar mother or mother-in-law character who often stole the show. She began acting in the Yiddish theater in Poland at the age of 5 or 6, performing first with her parents and then with Max Bozyk, whom she later married.
Max and Reizl Bozyk and their daughter were traveling on performances and were in Argentina in 1939 when the Nazis overran Poland. They had left behind a son, who was killed. They came to New York City in 1941. For nearly three decades, they were inseparable on the Yiddish stage, starring in one play or revue after another. Summers were spent performing in the Borscht Belt.
In an interview when Crossing Delancey opened, Bozyk joked that the 37 years spent with her husband had been like 74 because they'd spent their entire days and nights together.
In 1970, after a performance at New York's Town Hall, her husband collapsed and died. Reizl continued to appear in performances, touring the country in Yiddish revues. She went on to appear in New York's "Town Hall" with the celebrated Israeli star Mary Soreano and all star revues. In 1989, she played her first stage role in English, appearing in the comedy Social Security directed by Peter Lowey at the Forum Theater in Metuchen, New Jersey. The following year she recreated her Crossing Delancey role on stage in Florida, and was due to tour again when she suddenly died.
She died at St. Vincent's Hospital Medical Center, in New York City, aged 79, from undisclosed causes. She was survived by her daughter Suzanne, four grandsons, Peter, Joseph, Daniel and Matthew, granddaughter in law, Coleen, one great-grandson, Daniel.
- "Max Bozyk Dead; Yiddish Actor, 71 - Performer Collapses After Town Hall Appearance". New York Times. April 8, 1970. p. 43. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
- Sullivan, Ronald (October 2, 1993). "Reizl Bozyk, an Enduring Star Of the Yiddish Stage, Dies at 79". New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2016.