Seymour Rexite (January 18, 1908 – October 14, 2002), originally Rechtzeit, was an actor and singer of the Yiddish theater, film and radio in the United States, and for some time president of the Hebrew Actors' Union.
Born in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland, and a child prodigy, Rexite emigrated to the United States in 1920, along with his father, a cantor, and his older brother Jack Rechtzeit, an actor and songwriter. The then-immigration quotas prevented Seymour's mother and other siblings from emigrating from Poland, so Seymour sang a song, which his brother Jack had composed, before President Calvin Coolidge which so moved the President that he granted the entry visas.
Rexite performed Yiddish translations of pop music standards as well as songs written in his native language. He starred in a musical featuring Yiddish music at a theatre on Second Avenue in the Yiddish Theater District opposite the famous soprano Isa Kremer which was entitled The Song of the Ghetto. He married Miriam Kressyn, another star of the Yiddish stage, in 1943. Kressyn died at age 86 in 1996; they had no children. Rexite died in 2002 in New York City. The couple is buried under the family name Rechtzeit in Block 67 of Mount Hebron Cemetery. This section is reserved for those who were part of New York Yiddish theater and is maintained by the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance. In 1924, he had enough money to bring the rest of his family but he couldn't.
- Seymour Rexite at the Internet Movie Database
- New York Times obituary
- Yiddish Radio Project article
- biography at the Milken Archive
- Children's biography from scholastic.com
- Seymour Rexite at Find a Grave
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