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Gertrude Berg

Gertrude Berg was the lead actress and driving force behind The Goldbergs, which successfully made the leap from radio plays to national television and brought a Jewish family into mainstream American homes. Berg grew up writing and directing shows to entertain guests at her parents’ Catskills resort before turning her hand to writing and performing radio dramas. She wrote, produced, and starred in The Goldbergs for almost thirty years, taking the show from radio to one of the first television sitcoms and even a Broadway play. Behind the scenes, Berg was a savvy businesswoman who maintained creative control of her work. Her character, the matriarchal Molly Goldberg, was warm, assimilated, and approachable, often speaking directly to the camera, and created a positive image of Jews in the media. Berg went on to win a 1959 Tony Award for her performance in A Majority of One as a Jewish widow who befriends a Japanese widower, both of whom lost children in World War II.

Berg, Gertrude 1 - still image [media]
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When she created Molly Goldberg and the Goldberg family for radio, stage, TV and film, Gertrude Berg introduced middle-class Jewish life to millions of Americans.

Institution: Private collection

Date of Birth
October 3, 1899
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
September 14, 1966
Occupations

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Gertrude Berg." (Viewed on October 31, 2014) <http://jwa.org/people/berg-gertrude>.

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