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Acting

Bessie Thomashefsky

With suffragette spirit and comedic skill, Bessie Thomashefsky adapted great American and British plays for Yiddish-speaking audiences, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Oscar Wilde.

Sydney Taylor

Sydney Taylor’s famous and beloved All-of-a-Kind Family series of children’s books were almost left unpublished and forgotten.

Jacqueline Susann

After a breast cancer diagnosis left her determined to leave a real impact on the world, Jacqueline Susann made history as the first author to have three consecutive New York Times bestsellers, starting with her landmark 1966 novel, Valley of the Dolls.

Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” Climbs Billboard Charts

February 1, 1964
"I don’t care what age you are—whether you’re 16 or 116—there’s nothing more wonderful than standing on the stage and shaking your finger and singing, ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’” - Singer Lesley Gore

Idina Menzel

A longtime star of the Broadway stage, Idina Menzel became the first person ever to claim both a Billboard Top 10 slot (for Holiday Wishes in 2014) and a Tony Award (for Wicked in 2003).

Gwyneth Paltrow

Known best for her Oscar-winning performance in the romantic comedy Shakespeare in Love, Gwyneth Paltrow has repeatedly sought out difficult roles playing unconventional women, including playing Sylvia Plath in 2003.

Sophie Okonedo

Sophie Okonedo credits her heritage as a “North London, working-class, black, Jewish girl” with giving her the range to act in roles ranging from Hotel Rwanda to Doctor Who.

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has garnered critical acclaim for her performance in difficult roles in 2002’s Secretary, 2009’s Crazy Heart, and 2014’s The Honourable Woman.

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette has navigated a career path from Hollywood to television and back again, culminating in a landslide of awards for her supporting role in 2014’s Boyhood.

Vivienne Segal

Actress Vivienne Segal was best known for creating the role of Vera Simpson in the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical Pal Joey, for which she sang what would become her signature song, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Acting." (Viewed on March 6, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/acting>.

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