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Acting

Sylvia Sidney

In contrast to the helpless waif she played so perfectly on screen, in real life Sylvia Sidney was a strong, opinionated woman who was unafraid to challenge some of the top Hollywood directors of her time.

Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore was one of the top recording artists of the 1940s, with hits like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” before starting a new career in the 1970s as a talk show host who prized conversation over confrontation.

Madeline Kahn

Madeline Kahn acted in dramas and musicals on stage, film, and television, but she was best known for her comedic roles as Mel Brooks’s favorite female lead.

Lillian Roth

While Lillian Roth’s career as an actress and musician was derailed by her alcoholism and mental illness, the painful story of her life made her autobiography an international bestseller.

Ethel Rosenberg

When Ethel Rosenberg was accused of treason alongside her husband and executed after one of the most controversial trials in American history, her guilt or innocence became secondary to what her treatment said about the position of Jews in America.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers carved a place for herself among the Hollywood elite as a comedian and fashion commentator for whom no subject was ever taboo.

Gilda Radner

A gifted comedian, Gilda Radner made a name for herself as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live

Carmel Myers

Carmel Myers acted in over seventy films and led a production company that packaged TV and radio shows, but her most lasting contribution to Hollywood may have been her popularization of the idea of A-list and B-list celebrities.

Bette Midler

Unapologetically bawdy, Bette Midler used elements from earlier brassy entertainers like Sophie Tucker in her comedy and music, but with a style that was all her own.

Helen Menken

Actress Helen Menken’s greatest contribution to Broadway history was her work as theatrical producer for the innovative wartime effort Stage Door Canteen, offering entertainment to servicemen and women.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Acting." (Viewed on September 1, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/acting>.

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