You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Television

Selma Diamond

“I do not discuss my age, height, weight, or other vital statistics. Other than that, shoot. I tolerate any kind of nonsense up until six o’clock. After that, I just want to be admired.” In typical Selma Diamond fashion, the witty, wisecracking (with a voice she once described as sounding like Brillo), longtime comedy writer/actor held her own when warding off nosy interviewers. Best known as the crotchety, chainsaw-voiced bailiff Selma Hacker on television’s Night Court from 1984 to 1985, Diamond embodied in her writing and her comedy routines the quintessential cynical, jaded character. Penning skits and jokes for some of the early greats of radio and television, she became one of the most famous and accomplished female comedy writers of her time.

Lili Darvas

International actor Lili Darvas won acclaim in her adopted country, the United States, on stage, in films, and on television. Born in Budapest on April 10, 1902, to Alexander and Berta (Freiberger) Darvas, both of whom were Jewish, she was educated at the Budapest Lyceum. She made her professional debut at age twenty, playing Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at the Magyar Szinhas in Budapest. Married to one of Hungary’s outstanding playwrights, Ferenc Molnar, Darvas appeared in a range of modern and classical works and became one of Budapest’s leading actors. Molnar, inspired by her talent, created a series of sparkling plays for her, including Riviera, Olympia, and The Girl from Trieste. In 1926, Darvas joined the acting troupe of the German impresario Max Reinhardt, even though she had learned to speak German only two years earlier, by reciting classical German verse plays for hours at a time.

Peggy Charren

Peggy Charren, founder of Action for Children’s Television (ACT), took on the burgeoning television industry of the 1970s and won.

Joyce Brothers

During a public career spanning more than forty years, Dr. Joyce Brothers made the unlikely journey from housewife to celebrity quiz show contestant to the nation’s best-known media psychologist.

Ruth Hagy Brod

Ruth Hagy Brod was a versatile and peripatetic career woman who worked for nearly fifty years as a journalist, publicist, literary agent, television host, and government antipoverty official.

Joan Blondell

A beautiful and accomplished stage and screen actress, Blondell was born on August 30, 1906 (some accounts say 1909) on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Gail Berman

An exception in the entertainment industry, which is dominated by brash individuals in their twenties and thirties, Berman is a thoughtful fortyish mother of twins, best known for her work on Broadway and for bringing positive portrayals of women to television. She is also an entertainment executive renowned for bringing stability to desperately unstable situations.

Gertrude Berg

For a generation of Americans, Gertrude Berg embodied Jewish motherhood in a series of radio, television, stage, and film performances. She is best remembered as the creative force behind the Goldbergs, a fictitious Jewish family who lived in an apartment at 1038 East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. In addition to her matriarchal public persona, Berg was also a one of the first American women to work as a writer and producer of radio and television situation comedy.

Cora Baird

Cora Baird was half of the world-renowned Bil & Cora Baird Marionettes.

Bea Arthur

Arthur will probably always be best known for portraying liberal Maude Findlay, the “women’s libber” who stuck it to Archie Bunker on television’s All in the Family and then dominated her own situation comedy, Maude, throughout the 1970s. Arthur’s imperious and controversial Maude left a lasting imprint on American television and feminism.

Pages

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Television." (Viewed on November 28, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/television>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Sign Up for JWA eNews

 

Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs