Theater

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Anna Held

A scandalous figure who regularly changed details of her life to suit her image, actress Anna Held was best known for her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld.

Theresa Helburn

Called the “'Top Man' on Broadway” by the New York Woman, Theresa Helburn created a venue for great American playwrights as director of the Theatre Guild and played a key role in the history of the modern American musical.

Renee Harris

Renee Harris survived tragedy aboard the Titanic to become New York’s first female theater producer.

Nan Halperin

Nan Halpern became famous on the vaudeville stage not just for her comic performances but for the rapid costume changes that earned her the nickname “The Wonder Girl.”
Lauren Bacall

Falling in Love with Lauren Bacall

by  Miriam Cantor-Stone

Lauren Bacall was one of the first female actors who showed audiences that female confidence was incredibly attractive. Her characters didn’t need to be saved by the leading man, they could take care of themselves just fine, thanks. There’s a scene in To Have and Have Not, when the police are interrogating her and Bogart, and one of the officers slaps Bacall across the face. She hardly blinks an eye at the attack, doesn’t falter or faint, and doesn’t need someone else to defend her.

Topics: Film, Theater

Eydie Gorme

Eydie Gorme’s regular musical appearances on Steve Allen’s Tonight! Show with her husband, Steve Lawrence, launched their joint careers as the duo responsible for hits like 1963’s “Blame It on the Bossa Nova.”

Vera Gordon

Throughout her long career on stage and screen, Vera Gordon portrayed Jewish mothers in a positive light—with warmth and deep emotion.

Dorothy Lerner Gordon

Dorothy Lerner Gordon used radio and television to give children access to literature, music, and news of current events.

Rose Eytinge

Reportedly the first American theater actress to earn a three-figure salary, Rose Eytinge was praised for her fiery, passionate performances.

Mary Jacqueline Fabian

Mary Jacqueline Fabian brought opera to those who might not otherwise hear it, from directing an opera company in Birmingham, Alabama to running education and enrichment programs for a quarter of a million children in postwar Europe.

Selina Dolaro

A noted opera singer and theater producer, Selina Dolaro proudly defended her choices as a single mother making a living in the arts.

Selma Diamond

Long before her final role as the grouchy bailiff on Night Court, Selma Diamond earned a reputation behind the scenes as a brilliant, salty comedy writer for some of the best shows on radio and television.

Lili Darvas

Lili Darvas earned praise for acting both classic and modern roles with great dramatic range and, as critic Harold Clurman put it, “the dignity of sound human instincts.”

Helen Abrahams Blum

Helen Abrahams Blum earned a reputation as a talented painter before discovering a passion for all aspects of theater, from set design to directing.

Joan Blondell

Known for playing character roles as a wisecracking, working-class girl, Joan Blondell performed in movies, television, and on stage from age one until her death.

Anita Block

As editor of the women’s page of the New York Call, one of America’s first socialist newspapers, Anita Block ensured the section covered subjects of real social and political interest to women, commenting, “It was probably the only women’s page which never printed a recipe or a fashion note.”

Aline Bernstein

Aline Bernstein was one of the first theatrical designers in New York to make sets and costumes entirely from scratch and crafted sets with moving parts that could be rearranged.

Sarah Bernhardt

Hailed as “the Divine Sarah” and celebrated around the world for her acting talents, Sarah Bernhardt lived as vivid a life as any character she portrayed onstage.

Gail Berman

Gail Berman made history as part of the youngest team of producers in Broadway history before becoming a television executive known for her genius in picking hit shows and turning failing networks around.

Nora Bayes

A talented and popular vaudeville star, Nora Bayes became an example of the limits of women’s power and independence in the early twentieth century when her attempts to command respect from producers backfired.

Belle Baker

Torch singer Belle Baker’s resonant voice made her the first choice of many composers to debut their songs, introducing 163 songs to the public over the course of her career on stage and in recordings.

Cora Baird

In a reverse of the usual sequence of events, Cora Eisenberg Baird started playing with dolls when she grew up and got married to puppeteer Bil Baird.

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall smoldered on screen with what became known as her signature “look,” glancing up with a downturned chin, shining in her roles both alone and opposite her husband, Humphrey Bogart.

Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur made a career of playing formidable, opinionated women in movies and on television.

Anna Appel

Anna Appel was known for her performance of motherly characters in Yiddish and English roles on stage and screen.
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