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Thompson Cooper

revised by John Wells

Barnett, Morris (1800–1856), actor and playwright, was of Jewish descent. He trained as a musician, and the earlier part of his life was spent in Paris. Having resolved to earn his living as an actor, he went as a comedian to Brighton and then to ...

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Baron, (Joseph) Alexander (1917–1999), novelist and screenwriter, was born Joseph Alexander Bernstein on 4 December 1917 at 30 Penyston Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, the son of Barnet Bernstein, later Baron (1894–1977), a Polish-born furrier, and his wife, Fanny, née Levinson (1895–1973). Once settled in ...

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Feinman, Sigmund [real name Asher-Zelig Feinman] (1862–1909), actor and playwright, was born Asher-Zelig Feinman on 28 April 1862 in Intshest, Ukraine. Since both his grandfathers had prominent roles in the synagogue, it was natural for Feinman to receive a traditional religious education. His father, however, was a manufacturer, and thus receptive to influences from beyond the Jewish sphere, so he sent his son to secular schools as well....

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Martin Alan Feldman (1934–1982) by Terry O'Neill, 1974 [on the set of the film Young Frankenstein] © Terry O'Neill; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Feldman, Martin Alan [Marty] (1934–1982), comedian and scriptwriter, was born on 8 July 1934 at University College Hospital, London, the elder of the two children of Myer Feldman, a gown manufacturer of Islington, and his wife, Cecilia (Cissie), née Crook. He had a sister, ...

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Goldfaden, Avrom (1840–1908), playwright and theatre director, was born in Old Constantine, Ukraine, on 12 July 1840, one of four sons born to Khayim Lipe Goldenfodem, a watchmaker, and his wife, Khane Rivke. Like his brothers, he was apprenticed to his father, but in an effort to take advantage of a new tsarist decree offering the sons of Jewish families an alternative to conscription, he was sent to the rabbinical academy in ...

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Pinter, Harold (1930–2008), actor, playwright, and director, was born on 10 October 1930 at Tudor House, Newington Green, London, the only child of Hyman (Jack) Pinter (1902–1997), ladies' tailor, and his wife, Frances, née Moskowitz (1904–1992). At the time of his birth his parents lived at ...

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Harold Pinter (1930–2008) by Justin Mortimer, 1992 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Rosenthal, Jack Morris (1931–2004), television dramatist, was born on 8 September 1931 at 27 Kendall Road, Crumpsall, Manchester, the younger son of Samuel Rosenthal (d. 1966), a waterproof garment worker of Russian-Jewish origin, and his wife, Leah (Lakey), née Miller, then a machinist, later a dressmaker. His education blazed the episodic trail of much of his subsequent writing for television, starting with the bluntly named ...

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Taylor, Cecil Philip (1929–1981), playwright, was born on 6 November 1929 at 10 Burnbank Terrace, Glasgow, the only son of Max Taylor (b. 20 March 1898), a commercial traveller, and Fay, née Leventhal (b. 1901). Both parents were Jewish and born in ...