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Bass, Alfred [Alfie] [formerly Abraham Basalinsky] (1916–1987), actor, was born on 10 April 1916 at 7 Gibraltar Walk, Bethnal Green, London, the youngest among the ten children of Jacob Basalinsky, a cabinet-maker, and his wife, Ada Miller. After an elementary school education he followed his father's trade, but was also engaged in local boys' club dramatics. He was early on active in supporting the labour movement, often attended union meetings, and took part in the battle of ...

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Harvey, Laurence [real name Hirsch Moses Skikne] (1928–1973), actor and film director, was born on 1 October 1928 in Joniskis, Lithuania, the youngest of the three sons of Orthodox Jewish parents, Ber Skikne (1895/6–1974) and his wife, Ella Zotnickaita (1897/8–1974). In 1929, endeavouring to improve his prospects as a building contractor, his father emigrated to ...

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Sidney James (1913–1976) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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James, Sidney [Sid] [real name Sidney Joel Cohen] (1913–1976), actor, was born on 8 May 1913 in Hancock Street, Johannesburg, South Africa, the second of the two sons of Laurie Cohen (b. 1878) and his wife, Reine Solomon. His parents were both Jewish music-hall entertainers who had moved to ...

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Karlin, Miriam [real name Miriam Samuels] (1925–2011), actress, was born on 23 June 1925 at 1 Lawn Mansions, Hampstead, London, the younger child of Harry Samuels (1893–1976), barrister, and his wife, Céline, née Aronowitz (d. 1983). Her elder brother, Michael Samuels (1920–2010)...

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David Kossoff (1919–2005) by unknown photographer, 1987 Rex Features

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Kossoff, David (1919–2005), actor and broadcaster, was born on 24 November 1919, at the Mothers' Hospital, Clapton, London, the son of Lewis (Louis) Kossoff, tailor, and his wife, Annie, née Shaklovich. At the time of his birth registration his parents, Russian Jewish immigrants, lived at ...

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Milton, Ernest Gianello (1890–1974), actor and author, was born in San Francisco, California, USA, on 10 January 1890, the son of Martin Lichtenstaater Milton and Selma, née Wolff. He was educated at Clement Grammar School, San Francisco, and privately. His first performance on stage was in October 1912 at the ...

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Ingrid Pitt (1937–2010) by Bill Zygmant, 1975 © Bill Zygmant / Rex Features

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Pitt, Ingrid (1937–2010), actress and writer, was born on 21 November 1937 in Poland, the daughter of a German father and a Polish Jewish mother. Many biographical accounts give her birth name as Ingoushka Petrov, although the origin of this is unclear. She herself gave her father's name as ...

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Taylor, Dame Elizabeth Rosemond (1932–2011), actress, was born on 27 February 1932 at Heathwood, 8 Wildwood Road, Hampstead, London, the younger child and only daughter of Francis Lenn Taylor (1897–1968), art dealer, and his wife, Sara Viola, née Warmbrodt (1895–1994), a former actress (under the stage name ...

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Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor (1932–2011) by Cecil Beaton, 1954 © Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby's