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Adam, Sir Kenneth Hugo [Ken] (1921–2016), art director and production designer for film, was born Klaus Hugo Adam on 5 February 1921 in Berlin, one of four children of Fritz Adam (1880–1936) and his wife Lilli, née Saalfeld (...

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Asherson, Renée [real name Dorothy Renée Ascherson] (1915–2014), actress, was born on 19 May 1915 at 2 Cornwall Gardens, Kensington, London, the younger daughter of Charles Stephen Ascherson (1877–1945), a shipowner of German Jewish descent, and his second wife, ...

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Balcon, Sir Michael Elias (1896–1977), film producer, was born on 19 May 1896 at 116 Summer Lane, Edgbaston, Birmingham, the youngest son and fourth of five children of Louis Balcon (c.1858–1946) and his wife, Laura Greenberg (c.1863–1934). His parents, Jewish immigrants from ...

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Bernhardt, Sarah Henriette Rosine (1844–1923), actress, was born, probably on 22 or 23 October 1844, in Paris, the first of the three daughters of Julie Bernhardt (d. 1876), a Jewish courtesan from Amsterdam. The identity of her father remains unknown, although he is sometimes given as ...

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Coren, Alan (1938–2007), humorous writer, was born on 27 June 1938 at 2 Queensdown Road, Hackney, London, the son of Samuel Coren, builder and plumber, and his wife, Martha, née Coren, hairdresser. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Cutler, Ivor (1923–2006), humorist and singer, was born Isadore Cutler on 15 January 1923 at 3 Ralston Drive, Govan, Glasgow, the second son and third of five children of Jack Morris Cutler, draper and jeweller, and his wife, Paulina (Polly), née Goldberg. Both his parents were Jewish, and had arrived in ...

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Damm, Sheila Van (1922–1987), rally driver and theatre director, was born on 17 January 1922 in Gloucester Terrace, Paddington, London, the youngest of three daughters (there were no sons) of Vivian Van Damm (d. 1960) and his wife, Natalie Lyons. Although her father had sponsored motorcycle speedway events in the 1920s, before inheriting the ...

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Delfont, Bernard [formerly Boris Winogradsky], Baron Delfont (1909–1994), theatrical impresario and leisure executive, was born on 5 September 1909, at Tokmak, Ukraine, Russia, the second son of Isaac Winogradsky (1879–1935) and Golda (later Olga) Izenstadt (c.1887–1981). His father ran a drapery store in ...

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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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Félix, Elisa [performing name Rachel] (1820/21–1858), actress, was born at Mumpf, a small village in northern Switzerland, the daughter of Jacob Félix, an itinerant pedlar, and his wife, Esther Haya Félix, a dressmaker. Her precise birth date is uncertain: some claim it was 24 March 1820; others prefer a slightly later date, 28 February 1821. The family was passing through on its way to ...

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Franca, Celia [real name Nita Celia Franks] (1921–2007), ballet dancer, choreographer, and ballet director, was born on 25 June 1921 at 57 Nicholas Street, Mile End, London, the daughter of Solomon Franks, boot salesman, later ladies' outfitter, and his wife, Gertie, née...

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Gingold, Hermione Ferdinanda (1897–1987), actress, was born in London on 9 December 1897, the elder daughter (there were no sons) of James Gingold, stockbroker, who had emigrated from Austria, and his wife, Kate Walter. She claimed Viennese, Turkish, and Romanian blood on her father's side. Her mother was Jewish....

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Grade, Lew, Baron Grade (1906–1998), theatrical agent, television executive, and film producer, was born Louis Winogradsky on 25 December 1906 at Tokmak, near Odessa, Ukraine, the eldest of four children, three boys and a girl, of Isaac Winogradsky (c.1879–1935), and his wife, ...

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Green, Bernard [Benny] (1927–1998), jazz saxophonist, writer, and broadcaster, was born at 260 Meanwood Road, Leeds, on 9 December 1927. His father, David Green, was a tailor and saxophonist and had met his mother, Fanny Fryer, while he was playing with a band in ...

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Gryn, Hugo Gabriel (1930–1996), rabbi and broadcaster, was born in Berehovo, Czechoslovakia, on 25 June 1930, in a home filled with great learning and warmth. His father, Géza Gryn (1900–1945), was a timber merchant; his mother was Bella Neufeld (1908–1964) of Silce. The ...

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Harris, Sir Augustus Henry Glossop (1852–1896), actor and theatre manager, was born on 18 March 1852 in the rue Taitbout, Paris, one of five children of the theatre manager Augustus Glossop Harris (1826–1873) and his wife, née Maria Ann Bone, a theatrical costumier....

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Hoffnung, Gerard [formerly Gerhardt] (1925–1959), cartoonist and musical humorist, was born in Grünewald, Berlin, on 22 March 1925, the only child of German-Jewish parents, Ludwig Hoffnung, a wealthy grain merchant, and his wife, Hilde, a widow, whose first husband, Schnabel, was killed in the First World War. His mother was a keen amateur musician and artist who encouraged his artistic talents. From his earliest years he was interested in the macabre—fairy tales, practical jokes, and the comic drawings of the famous German illustrators and caricaturists....

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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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Keller, Hans Heinrich (1919–1985), broadcaster and writer on music, was born at Nusswaldgasse 13, Döbling, Vienna, Austria, on 11 March 1919, the son of the architect Fritz Keller (d. 1939) and his wife, Grete Grotte (1883–1959); he had one half-sister, Gertrud Franey (...

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Klinger, Michael (1920–1989), film producer, was born Marky Klinger at 25 D'Arblay Street in Soho, London, on 2 November 1920, the third child in a family of two sons and a daughter of Gershom Klinger (1892/3–1967), a tailor's presser, and his wife, Dora, ...