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Born in Ukraine, Maurice Schwartz moved to the United States in 1902. After working with several Yiddish theatre troupes, Schwartz hoped to take Broadway by storm with a repertoire of Yiddish-language versions of European plays. Though this venture failed, Schwartz went on to fame and prestige when, in 1926, he founded the Yiddish Art Theatre on New York's 2nd Avenue. Also in 1926, he starred in and directed his first film, Broken Hearts. Schwartz' major contribution to the American theatrical world was his promotion and perpetuation of the works of Jewish playwright/essayist Sholom Alecheim. In 1939, Schwartz directed and starred in a film adaptation of Alecheim's Tevye the Milkman, which served as the basis for the much-later Broadway musical hit Fiddler on the Roof. Schwartz made his first appearance in a "mainstream" Hollywood film, Mission to Moscow, in 1943. His best-known Hollywood role was as Ezra in Columbia's expensive 1953 Biblical drama Salome. When Columbia decided to utilize leftover Salome sets, costumes and background footage for the 1953 programmer Slaves of Babylon, Schwartz reprised his "Ezra" characterization as Nebuchadnezzer. In 1959, with the Yiddish theatrical tradition in decline in the U.S., Maurice Schwartz journeyed to Israel, hoping to establish a theatre there; after mounting one single production, Schwartz died at the age of 70.
|No Score Yet||The Golden Age of 2nd Avenue||
|No Score Yet||Salome||
|No Score Yet||Bird of Paradise||
|No Score Yet||Mission to Moscow||
|No Score Yet||Tevye||
|No Score Yet||Uncle Moses||
Quotes from Maurice Schwartz's Characters
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