Sunday, September 21, 2008
I love this photo of the late, great doyenne of the Yiddish theater, Molly Picon.
Often referred to as the Jewish Helen Hayes, this diminutive actress left her mark on the world.
She was born Margaret Pyekoon on Broome Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan on February 28, 1898.
In 1903, Clara [Molly's mother] took five-year-old Margaret, dressed in red and sporting an elegant fake-fur muff, to the Bijou Theater for a contest. A drunk on the trolley demanded that she do her act then and there. She consented, concluding with an imitation of the drunk himself. Impressed, he collected pennies for her from the other passengers. At the contest, she would add to them the first-prize five-dollar gold piece and the loose change that her first legitimate audience had spontaneously tossed onstage. Margaret/Molly Picon had begun her theatrical career...