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Jacob Adler 1855-1926

In its obituary of Jacob Adler,The New York Times noted that the heroic age of Yiddish theater had died with him. Cited by some as the greatest Yiddish actor of all time, Adler began his career in Czarist Russia, performed on the London stage, and started his own theater company in New York at the turn of the 20th century. Admirers called him the Great Eagle for the powerful roles he played, including perhaps his most famous role as Shylock in the Yiddish version of King Lear. When Adler's Grand Theatre opened in 1904 on Manhattan's Lower East Side, it became the first building in New York constructed to be a Yiddish theater.