Buffalo (New York), where
they opened a Yiddish theatre for the first time, and
Cincinnati. F. was engaged by Glickman for Chicago,
where he acted for nine months, and from there to Mike
Thomashefsky for Philadelphia, where he acted for four
years, then two years in Baltimore with Sigmund Feinman,
again six years in Philadelphia with Anshel Schorr, and
two seasons with David Kessler in New York's "People's"
Theatre, and when the manager Edelstein went over to the
"Second Avenue" Theatre, F. was engaged here in the
In the meantime he became
sick, and inasmuch as the author was in Paris, he began
to attend to a new post, and entered into an English
operetta, which however had a "short year". For an
entire summer he didn't act, then he participated with
Paul Muni in English in "Di 4 vent (The Four Walls)".
F. also played the "dresser"
in the sound film "My Wife's Lover" by Sheine Rukhl
Simkoff (with Ludwig Satz).
Due to illness, F. went away
to California and settled in Los Angeles, where he spent
his last years in a convalescent home, and he passed
away there in November 1942.
F.'s wife, Chana (Anna), for
a short time acted on the Yiddish stage. Their daughter,
Bella, and son Abraham for a certain time acted on the
Yiddish stage. His other daughter, Betty, for many years
was a star on the Yiddish stage. She was married to
Benjamin Blank, an orchestra conductor, the son of the
well-known actor Leon Blank. F.'s brother, Nathan, for a
certain time directed with Yiddish vaudeville.
Y. K. [Kirschenbaum] writes:
"One of the first Jewish
comics who excelled in Goldfaden's repertoire. The
deceased was Avraham Goldfaden's darling, so that
Goldfaden used to call him "my American Kuni Lemel".
Frank was famous across the
entirety of America. he was known as a comic across the
province, as Mogulesko was in New York. In Philadelphia,
Cleveland, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and other cities,
Frank was a star, but for some reason he has not been
known in New York.
Frank prosecuted the comic
What was not needed aoysshimirn with mazes or
rear(?) on his leg to make an audience laugh. He was a
natural actor, a comic, who loved the kind of Jew who he
had presented. He loved "Shmuel Kutsig". He loved the
miserable, the farshtoysene and forgotten, and
thus he acted well. He didn't perform in order to make
the audience laugh, but to get sympathy and love for the
man, for the type that he had portrayed.
Frank had excelled in the
role of "Shmuel Gorgl" in the play "Dos poylishe yingl
(The Polish Youth)", in Shomer's comedies and in other
character-comical roles. He hated to play purposeless
comedians, who said vitsn. He always created a
type, a human being".
Kirschenbaum -- Kunst un kinstler, "Di idishe
velt", Cleveland, 14 July 1915.
Y. K. [Kirschenbaum]
-- Yakov frank, barimter komiker, geshtorbn in
los andzheles, "Morning Journal", N. Y., 24
-- Barimter aktor yakov frak fert "bavaynt", als
toyter in nyu-york un shteyt oyf tkhis hmtim in
los andzheles, kalifornye, "Keneder adler",
Montreal, 10 December 1942.
Julius Adler --
Meshus fun der idisher teater-velt, "Morgn
frayhayt", N. Y, 30 October 1949.