Born on 4 February 1884 in
Rawa Ruska, Galicia. Father -- a pious tailor. Until age
five he learned in a cheder. As a child of four-and-a-half, he acted during Purim in the home as "Oyzsa"(sp)
in an amateur production of "Ahasuerus."
Early on he immigrated with
his parents to America. He had a cousin who had
participated as a chorus singer in the "Windsor"
Theatre, and taking her home to eat he had come to love
Yiddish theatre, and thus as he had owned a very beautiful
voice, he began to sing songs into the gramophone.
Until age fourteen he
learned in a public and then in a high school, but as he
knew well the songs sung on the East Side, the actor
Louie Hyman had him included in the "Manhattan Lyceum"
Theatre to act in Rudolf Mark's play "Der yesoyme in
gefar," then S. was engaged to Philadelphia in a Yiddish
vaudeville house there. Returning to New York, he
entered into vaudeville, then he acted with Max Gabel in
the "Third Street Theatre," in the beginning in
three-act sketches, later in a span of ten years in full
plays with Gabel. Meanwhile he also performed as a
comic in several plays under the direction of Sidney Goldin.
From Gabel S. went over to
English burlesque theatre, where he acted for five
years, then he returned to Gabel in the "Mount Morris"
Theatre, where, together with Louis Friedsell, he wrote
the "lyrics" to the play "Der golem."
S. later acted with
Thomashefsky, Kessler and Adler in New York and for
several years in the province.