Joseph Green

Active - 1936 - 1984  |   Born - Jan 1, 1900   |   Died - Jun 20, 1996   |   Genres - Musical, Comedy, Romance, Historical Film, Film, TV & Radio

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Beginning his acting career in his native Poland, Joseph Green came to New York in 1924 as part of a Yiddish repertory troupe. Green arrived in Hollywood in 1927, intending to produce and direct films aimed specifically at Jewish moviegoers but endowed with enough "popular" elements to appeal to a wider audience. Back in Poland in the mid-1930s, he assembled the wonderful Molly Picon vehicle Yidl Mitn Fidl (1935), one of the most successful Yiddish-language films of all time. He went on to produce and direct the excellent Der Purimspieler (1937), Mamelle (1938), and A Brievele der Mamen (1939). Once Hitler's anti-Semitic minions marched into Poland, it became impossible for Greene to continue making films there--or anywhere in Europe, for that matter. Joseph Green returned to America, where he remained active with the Yiddish Art Theater until his retirement. Green died at age 96 on June 20, 1996 following a long battle with emphysema.