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Jacob P. Adler

Jacob Pavlovich Adler (born Yankev P. Adler; February 12, 1855 – April 1, 1926) was a Jewish actor and star of Yiddish theater, first in Odessa, and later in London and in New York City's Yiddish Theater District.

Nicknamed "nesher hagodol", ("the Great Eagle", Adler being the Yiddish for "eagle"), he achieved his first theatrical success in Odessa, but his career there was rapidly cut short when Yiddish theater was banned in Russia in 1883. He became a star in Yiddish theater in London, and in 1889, on his second voyage to the United States, he settled in New York City. Adler soon started a company of his own, ushering in a new, more serious Yiddish theater, most notably by recruiting the Yiddish theater's first realistic playwright, Jacob Gordin. Adler scored a great triumph in the title role of Gordin's Der Yiddisher King Lear (The Jewish King Lear), set in 19th-century Russia, which along with his portrayal of Shakespeare's Shylock would form the core of the persona he defined as the "Grand Jew".

Nearly all his family went into theater; probably the most famous was his daughter Stella, who taught method acting to, among others, Marlon Brando.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 12th, 1855 (Odessa), Died March 31st, 1926 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1910 - 1928

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, author

Notes: Jacob P. Adler is not the same as Jacob Adler, or Y. Adler, born 1877.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor C-9134 12-in. 6/24/1910 Das Yiddisches kind Solomon Small Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Brunswick E27514 10-in. 5/9/1928 Citizen papers Max Wilner Comic monologue author  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Adler, Jacob P.," accessed October 21, 2020,

Adler, Jacob P.. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 21, 2020, from

"Adler, Jacob P.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 21 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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