Bernhardt and Menken Picked in “50 Best Actors and Actresses”

Two Jewesses, Sarah Bernhardt and Ada Isaacs Menken, are included in a list of the “fifty best actors and actresses” that ever lived which has been prepared by David Belasco, veteran American-Jewish producer, playwright and director, and which was published in Tuesday’s issue of the New York “Evening Post.”

Sarah Bernhardt was born in 1844 of Dutch-Jewish parentage and died in 1923. She was received into the Roman Catholic Church at the request of her father. Her early years were spent at a convent in Versailles, France.

Ada Isaacs Menken was born in 1835 at Milneburg, Louisiana, of Gentile parentage, and died in Paris, France, in 1868. At the age of 21 she married Alexander Isaacs Menken and publicly embraced Judaism. She had great success as an actress both in this country and abroad, and just before her death in Europe she attracted considerable attention among English and French men of letters, including Dickens, Reade, Swinburne, the elder Dumas, Gauthier and Hugo. She published two books of poetry, one of which was dedicated “by permission” to Dickens.

The works of seven Jewish composers are included in a list of “the best fifty musical compositions” that has been submitted this week to the New York “Evening Post” by Albert Coates, distinguished Russian-English composer and orchestra conductor, who is now appearing as guest conductor of the Stadium symphony concerts. The Jewish composers and their works named by Mr. Coates are as follows:

The oratorio “Elijah”—Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847); “Das Lied von Erde”—Gustave Mahler (1860-1911); “Gurre-Lieder” — Arnold Schonberg (1874-); “Carmen”—Georges Alexander C. L. Bizet (1838-1875); “L’Heure Espagnole” — Maurice Ravel (1875-); “Samson et Dalila”—Charles Camille Saint-Saers (1835-1921); and “Concerto in F” — George Gershwin (1898-). Mr. Gershwin, a young New York Jewish composer who has achieved fame for his compositions during the last few years, is the only American on Mr. Coates’ list.

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