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Ben Bonus Dead at 63

April 10, 1984
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Ben Bonus, who made his reputation in the Yiddish theater as an actor and a producer, and who died last Friday in Miami at the age of 63, will be buried Wednesday at the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance Cemetery in Flushing, N.Y., a spokesman for the Alliance said today. Death was attributed to a heart attack.

Mina Bonus, the actress and director who is known professionally as Mina Bern, said in Miami yesterday that she and her husband were walking and that when he said he wanted to sit down she looked around for a place for him to sit. Before she could do so, he fell down and died instantly.

Born in Horondka, Poland, and brought to the United States in 1939, he founded his own theater group here in 1946, the Yiddish Mobile Theater. Later he organized the Farband Players which toured the United States and Canada. He acted in and produced more than 100 plays and musicals.

Bonus brought several plays to Broadway, which were warmly received by critics. The first was “Let’s Sing Yiddish,” a revue in which he was a star, producer, collaborator and, with his wife, co-director.

Mrs. Bonus said her husband spent almost his entire life in the Yiddish theater because of his love for it and also because of his knowledge that the Nazis murdered six million Jews, including his parents and his family, and he felt he should keep alive the songs, the classics, the poetry and the music of the Jewish people.

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