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Mrs goldberg

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The Ciesla Foundation
presents an
International Film Circuit release



A film by

Distribution contact:

Wendy Lidell

International Film Circuit

2009 – 35mm – 1:85 – Dolby 5.1 – Color/B&W – 92 minutes

From Aviva Kempner, maker of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, comes this humorous and eye-opening story of television pioneer Gertrude Berg. She was the creator, principal writer, and star of The Goldbergs, a popular radio show for 17 years, which became television’s very first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. Berg received the first Best Actress Emmy in history, and paved the way for women in the entertainment industry. Includes interviews with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor Ed Asner, producers Norman Lear (All in the Family) and Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties), and NPR correspondent Susan Stamberg.

Gertrude Berg became a cultural icon against the backdrop of the twentieth century’s most difficult years for American Jews. Berg’s radio show, The Goldbergs, which she created, wrote, and starred in, premiered a week after the stock market crash of 1929. The show rose in popularity at the same time Hitler rose to power in Germany. She combined social commentary, family values and comedy to win the hearts of America. In 1949, she brought The Goldbergs to television, and it became the new medium’s very first character-driven domestic sitcom. She weathered yet another minefield of American history, Senator Joseph McCarthy’s blacklist, which had a devastating effect on the entertainment industry.
When writer Judith Abrams brought a script about Gertrude Berg to the head of CBS, he did not even know who Berg was. Yet…

  • Berg appeared on the cover of Billboard Magazine as “the first lady of radio”,

  • Berg received the first Best Actress Emmy in history,

  • Berg was polled the second most respected woman in America, after Eleanor Roosevelt,

  • Berg appeared on Edward R. Murrow’s landmark celebrity interview show “Person to Person” on CBS,

  • Berg was the highest paid guest star in television, appearing on the Kate Smith, Milton Berle, Steve Allen and Perry Como shows, among others,

  • Berg won a Tony in 1959 for her performance on Broadway opposite Cedric Hardwicke in Majority of One, and

  • Berg wrote a best-selling cookbook, an advice column, and had her own clothing line.

Gertrude Berg is truly the most famous woman in America you’ve never heard of.

* * * *
Gertrude Berg was born Tillie Edelstein in 1898 and grew up in Harlem, then a Jewish enclave. She got her first taste of show business writing and staging skits in her father’s resort in the Catskills, called Fleischmanns. She married a Jewish Englishman, Louis Berg in 1918 and they moved to a Louisiana sugar plantation, where they prospered after Louis invented instant coffee so soldiers could drink coffee on the front in WWI. Yet, Tillie wanted more, so when the plantation burned down, the couple moved back to New York. Tillie changed her name to Gertrude, and she set out on what has become a legendary entertainment career.
Berg’s radio show, The Rise of the Goldbergs, debuted in 1929 and was an American favorite for seventeen years. Her television show, The Goldbergs, was equally beloved. In 1950, Gertrude Berg won the first best actress Emmy Award in history and The Goldbergs was nominated for Best Kinescope Show.
The show ran into trouble when Berg’s co-star Philip Loeb was targeted by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s blacklist. The show’s sponsors threatened to pull out, but Berg took a strong stand, long refusing to fire Loeb. Her efforts proved fruitless. In January 1952, a distraught Berg settled with Loeb, who left the show.
While the show recovered, The Goldbergs would never be the same, especially after the sad passing of Philip Loeb in 1955 by suicide, memorialized by Loeb’s good friend Zero Mostel in the 1976 film, The Front. After the show’s cancellation in 1956, Berg continued to be successful on both television and stage. Despite the difficulties of the McCarthy Era, she was the highest paid guest star in television, appearing on The Milton Berle Show, The Perry Como Show, and The Steve Allen Show multiple times, as well as giving an in depth interview on Person to Person with Edward R. Murrow. She won a Best Actress Tony in 1959 for her performance opposite Cedric Hardwicke in A Majority of One on Broadway.
Gertrude Berg became an important public figure at a time when positive images of Jews, especially mothers, were rarely shown in public. The “Oprah of her day,” Berg was a media trailblazer with a cookbook, advice column, and clothing line in addition to popular radio and television serials. Her creation of a specifically ethnic, but far from atypical, American life in The Goldbergs carries through to this day.

Among those interviewed for the film are actor Ed Asner, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, TV producers Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties) and Norman Lear (All in the Family), CBS anchor Andrea Roane, and NPR commentator Susan Stamberg. Those who recall the show will recognize familiar faces from The Goldbergs, including Berg’s talent discoveries, Anne Bancroft and Steve McQueen.

Footage includes short clips from beloved motion pictures, such as The Marx Brother’s The Cocoanuts, Martin Ritt’s The Front, and Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant, as well as evocative footage from the Depression, World War II, and the Lower East Side.

Aviva Kempner’s Director’s Statement

For the past 30 years, my goal has been to make documentaries about under known Jewish heroes that counter negative stereotypes. My goal is to show them foremost in the cinema, not digital releases.

In Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg I’m delighted to document the amazing accomplishments of the talented Gertrude Berg. I am in awe of how this woman would wake up at six in the morning, write her shows, and then go off to the studio to produce. Without missing a beat she seamlessly performed Molly to perfection. Here is a woman who wrote the most positive portrayal of a Jewish mother and her family during the decades that severely threatened American and European Jewry. It is more amazing still that she crafted such a warm maternal figure in spite of her own mother’s mental illness. Berg created the “perfect mother” she never experienced in her own life.
You didn’t have to be Jewish to love Molly! She was admired by millions of all backgrounds as they sat with families and friends around their radios and televisions following The Goldbergs. As a trailblazer in the male dominated entertainment world, Berg was the Oprah of her day. She invented product placement; audiences bought whatever products she suggested. She wrote compelling scenes and hilarious lines, especially her trademark malapropisms that audiences remember and recite to this day.
Berg is the most important woman in show business that many don’t know about because her enormous contributions to show business have been forgotten until this release of Yoo-Hoo, Mrs.Goldberg. This summer the US Postal Service is issuing stamps commemorating the early TV shows, and unbelievably The Goldbergs are ignored.
I so admire Berg’s courage in standing up to the destructive Blacklist, pursuing all avenues to save Philip Loeb’s career. The Blacklist deprived Americans of many creative talents as it destroyed lives. The demise of Loeb as Jake Goldberg was the worst television story to come out of this witch hunt. The detrimental effect of the Blacklist on Gertrude Berg’s reputation is equally shocking.

Researching my own family roots in 1979 inspired me to become a filmmaker. I am dedicated to making films that span the years prior to and during World War II, since they so scarred my family. My Polish-born mother passed as a Catholic working at a labor camp within Germany. Her parents and sister perished in Auschwitz, and only her brother survived the death camps.

Upon liberation by Americans my mother met my Lithuanian-born father, a US soldier, in Berlin. My father's mother had been shot by the Nazis. They married, and upon birth I was anointed the first American-Jewish child. We came to America in 1950 and settled in Detroit. My father, who immigrated to America in the late 1920s, made me aware of our country’s hardships during the Depression and the social discrimination against Jews and other minorities.
As a teenager I fantasized about fighting Nazis. In 1979, I felt an urge to make a film about Jewish resistance against the Nazis to answer the unfair question, “why didn’t Jews resist?” I produced and co-wrote Partisans of Vilna to show Jews had fought despite the moral dilemmas. It was released in theaters in 1986, and on DVD 20 years later. I formed a nonprofit foundation, naming it Ciesla after my maternal grandparents’ last name to keep the name alive.
I chose Hank Greenberg, my father’s baseball hero, as the subject of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. Every Yom Kippur our father would tell us how Greenberg went to synagogue instead of the stadium. I believed Greenberg was part of Kol Nidre service. I was sick of seeing only nebbishy Jewish males on the screen. Due to the difficulty in raising funds, it took 13 long years to make.
What I realize now is that although both Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg and Gertrude Berg’s careers spanned the years when our country faced the enormous challenges of the Great Depression and World War II, they both displayed great courage in performing as positive Jews in spite of the negative atmosphere swirling around them. Most of all, they were heroes to all Americans. It’s also greatly satisfying to now tell a woman’s story.
I feel privileged to have spent the last 30 years making documentaries about such powerful heroic figures. I love how three generations can come together to view my films. In retrospect, I believe that Jewish baby born in Berlin was put on this earth to document such affirmative celluloid history.

Aviva Kempner has a mission in life: Her films and writing investigate non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and focuses and celebrates the under known stories of Jewish heroes.
Ms. Kempner was the script writer, director and producer of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, a film about the Jewish slugger who fought anti-Semitism in the 1930’s and 40’s. It was awarded top honors by the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The film received a George Peabody Award and was nominated for an Emmy. Kempner will be the recipient of the 2009 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival's Freedom of Expression Award in July. She is being given this award for her significant contribution to creating positive images of Jewish heroes in film and her work as a Jewish film curator.
Ms. Kempner also produced and co-wrote Partisans of Vilna, a documentary on Jewish resistance against the Nazis, which came out in DVD for its’ 20th anniversary. She was the executive producer of the 1989 Grammy-award nominated record, Partisans of Vilna: The Songs of World War II Jewish Resistance.
And now from Aviva Kempner comes Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg, a humorous and eye-opening story of television pioneer Gertrude Berg. Berg was the creator, principal writer, and star of The Goldbergs, a popular radio show for 17 years, which became television’s very first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. Berg received the first Best Actress Emmy in history, and paved the way for women in the entertainment industry. Included in the film are interviews with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, actor Ed Asner, producers Norman Lear (All in the Family) and Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties), and NPR correspondent Susan Stamberg. There are grants for the film from The National Endowment of the Arts, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Meyer and the Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation.
Ms. Kempner lives in Washington, DC where she plays a prominent role in the artist and film community. She is also an activist for voting rights for the District of Columbia. She is the child of a Holocaust survivor and US army officer and was born in Berlin after WWII.
Her many accomplishments include: recipient of the 1996 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2000 DC Mayor’s Art Award: 2001 Women of Vision award from D.C.’s Women in Film and Video chapter and the 2001 Media Arts award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.
She writes film criticism and feature articles for numerous publications, including The Boston Globe, The Forward, Washington Jewish Week and The Washington Post. She also lectures about cinema throughout the country.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “We all listened to Molly Goldberg on the radio.”
Margaret Nagle, screenwriter: “There was a list every year of the most respected women in America. Eleanor Roosevelt was first and Gertrude Berg would be second. There was also a list of the highest wage earners in America, and Gertrude Berg was first, and Eleanor Roosevelt was second.”
Dr. Glenn Smith, Gertrude Berg biographer: “Lucille Ball had inherited her time slot. I Love Lucy had replaced The Goldbergs. Lucille Ball replaced Gertrude Berg as this first lady of television which Gertrude Berg was called early in her career.”
Norman Lear, producer All in the Family: “It’s overwhelming that this woman could have done all of that, and so successfully, and for so many years.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “She was no shrinking violet. She was an assertive woman. She was out there doing things and leading others.”
NPR commentator Susan Stamberg: “She had that delightful little accent. She wore smart hats, from time to time. Yes, she still had that apron, and that old world touch, but she was a modern woman that Molly!”
Artist Mindy Weisel: “My mother survived the camps, came to America, had…no family. It was kind of we'd come to America and there's Molly Goldberg. Every week we'd watch Molly Goldberg and she became our American family. Especially when she would say "And greetings from our family to your family."
Norman Lear, producer All in the Family: “Yoo Hoo Mrs. Bloom is as familiar in my ear as my mother calling me.”
Gertrude Berg (on Edward Murrow’s Person to Person): “Molly learned everything from me. I taught Molly everything she knows.”
Judith Abrams, family friend: “She was one of the very first women of television – and radio. She created situation comedy. Twelve thousand scripts that she wrote every word to.”
NPR commentator Susan Stamberg: “There’s a wonderful story - I don’t know whether it’s true or not - FDR said ‘I didn’t get us out of the Depression. It was The Goldbergs.’”
CBS Anchor Andrea Roane: “It was something being from a black family. You didn’t think about religion or even ethnicity listening to Gertrude Berg, the Molly Goldberg show, all you thought about was family”.
NPR commentator Susan Stamberg: “There were no role models really for Gertrude Berg. She just sort of stepped out and did it. Gertrude Berg was the working woman before feminism, before anything.”
Margaret Nagle, screenwriter : “Gertrude Berg built a media empire and she was the first woman to do that…Gertrude Berg was brilliant as Molly and brilliant as a businesswoman… Gertrude Berg at her height was the Oprah of her day. There was no stopping her.”
Chris Doweny, fan: “We never noticed she was Jewish. She was more like our Greek family.”

Gertrude Berg’s Biography

From Tillie to Gertrude, Mrs. Berg became forever immortalized with the character she wrote and played for over twenty-five years, Molly Goldberg. She was the Oprah of her day but is virtually forgotten today. Gertrude Berg is the most important woman in entertainment you’ve never heard of.

Gertrude Berg was born Tillie Edelstein in New York City in 1898. She had one older brother who died when she was very young. Her mother never adjusted to this loss, becoming very protective of Tillie, and was institutionalized in later years.
Her father, Jake Edelstein, went through various careers. One of his long-standing enterprises was running a resort in the Catskill Mountains where Tillie worked and eventually created and performed skits to amuse the guests’ children. She met an older Englishman, Lewis Berg, one summer at the resort. He wooed her, and when she turned eighteen they married. They moved to New Orleans for his career as an engineer on a sugar plantation until a fire burned it down.
Tillie and Lewis returned to New York City. It became her home and her creative muse. She started to pursue her writing and acting full time and changed her name to Gertrude Berg, taking her husband’s last name.
She began writing radio scripts, starting with two forward thinking shop sales girls, but it was not optioned. Berg returned to a fictional family she had formulated as a young woman, now calling them The Goldbergs, a combination of her mother’s maiden name and her husband’s last name.
The Goldbergs premiered eighty years ago on radio in 1929 with Gertrude filling in for the role of Molly until another actress could be found. She was so good that when she was sick for a week the public sent in mass amounts of fan mail asking, “Where’s Molly?” Audiences loved listening to the stories and struggles of the Goldberg family and their neighbors, and instantly took to the warmth and guidance of the accented Molly Goldberg.
CBS executives knew they had a hit. As scriptwriter and star, Gertrude Berg was one of the leading women in radio with the longest running show second only to Amos and Andy. Unlike Molly, Berg lived on Park Avenue, owned a country house, and did not speak with an accent or recite malapropisms. She wrote early in the morning, and then went to the studio to produce and star in her show.
In 1947, following her 17 year run on radio, Gertrude saw television as a new exciting media, and a new opportunity to reinvigorate and reintroduce The Goldbergs following World War II. After a stage play, The Goldbergs premiered on CBS in 1949. Gertrude Berg was lead writer, star, and producer yet again, and The Goldbergs climbed in popularity.
In 1950, Gertrude Berg won the first best actress Emmy Award in history and The Goldbergs was nominated for Best Kinescope Show. She had a clothing line for housewives. She published a cookbook and wrote an advice column called Mama Talks. Her television show was made into a movie called Molly by Paramount Pictures with Berg on set and in the editing room, exerting her influence as screenwriter and producer.
How quickly the good times can change. In the same year, The House on UnAmerican Activities published Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television. Gertrude’s costar, the popular Philip Loeb (Jake Goldberg), an active union organizer among actors, was listed. The sponsors pulled their support for the show. Gertrude was faced with a dilemma: find new sponsorship or fire Loeb with whom she had great stage chemistry. She appealed to the sponsors, the network, and even Cardinal Spellman who told her he would help if she did one thing: convert to Catholicism.
It was at that point that Gertrude and Philip knew there was no hope for him continuing in the show. They settled out of court. The show floundered after that, having been put on hold for close to two years. It found its feet upon casting first Harold Stone for one season, and then Robert Harris as replacements for Loeb. In turn, Gertrude was also hurt for being associated with Philip Loeb. The whole entertainment community was under attack. In 1955, unable to work and support his schizophrenic son, Loeb committed suicide. This devastated Gertrude Berg. The Goldbergs, which moved from the Bronx to the suburbs, ended a few years later.
Berg went on to star in theatrical productions. She played at summer stock, anything to keep working and acting. Eventually, she won a Tony in 1959 for best actress in A Majority of One. Blacklisted actors came together for a television presentation of The Word of Sholom Aleichem in the same year. Following this success, she returned to television as writer and star in Mrs. G Goes to College, which later became known as The Gertrude Berg Show. She was the highest paid guest star at the time, and appeared with Steve Allen, Milton Berle, and Perry Como.
She died in 1966 from what her family termed “over work” as she was in production on another Broadway show. She is buried in the Catskills, where her enthusiasm for the written word, acting, and The Goldbergs all began.

Judith Abrams was a Berg family friend. She is the niece of Fannie Merrill, Gertrude Berg's best friend and personal assistant who worked as casting director and general “Gal Friday” on all Berg's projects.
Joyce Antler is the Samuel Lane Professor of American Jewish History and Culture at Brandeis University, where she teaches in the American Studies Department and Women's and Gender Studies Program. Her major fields of interest include women's history, American Jewish history

and culture, the history of education, and history as theater. She is the author or editor of ten books, including, most recently, You Never Call! You Never Write! A History of the Jewish Mother.


Ed Asner is a film and television actor and former Screen Actors Guild President, primarily known for his role as Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spin-off series, "Lou Grant". He was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family. He played a prominent role in the 1980 SAG strike.


Adam Berg is a grandson of Gertrude Berg.


Anna Berger is an actress who got her start on Gertrude Berg’s television show.
Chris Milanos Downey is an educational consultant who lives in Washington DC.
Madeline Lee Gilford was an American film and stage actress and social activist, who later enjoyed a later career as a theatrical producer. Gilford was the widow of actor Jack Gilford. Both Madeline and Jack were subpoenaed and blacklisted during the McCarthy Era for much of the 1950s. Gilford continued her role as a social activist in the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and was more recently arrested for civil disobedience in 1999 while protesting the police shooting of Amadou Diallo in New York City. Gilford co-authored a memoir in 1978 with Kate Mostel, the wife of Zero Mostel, entitled 170 Years in Show Business.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman named as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the first Jewish woman to serve there. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton with the support of Judiciary Chairman Senator Orrin Hatch in 1993.
Gary David Goldberg is a television producer best known for the series "Brooklyn Bridge". He got his start on the hit sitcom "Newhart". He also produced the critically acclaimed series "Lou Grant", and created the sitcoms "Family Ties" and "Spin City".


Viola Harris appeared on "The Goldbergs", and has performed in many movies including "Choke", "Whiffs" and "High School Hellcats", released in 1958, in which she portrayed Linda Martin. In 2003 she appeared in the off Broadway production "Oh Boy!".


Norman Lear is an Emmy-winning televison producer known for the creation of hit sitcoms such as "All In The Family", "Maude", "The Jeffersons", "One Day at a Time", "Sanford and Son", and "Good Times".

He also directed Dick Van Dyke in two films, “Divorce American Style” and “Cold Turkey”.


Arlene “Fuzzy” McQuade is an actress who portrayed Rosalie on the series "The Goldbergs" from 1949 to 1956. She is also known for her work in "Telephone Time", "Fight for the Title", and the "Hawaii Five-O" episode Full Fathom Five. Her credits also include the role of "Ginnie" in the film “Touch of Evil” (with Charlton Heston, 1958), the TV Westerns "Death Valley Days" "The Lawless Years" and  "Have Gun - Will Travel", the movie “The Nick Joseph Story” in which she played Billie North.
Zero Mostel was a popular stage actor known for his work in "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum", "The Comedians", and "Fiddler on the Roof". He was a close friend of Philip Loeb.

Kate Mostel was the wife of Zero Mostel and close friend of Philip Loeb. He stayed at their house for awhile shortly before his death.


Margaret Nagle is a writer, producer, and actress. Nagle wrote the script for the HBO film, “Warm Springs”, which won her the 2005 Writers Guild of America Award for Long Form Original Screenplay. She was also nominated for the 2005 Emmy Award for the same film, which was nominated for a total of a record-breaking 16 Emmy Awards. The film won 5 Emmys that year including the award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie. She is a mother of two and has been researching Gertrude

Berg for a biopic that has yet to be produced.
Larry Robinson was cast as the son of Molly Goldberg, "Sammy Goldberg", for the television series "The Goldbergs". He went on to perform that role for the majority of the series and in the Paramount

Picture film, "Molly". His credits also include the TV series “Kitty Foyle” (1958), and episodes of “Judging Amy”.

Anne Schwartz is a granddaughter of Gertrude Berg.
Dr. David Schwartz is the son-in-law of Gertrude Berg.
Henry Schwartz is a grandson of Gertrude Berg.


Leona Schwartz is a granddaughter of Eli Mintz who played Uncle David on “The Goldbergs”.

Andrea Roane Skehan is an award-winning anchorperson on Washington's WUSA TV 9. She has been a newsperson at the station since 1981. She is best known for her healthcare initiatives, such as her spokespersonship for the "Buddy Check 9" program. In 2006, Washingtonian Magazine named her one of The Outstanding Washingtonians of the Year. Roane joined Channel 9 after a two-year stint as anchor of WETA's now-defunct "Metro Week." She first anchored at WUSA on weekday mornings, picking up the noon broadcast in 1983. In 1989, she began anchoring the 4 p.m. newscast.
Menashe Skulnick was often called "The Jewish Charlie Chaplin". A veteran of vaudeville, Broadway (Odets' "The Flowering Peach") and early film, he was cast as "Uncle David" on “The Rise of the Goldbergs” radio show and later in the early TV version of "The Goldbergs".


Dr. Glenn D. Smith, Jr. is an Assistant Professor of Communication at Mississippi State University. His first book, “Something on My Own”: Gertrude Berg and American Broadcasting, 1929-1956, was published by Syracuse University Press in 2007. He is currently researching the career of union activist and blacklisted actor, Philip Loeb.


Susan Stamberg is an NPR correspondent, longtime host of NPR's "All Things Considered", and member of The Broadcast Hall of Fame


Robert Thompson is the Trustee Professor of Television and Popular Culture at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture. His areas of research are television history, Popular Culture, media criticism, and TV programming. Thompson's various sound bites have been dubbed by the Associated Press as "Thompson-isms".  He holds a B.A. in political science with a minor in art history from the University of Chicago and an M.A. and Ph.D. in radio, television and film from Northwestern University

Jack Urbont is a television and film composer. Among his many credits: he composed the theme song for the long-running television series, “General Hospital”.
Mindy Weisel is a former cast member of "The Goldbergs" who is also an

accomplished artist in the mediums of glass and paintings. She has exhibited at The Troyer Gallery, Volta Gallery, Prada Gallery, Yale University, and participated in panel discussions at Yale, The National Gallery of Art, and The Corcoran Gallery. Weisel has been nominated for the Kreeger Museum Artist Award, and the Rutgers National Artist on Paper Award.


In loving memory of

Helen Ciesla Covensky

Chaim Kempner and Milton Covensky

Barbara Bick

Firefighters of 9-11

Madeline Lee Gilford

Philip Loeb

Larry Robinson
Dedicated to voting rights for the District of Columbia

And the Viability of Newspapers

Written, Produced and Directed by

Aviva Kempner


Judith E. Herbert
Post Production Editor

Peter Silverman

Post Production Coordinator

Margaret Sclafani

Fred Karns

Sound Design and Mix

Skip Sorelle MPSE

Margaret Nagle

Dr. Glenn Smith, Jr.

“Something on My Own”: Gertrude Berg and American Broadcasting, 1929-1956

Marian Sears Hunter

Andy Ingall

Dr. Ron Simon

Director of Photography

Tom Kaufman (Washington, DC)

Dennis Boni (Washington, DC)

Tom Hurwitz (New York)

Barry Kirk(Santa Fe)

Learan Kahanov (New York)

David Waldman (Los Angeles)

Photo Animation and Technical Advisor

Ralph Quattrucci


Carol Hilliard

Judith Abrams

Joyce Antler

Ed Asner

Adam Berg

Anna Berger

Morris Deutsch

D. Chris Milanos Downey

Madeline Gilford

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Gary David Goldberg

Linda Greenberg

Viola Harris

Ann Kantor

Aliza Kempner

Piera Kempner

Howard Langer

Norman Lear

Arlene McQuade

Margaret Nagle

Larry Robinson

Anne Schwartz

Dr. David Schwartz

Henry Schwartz

Leona Schwartz

Interviewees (cont.)

Andrea Roane Skehan

Dr. Glenn D. Smith, Jr.

Susan Stamberg

Robert Thompson

Jack Urbont

Mindy Weisel


Effie and Laura

Sara Chase

Roberta Wallach

Christmas Cookie Commercial

Suzanne Toren

News Announcer

Dan Raviv

Jon Nazdin Bass

Bruno Nasta Violin

Lee Lachman Saxophone

Manny Bobmenreith Accordion

Fred Karns Guitar, Piano

Associate Producers

Kathy Dismukes

Leah Ramsay


Randi Cohen Coblenz

Tommy Tavenner

Corporate Relations

Denene Deverman Crabbs

Jane Applegate

Merchandise Maven

Dori Phaff

Website Designer

Daniel Seikely

Margaret Sclafani
Website Management

Mia Artson

Tommy Tavenner
Website Artwork

Keshini Ladduwahetty

Sound Recordists

Lenny Schmitz (Washington, D.C.)

Jim Gallup(Santa Fe)

Billy Johnson (Los Angeles)

Roger Phenix (New York)

Merce Williams(New York)


Doug Gritzmacher (Washington,DC)

Michael K. Rogers (Washington, DC)

Chris Williamson (Washington,DC)

David Wexler (Los Angeles)

Steve Nealey (New York)

John Frisbie (New York)

Key Grips

Aaron Randall (New York)

Valentin Pascal Schubert (Santa Fe)

New York City Line Producer

Charlotte Hendrix

Assistant Editors

Megan Waller

Film Labortory

DuArt Film and Video
Sound Engineer

Noah Baron

Matt Gundy
Online Editor

John Rehberger

David Gauff


Jane Tolmachyov

End Credits

Alex Shum
Digital Intermediate

DuArt Film and Video

Dolby Digital Print Master

James P. Nichols

Cue Recording Studio

Recording Engineer

Sean Russell

Mixing Engineer

Ken Schubert

Archival and Photo research

Luis A. Blandon, Jr.

Michael Case

Ruth Efroni

Margaret Sclafani

Theatrical Trailer Editor

Peter Silverman

Fundraising Trailer Editor

Mary Lampson

Arjun Rao
Fundraising Trailer Assistant Editor

Tommy Huie

David Nathan

Copyright Research

Motion Picture Information Service

Elias Savada, Director

Additional research

Annabel Jessica Arana

Jessica Bricker

Adriana Cutler

Elizabeth Fainberg

Vicki Noonan

Peter Silverman

Vicki Warren


Erik Dellums

Ari Jacobovits

Elizabeth Lee

Federica Mennella

Zachary Ratner

Lindsey Vander Wielen


Tamika Adair

Ivy Barkakati

Patrick Bevilacqua

Sam Brase

Kinley Bunting

Donielle Cohen

Allison Cossman

Elizabeth Diaz

Nora Dweck

Lily Farrell

Sasha Feinstein

Sam Feldman

Dyane Jean Francois Fils

Mara Hilmy

Jesse Hochheiser

Ariel Karlin

Sarah Klein

Allyson Marcus

Nicolo Miscioscia

Adele Morrisson

Brian Reardon

Adam Sachs

Nelson Sofer
Legal Services

Robert Freedman


Steven Kronzek

Jerry Lopez


Jon Laskin

Russell Insurance Group


International Film Circuit Inc

Wendy Lidell


Susan Senk

Linda Altman

Bijan Bayne
Housing provided by

Richard Breyer

Eva and Leah Fogelman

Beverly Gasner

Arthur and Gwen Hiller

Greta Hirsch

Barry Kirk

Arlene McQuade

Footage (Archival Sources)

FILM Archives Inc.

Historic Films Archive, LLC

John Allen, Inc.

National Archives and Record Administration

National Center for Jewish Film, at Brandeis University

UCLA Film & Television Archive

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Archives

Footage (TV Shows)

“CBS News” courtesy of BBC Worldwide Americas Inc.

“The Ed Sullivan Show”

Courtesy of its Copyright Owner, SOFA Entertainment, and Historic Films Archive, LLC

Use of clip from “FRIENDS” courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment

Episodes of “The Goldbergs” courtesy of the following:

UCLA Film and Television Archives

MacDonald & Associates

The Jewish Museum

Use of clip from “Honeymooners” courtesy of CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Use of clips from “I Love Lucy” courtesy of CBS Broadcasting Inc.

“The Milton Berle Show” courtesy of Universal Media Studios

“Mrs. G Goes To College” courtesy of UCLA Film and Television Archives

“The Perry Como Show” courtesy of Research Video

Use of clip from “Seinfeld” courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment

“The Steve Allen Show” courtesy of Historic Films Archive, LLC

Feature Films

Excerpts courtesy of National Center for Jewish Film, at Brandeis University

Excerpt from “The City” courtesy of the American Planning Association

“The Cocoanuts” courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing LLP

“The Front” courtesy of Columbia Pictures

“Humoresque” courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive

“The Jazz Singer” courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment

“Molly” courtesy of Paramount Pictures

“The World of Sholom Aleichem” courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive


Berg & Schwartz Families


Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

CORBIS Corporation

Image of Gertrude Berg; Eli Mintz; Arlene McQuade

Courtesy of George Karger/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Image of Coretta Scott King

Courtesy of Nat Fein/Premium Archive/Getty Images

Image of Philip Loeb

Courtesy of Nina Leen/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

The Library of American Broadcasting

Photofest, Inc.

Gertrude Berg Papers

Courtesy of Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library

John Henry Faulk Papers

Courtesy of The Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Books & Newspapers

The Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook by Gertrude Berg and Myra Waldo

The Los Angeles Times

The New York Times Company


“My Yiddishe Momme”

Performed by Sophie Tucker

Courtesy of Warner Chappell Music Inc.

Courtesy of Bug Music Inc.

“Toselli’s Serenade (Dreams and Memories)“

Performed by Perry Como

Courtesy of RCA Records Label

By arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment

Parlor Parties

Betty Adler and Mark Rosenberg

Judith Barnett

Carol and Michael Berman

Julia Cohen and Neil Barrett

Diane Bolz and Michael Finn

Gerrie Dubit and Edmund Stelzer

Ruth Eisenberg and Leti Gomez

Martha Ertman and Karen Lash

Ted and Suzanne Fields

Esther and Bert Foer

Rena and Michael Gordon

Nancy Harris

Peter Heller

Bonnie and Alan Hammerschlag

Karen Kalish

Beth Horowitz and Michael Kazin

Holli and Matt Jaffe

Cathryn Keller and Brent Glass

Francine and Mel Levinson

Joy Midman

Michael and Charlotte Newberger

Steve Labaton and Miriam Shapiro

Gary and Ellen Malasky

Vivien and Lester Marion

Susan Orlins

Elissa Parker

Lorraine and David Shir

Barbara Silverstein and Alan Kirschenbaum

Patti and Jerry Sowalsky

Funding generously provided by
Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust

Righteous Persons Foundation

Rhoda and David Chase Family Foundation

Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation

Jeffrey Gildenhorn

National Endowment for the Arts



Josh Pokempner and Gretchen Gardner

Robert H. Smith Family Foundation

Karma Foundation

David Bruce Smith Family Foundation

Atran Foundation

Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation

Sandra and Arnold Chase Family Foundation

Samuel Rubin Foundation

Henry and Anne Reich Family Foundation

Robert and Arlene Kogod Family Foundation

David Carliner

Cohn Family Fund

Alan and Bonnie Hammerschlag

Harry & Fay Burka Foundation

Louie and Ralph Dweck

Lois and Richard England

Henry H. and Carol B. Goldberg

Rita Poretsky Foundation

Daniel and Jane Solomon

The Honorable Ann W. Brown

Harolyn Landow Cardozo

Abramson Family Foundation

Bernard Foundation

Jules Bernstein and Linda Lipsett

Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation

CrossCurrents Foundation, Micheline Klagsbrun and Ken Grossinger

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

In Loving Memory of Bernice Rosenberg Deutsch

The Forward

David Geffen Foundation

GEICO Insurance Company

Edith and Michael Gelfand Foundation

Michael & Rena Gordon

Isadore & Bertha Gudelsky Family Foundation

Nancy & Paul Hamburger

Hamilton Street Family Foundation

Hermelin Family Support Foundation

Herson-Stirman Family Foundation

Helene Herzig

Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago

Dr. Cyrus Katzen

Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg Foundation

Kay Family Foundation

Jonathan Kempner and Lise Van Susteren

Ted Leonsis

Vivien K. and Lester I Marion, M.D. Philanthropic Fund

Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture

Dolores Neuman and Louis Wolf

Mark Novak and Renee Brachfeld

Peggy Parsons

Irene & Abe Pollin

Bernard & Carole Rabinowitz Philanthropic Fund

Vradenburg Foundation

Ziegler Family Trust

Very Special Thanks

American Jewish Historical Society

Howard Arenstein

Jodi Arlington

Avalon Theatre

Susan Barocas

Judith Barnett

Adam Berg

Carlotta Berg

Steve Blakely

Eli Bleich

Henry Bornstein

Center for Jewish History

Jerome Chanes

Mary Cheh

Maureen Corrigan

Lou Cove

Craig’s List

Marita DeVargas

David Drimer

Ginny Durrin

Dan Einstein

Mark Ethan

Attilia M. Fierro

Nancy Fishman

Eva Fogelman

Ann Fortuno

Joel Fram

Michael Freedman

Susan Freedman

Peter Friedman

Frank and Mary Frost

Edith Gelfand

Phylis Geller

Rebecca Goldman

Seth Goldman, Honest Tea

Barbara Green

Roberta Grossman

Grace Guggenheim

Judy Hallet

Carlotta Berg Hanson

Lisa Heller

High Falls Film Festival

Annette Insdorf

Jytte Jensen

Altie Karper

Michael Kazin

Aliza, Delaney, and Piera Kempner

Jonathan Kempner

Dave Kehr

Ari Kelman

Barbara Kopple

Gene Korf

Barbara Lautman

Terry Lawler

Jennifer Lawson

Norman Lear

Alan Lengel

Rachel Levin

Nick Lewis

Chuck Howell

Michael Henry

Library of Congress

Ron Mandelbaum,


Bill McGuire

Andy Mencher

Ron Meyer

Gloria Monge

Joe Monge

Milly Morrow

Margaret Nagle

Mark Nelson

92 Y

Sheila Nevins

Sam Norich

David Osnos

Peggy Parsons

Kathleen Pearce

Sarah Pokempner

Politics and Prose

Potomac Video

Dan Raviv

Mark Saunders

Anne Schwartz

Frank Schwartz

Henry Schwartz

David Schwartz

Josh Schwartz

Linda Segal

Melissa Silverstein

Barbra Streisand

Margery Tabankin

Nancy Tellem

Lise Van Susteren

Visual Edge

Dr. Ernest Wallwork

Aviva Weintraub

Mindy Weisel

Ben West

Katharine Weymouth

Washington Jewish Film Festival

Women in Film and Video, DC

Molly Yeselson

Irwin Young
The Ciesla Foundation, 2009

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