BULOFF, JOSEPH (1899–1985), U.S. Yiddish actor. Buloff was born in Vilna, Lithuania. At the age of 20, he played with the Vilna Troupe, performing in Russian, German, Yiddish, and Polish. In 1926 he was invited by maurice schwartz to join the Yiddish Art Theater in New York. After working with him for about a year, Buloff became director of the Jewish Literary and Dramatic Society in Chicago (1927–29). After having performed in more than 225 Yiddish plays, Buloff turned his talents to acting in English, making his Broadway debut in 1936 in the comedy Don't Look Now. He appeared in many other comedies on Broadway, including Call Me Ziggy (1937); To Quito and Back (1937); The Man from Cairo (1938); Morning Star (1940); My Sister Eileen (1940–43); Spring Again (1941–42); Oklahoma (1943–48); The Whole World Over (1947); Once More with Feeling (1958–59); Moonbirds (1959); as well as John Hersey's Broadway version of The Wall (1960–61) and the drama The Price (1979). In 1952 he directed Mrs. McThing on Broadway, which he staged in Hebrew in Israel. In 1952 he also staged a Yiddish version of Death of a Salesman, in which he starred as Willy Loman. Buloff's wife, Yiddish actress Luba Kadison, took on the role of his stage wife, Linda. In 1968 Buloff toured with The Kibbitzer in Israel, where he later settled. In 1982 Buloff and Kadison wrote and performed off-Broadway in The Chekhov Sketchbook, three short stories by Anton Chekhov that they adapted for the stage. On screen, Buloff appeared in the films Let's Make Music (1941); They Met in Argentina (1941); Carnegie Hall (1947); To the Victor (1948); The Loves of Carmen (1948); A Kiss in the Dark (1949); Monticello, Here We Come (1950); Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956); Silk Stockings (1957); and Reds (1981). He appeared on such television shows as The Philco Television Playhouse (1950s); The Untouchables (1959); Ben Casey (1964); and Medical Center (1969). He also was a regular on the 1951 sitcom Two Girls Named Smith and appeared in the TV movies Wonderful Town (1958) and Running Out (1983). He won an Obie Award in 1973 and 1978. Buloff wrote From the Old Marketplace: A Memoir of Laughter, Survival, and Coming of Age in Eastern Europe (translated and published in 1992), and On Stage, Off Stage: Memories of a Lifetime in the Yiddish Theatre (with Luba Kadison and Irving Genn, published in 1992). (Richard F. Shepard / Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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