Molly Picon Biography ((?)-1992)

Original name, Margaret Pyckoon; born February 28 (some sources say June 1),1898, in New York, NY; died April 5, 1992, in Lancaster, PA; daughter of Louis (a shirtmaker) and Clara (a wardrobe mistress; maiden name, Ostrow) Picon;married Jacob Kalich (a producer and writer), June 29, 1919 (died March 16, 1975); adopted children: four.

Death Details
April 6, 1992
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States

Famous Works

  • Gabriel, Columbia Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, 1904-07.
  • The Silver King, Columbia Theatre, 1904-07.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin, Columbia Theatre, 1904-07.
  • Sappho, Columbia Theatre, 1904-07.
  • Shulamith, Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia, 1908-12.
  • Girl of the Golden West, Arch Street Theatre, 1908-12.
  • God of Revenge, Arch Street Theatre, 1908-12.
  • Medea, Arch Street Theatre, 1908-12.
  • King Lear, Arch Street Theatre, 1908-12.
  • The Kreutzer Sonata, Arch Street Theatre, 1908-12.
  • Broadway Jones, Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, 1915.
  • Bunty Pulls the Strings, Chestnut Street Theatre, 1915.
  • Yankee, Second Avenue Theatre, New York City, 1923.
  • Tzipke, Second Avenue Theatre, 1924.
  • Schmendrile, Second Avenue Theatre, 1924-25.
  • Gypsy Girl, Second Avenue Theatre, 1925-26.
  • Rabbi's Melody, Second Avenue Theatre, 1926.
  • Molly Dolly, Second Avenue Theatre, 1926.
  • Little Devil, Second Avenue Theatre, 1926-27.
  • Little Czar, Second Avenue Theatre, 1927.
  • Kid Mother, Second Avenue Theatre, 1927.
  • Raizele, Second Avenue Theatre, 1927-28.
  • Mazel Brocke, Second Avenue Theatre, 1928.
  • Hello Molly!, Second Avenue Theatre, 1928-29.
  • Comedienne, Second Avenue Theatre, 1930.
  • Girl of Yesterday, Molly Picon Theatre, New York City, 1931.
  • Love Thief, Molly Picon Theatre, 1931.
  • Once in a Million, Molly Picon Theatre, 1934.
  • Here Runs the Bride, Second Avenue Theatre, 1934.
  • Becky Felderman, Morning Star, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1940.
  • Molly, Oy Is Das a Leben, Molly Picon Theatre, 1942.
  • Mrs. Rubin, For Heaven's Sake, Mother!, Belasco Theatre, New York City, 1948.
  • Title role, Sadie Was a Lady, Second Avenue Theatre, 1949.
  • Abie Gezunt, Second Avenue Theatre, 1949.
  • Molly, Mazel Tov Molly, Second Avenue Theatre, 1950.
  • Sarah, Take It Easy, Second Avenue Theatre, 1950.
  • Make Momma Happy, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, 1953.
  • Farblonjet Honeymoon, Palace Theatre, Brooklyn, NY, 1956.
  • The World of Sholem Aleichem, Capri Theatre, Atlantic Beach, NJ, 1957.
  • Peppy, The Kosher Widow, Anderson Theatre, New York City, 1959.
  • Mrs. Jacobi, A Majority of One (also see below), Phoenix Theatre, London,1960.
  • Clara Weiss, Milk and Honey (also see below), Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, 1961.
  • The Rubiyat of Sophie Klein, Westbury Music Fair, Westbury, NY, 1967, then Playhouse in the Park, Philadelphia, 1967.
  • How to Be a Jewish Mother, Hudson Theatre, New York City, 1967-68.
  • Jenny, The Front Page, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1969.
  • Hortense Brand, Paris Is Out!, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City, 1970, then Playhouse in the Park, 1971.
  • Dolly Gallagher Levi, Hello, Dolly! (also see below), North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, MA, 1971.
  • Come Blow Your Horn (also see below), Carillon Dinner Theatre, Miami Beach, FL, 1973.
  • Laura Curtis, Something Old, Something New (also see below), Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1977.
  • Appeared in the plays, Kale Loift, 1936, Funny Girl, 1967, and The SolidGold Cadillac, 1969. Also appeared as Matilda Mousse, Madame Mousse, 1966; and Libby Hirsch, Dear Me, the Sky Is Falling, 1966.
  • Appeared in The Milliken Show, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, 1968, 1971. Repeated many roles in numerous stock performances, including Mrs. Jacobi, A Majority of One, Clara Weiss, Milk and Honey, and appeared in stock performances of Paris Is Out! and Hello, Dolly!. Appeared in many vaudeville shows in the United States and abroad; appeared at Boston Grand Opera House, 1919-20; also appeared in productions in Paris and Johannesburg, 1932, Israel,Poland, and Russia, 1933, and at London's Palladium, 1937.
  • Credits; MAJOR TOURS
  • Yankele, Argentina, 1932.
  • Mamale (also see below), Argentina, 1932.
  • Laura Curtis, Second Time Around (touring version of Something Old, Something New), U.S. cities, 1978.
  • Toured in Abi Gezunt, 1950. Conducted tours of Europe, 1920-22, and a world concert tour, 1941; performed at U.S. military camps and camps for displaced persons in Europe, 1944-45; toured the United States and Africa, 1946-47;performed in Korea and Japan with the United Service Organization (USO), 1951; toured the United States and Canada, 1952.
  • Let's Make a Night of It, Universal, 1937.
  • Yiddle, Yiddle and His Fiddle, Sphinx, 1937.
  • Mrs. Baker, Come Blow Your Horn, Paramount, 1963.
  • Yente, Fiddler on the Roof, United Artists, 1970.
  • Mrs. Cherry, For Pete's Sake (also known as July Pork Bellies), Columbia,1973.
  • Mom Goldfarb, The Cannonball Run, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1981.
  • Mrs. Goldfarb, Cannonball Run II, Warner Bros., 1984.
  • Appeared in the film Mamale, 1938, and in the silent film Mazel Tov, 1924.
  • Host, The Molly Picon Show, ABC, 1949.
  • Sarah Rabinowitz, "The Jazz Singer," Startime, NBC, 1959.
  • The Ed Sullivan Show, CBS, 1961.
  • The Jack Paar Show, NBC, 1961.
  • The Johnny Carson Show, NBC, 1961.
  • Mrs. Bronson, "I Won't Go," Car 54, Where Are You?, NBC, 1961.
  • Mrs. Bronson, "Occupancy, August 1st," Car 54, Where Are You?, NBC, 1962.
  • "The Eleventh Commandment," Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1963.
  • "Joan Crawford Didn't Say No," Car 54, Where Are You?, NBC, 1963.
  • Co-host, The Mike Douglas Show, CBS, 1967.
  • "A Little Chicken Soup Won't Hurt You," Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., CBS, 1968.
  • "Molly," My Friend Tony, NBC, 1969.
  • Co-host, The Mike Douglas Show, CBS, 1971.
  • Somerset, NBC, 1971.
  • "Mother Mishkin," Vegas, ABC, 1978.
  • "If You Can't Stand the Heat," Trapper John, M.D., CBS, 1980.
  • "From Russia With Love," The Facts of Life, NBC, 1981.
  • Also appeared on The Merv Griffin Show, 1965, 1966, 1969; The Jack O'Brien Show, 1968; The David Frost Show, 1969; and The Mike Wallace Show.
  • Ida Goldman, Murder on Flight 502, ABC, 1975.
  • Grandma Didn't Wave Back, syndicated, 1982.
  • Maxwell House Coffee Time, WMCA-WEVD, 1951.
  • Host of radio series The American Jewish Caravan of Stars, 1951; also performed in radio series Mr. and Mrs.
  • Writings
  • (With Eth Clifford Rosenberg) So Laugh a Little, Messner, 1962.
  • (With Jean Bergantili Grillo) Molly! An Autobiography, Simon & Schuster, 1980.
  • Songwriter and lyricist of nearly one hundred songs, including "The RadioGirl," 1929; "The Jolly Orphan," 1929; "Oy Is Das a Leben," 1942; "Abi Gezunt," 1949; "Sadie Is a Lady," 1950; "Mazel Tov, Molly," 1950; and "The KosherWidow," 1959.

Further Reference


  • Time, April 20, 1992, p. 37.

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