Sylvia Sidney Biography (1910-)

Born Sophia Kossow, August 8 (some sources say August 10), 1910, in New York,NY; daughter of Victor and Rebecca (Saperstein) Kossow; married Bennett Cerf(a publisher), October, 1935 (divorced, 1936); married Luther Adler (an actor), 1938 (divorced, 1946); married Carlton Alsop, 1947 (divorced, 1951); children: (second marriage) Jacob L. Addresses: Publicist--c/o John Springer, 130 East Sixty-seventh St., New York, NY 10021.

Birth Details
August 8, 1910
New York, New York, United States

Famous Works

  • (Stage debut) The Challenge of Youth, Poli's Theatre, Washington, DC, 1926.
  • (Broadway debut) Anita, The Squall, Forty-eighth Street Theatre, New YorkCity, 1926.
  • Annabelle Porter, Crime, Eltinge Theatre, New York City, 1927.
  • Mary Norton, Mirrors, Forrest Theatre, New York City, 1928.
  • Amy, The Breaks, Klaw Theatre, New York City, 1928.
  • Rosalie, Gods of the Lightning, Little Theatre, New York City, 1928.
  • Elizabeth Girard, Nice Women, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1929.
  • Patricia, Cross Roads, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1929.
  • Patsy Coster, Many a Slip, Little Theatre, 1930.
  • Dot, Bad Girl, Hudson Theatre, New York City, 1930.
  • Lola Hobbs, To Quito and Back, Guild Theatre, New York City, 1937.
  • Stella Goodman, The Gentle People, Belasco Theatre, New York City, 1939.
  • We Will Never Die (pageant), Madison Square Garden, New York City, 1943.
  • Alicia Christie, Black Chiffon, Hartman Theatre, Columbus, OH, then Locust Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, 1951.
  • Agnes, The Fourposter, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City, 1951.
  • Fanny Benton, The Gypsies Wore High Hats, Falmouth Playhouse, Coonamessett, MA, 1952.
  • Anna, A Very Special Baby, Playhouse Theatre, New York City, 1956.
  • Mrs. Kolowitz, Enter Laughing, Henry Miller's Theatre, New York City, 1963.
  • Beatrice Wright, "Damn You, Scarlett O'Hara," and Leslie Ross, "All My Pretty Little Ones," in Riverside Drive (double-bill), Theatre de Lys, New YorkCity, 1964.
  • Mrs. Banks, Barefoot in the Park, Biltmore Theatre, New York City, 1966.
  • Lady Bracknell, The Importance of Being Earnest, Oakland Repertory Theatre, CA, 1966.
  • Mrs. Hardcastle, She Stoops to Conquer, National Repertory Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Washington, DC, 1968.
  • Mrs. Venable, Suddenly, Last Summer, Ivanhoe Theatre, Chicago, IL, 1973.
  • A Family and a Fortune, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA, 1973-74.
  • Matty Seaton, A Family and a Fortune, Seattle Repertory Theatre, 1974.
  • Tessie, Me Jack, You Jill, John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1976.
  • Sabrina Fair, Arlington Park Theatre, Arlington Heights, IL, 1976-77.
  • Mrs. Wire, Vieux Carre, St. James Theatre, New York City, 1977.
  • Night of 100 Stars, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1982.
  • Also appeared as Prunella, Garrick Theatre, New York City, 1926; FrauleinSchneider, Cabaret, Wallingford, CT, 1970; and Mrs. Baker, Butterflies Are Free, St. Louis, MO, 1972. Appeared in Morning's at 7 and Come Along With Me,both 1981; and 'Night Mother.
  • Credits; MAJOR TOURS
  • Linda Brown, Accent on Youth, U.S. cities, 1941.
  • Mrs. Manningham, Angel Street, U.S. cities, 1942.
  • Title role, Auntie Mame, U.S. cities, 1958.
  • Mrs. Malaprop, The Rivals, National Repertory Theatre, U.S. cities, 1965-66.
  • Constance, the Madwoman of Passy, The Madwoman of Chaillot, National Repertory Theatre, U.S. cities, 1965-66.
  • The Trojan Women, National Repertory Theatre, U.S. cities, 1965-66.
  • Mrs. Banks, Barefoot in the Park, U.S. cities, 1966.
  • Mrs. Baker, Come Blow Your Horn, U.S. and Canadian cities, 1968.
  • Also toured as Eliza, Pygmalion, and in Tonight at 8:30, 1938; title role, Jane Eyre, 1943; Joan of Lorraine, 1947; Kind Lady, 1948;O Mistress Mine, 1948-49; The Two Mrs. Carrolls, 1949; Pygmalion, 1949; Goodbye, My Fancy, 1950; Anne of the Thousand Days, 1950; The Innocents, 1950-51; as Cora Flood, TheDark at the Top of the Stairs, stock tour, 1960; The Silver Cord, 1964; KindLady, 1964; and Regina, The Little Foxes, 1966.
  • Valerie Briand, Thru Different Eyes, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1929.
  • Roberta Alden, An American Tragedy, Paramount, 1931.
  • Nan Cooley, City Streets, Paramount, 1931.
  • Patricia, Confessions of a Co-ed, Paramount, 1931.
  • Rose Maurrant, Street Scene, United Artists (UA), 1931.
  • Kathleen Storm, Ladies of the Big House, Paramount, 1932.
  • Cho-Cho San, Madame Butterfly, Paramount, 1932.
  • Guest star, Make Me a Star, Paramount, 1932.
  • Joan Prentice, Merrily We Go to Hell (also known as Merrily We Go to...),Paramount, 1932.
  • Helen Smith, The Miracle Man, Paramount, 1932.
  • Title role, Jennie Gerhardt, Paramount, 1932.
  • Mary Richards, Pick-Up, Paramount, 1933.
  • Nancy Lanea/Princess Catterina Theodora Margerita Zizzi, Thirty-Day Princess, Paramount, 1934.
  • Lillie Taylor, Good Dame, Paramount, 1934.
  • Linda Brown, Accent on Youth, Paramount, 1935.
  • Tonita Stormcloud, Behold My Wife, Paramount, 1935.
  • Title role, Mary Burns, Fugitive, Paramount, 1935.
  • June Tolliver, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Paramount, 1936.
  • Katherine Grant, Fury, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1936.
  • Drina, Dead End (also known as Dead End and Cradle of Crime), UA, 1937.
  • Sylvia Verloc, Sabotage (also known as The Woman Alone and A Woman Alone), Gaumont/Janus, 1937.
  • Joan Graham, You Only Live Once, UA, 1937.
  • Helen Dennis, You and Me, Paramount, 1938.
  • Mary Rogers, One Third of a Nation, Paramount, 1939.
  • Flo Lorraine, The Wagons Roll at Night, Warner Brothers/First National, 1941.
  • Iris Hilliard, Blood on the Sun, UA, 1945.
  • Margaret Wyndham Chase, Mr. Ace, UA, 1946.
  • Cassie Bowman, The Searching Wind, Paramount, 1946.
  • Cecily Harrington, Love from a Stranger (also known as A Stranger WalkedIn), Eagle-Lion, 1947.
  • Fantine, Les Miserables, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1952.
  • Elsie, Violent Saturday, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1955.
  • Hilda Carmichael, Behind the High Wall, Universal, 1956.
  • Mrs. Pritchett, Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, Columbia, 1973.
  • Elizabeth Mullin, God Told Me To (also known as Demon), New World, 1976.
  • Miss Coral, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, New World, 1977.
  • Aunt Marion, Damien--Omen II, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1978.
  • Donaldina Cameron, Hammett, Warner Brothers, 1982.
  • Margaret Smith, Corrupt (also known as Order of Death), New Line Cinema,1984.
  • Juno, Beetlejuice, Warner Brothers, 1988.
  • The Exorcist III, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1990.
  • Elizabeth Gibson, Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate, ABC, 1971.
  • Kitty, The Secret Night Caller, NBC, 1975.
  • Anne Barclay, Winner Take All, NBC, 1975.
  • Clara Josephs, Death at Love House, ABC, 1976.
  • Carrie Rill, Snowbeast, NBC, 1977.
  • Dora Block, Raid on Entebbe, NBC, 1977.
  • Lillian Gordon, Siege, CBS, 1978.
  • Cousin Polly, F.D.R.--The Last Year, NBC, 1980.
  • Felicity Thomas, The Shadow Box, ABC, 1980.
  • Sadie Ross, A Small Killing, CBS, 1981.
  • Marney, Having it All, ABC, 1982.
  • Beatrice McKenna, An Early Frost, NBC, 1985.
  • Margaret Finnegan, Finnegan Begin Again, HBO, 1985.
  • Fern, Pals, CBS, 1987.
  • Star Stage, NBC, 1955-56.
  • Sister Mary Joel, Ryan's Hope, ABC, 1975.
  • Binnie Byrd Baylor, Morningstar/Eveningstar, CBS, 1986.
  • Kraft Television Theater, NBC, 1947.
  • Theatre, NBC, 1952.
  • Playwrights '56, NBC, 1955.
  • "The Helen Morgan Story," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1957.
  • Appeared on Climax, 1953; Naked City, Tales of Tomorrow, My Three Sons, and thirtysomething, all ABC; 20th Century Hour, The June Allyson Show, G.E. Theatre, Route 66, Playhouse of Stars, Lux Video Theatre, The Nurses, and as Adela, "The Madman," The Defenders, all CBS; Philco Playhouse, The Eleventh Hour, and Star Stage, allNBC; Broadway Television Theatre, independent; Whiz Kids; Magnum, P.I.; and Trapper John, M.D.
  • In the Last Place (Yom Kippur special), CBS, 1963.
  • "Come Along with Me," American Playhouse, PBS, 1982.
  • Mrs. Downes, "Andre's Mother," American Playhouse, PBS, 1990.
  • Ruth, Maureen, CBS, 1976.
  • Lillian "Mama" Carlson, WKRP in Cincinnati, CBS, 1978.
  • Mrs. Flanner, Sense of Humor, PBS, 1982.
  • Also appeared as Alma Llewellyn, The Gossip Columnist, 1980.
  • Appeared in Dark Victory, Kind Lady, and Angel Street, all 1953; Pals; and Sense of Humor.
  • Miss Anima, "The Undecided Molecule," Norman Corwin, 1945.
  • Writings
  • (With Alfred Allen Lewis) Sylvia Sidney's Needlepoint Book, Reinhold, 1968.
  • (With Lewis) The Sylvia Sidney Question and Answer Book on Needlepoint, Galahad Books, 1974.

Further Reference


  • Films in Review, January, 1966.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: