There’s a documentary out in limited release called Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg about Gertrude Berg. She created the TV sitcom in 1949 when she moved her show The Goldbergs from radio (where it had been running since the early thirties) to the new medium of television. Not only did she star in the show, she also created, produced, and wrote it. Plus, she won the first ever Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
You can see a 12-and-a-half-minute summary of the movie online. I was astounded that until this film, I’d never heard of her. Admittedly, her work was well before my time, but I’m impressed at how successful she was in multiple roles and yet she’s rarely mentioned in the TV histories I’ve seen. The movie suggests that her career may have been affected by anti-Semitism, since her stories were about a Jewish family, and the actor who played her husband on TV was blacklisted during the McCarthy era and eventually driven to suicide as a result.
I need to find a way to see this movie. It struck me as particularly significant, given that I’d just read this article about the continuing lack of support for female directors in Hollywood.
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