( b. Jul 26, 1922 New York, New York, USA - d. May 26, 2014 New York, New York, USA ) Female
Anna Berger was a character actress known for playing matriarchal figures from different ethnic backgrounds in films like Woody Allen's "Crime and Misdemeanors" and television shows like "The Sopranos." Ms. Berger began playing a diverse array of older women while she was still young; as early as her student days at the Dramatic Workshop at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, she was cast as Juno Boyle, an Irish working-class mother, in a production of Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock.
Her credits stretch back more than 60 years and read like an Ellis Island immigrant registry. In "Crimes and Misdemeanors" she played an elderly Jewish socialist. On "The Sopranos," in 2002, she was Cookie Cirillo, a cantankerous Italian-American nursing home resident.
She appeared in similar supporting roles in films, including the Adam Sandler comedy "You Don't Mess With the Zohan" (2008) and "Ghost World" (2001); on Broadway, in the short-lived adaptation Unlikely Heroes: 3 Philip Roth Stories (1971); and on television, in "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "N.Y.P.D. Blue," among other shows.
In 1957 she originated the role of Golde in Tevye and his Daughters, a dramatic adaptation of Sholem Aleichem's stories that predated the musical Fiddler on the Roof. In 1974 she played a mother taken hostage on a subway in "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974), which starred her childhood neighbor and friend Walter Matthau.
More recently Ms. Berger wrote a one-woman autobiographical show, Absolutely Anna, which she performed at the Puffin Cultural Forum in Teaneck, N.J., in 2011.
Source: The New York Times obituary
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