Singerman, Berta

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SINGERMAN, BERTA (1901–1998), Argentine actress and poetry recitalist. Born in Minsk, Belarus, Berta Singerman immigrated to Buenos Aires as a child and made her professional debut with the Compañia Nacional (National Theater Company). After a recital in Montevideo in 1913, she became the most celebrated reader of poetry in Latin America and toured throughout the continent. She became well known for her recitations of Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Juan Ramón Jiménez, and many other Spanish and Latin American poets. In 1946 she returned to the theater and acted for two years with an Argentine company in Buenos Aires and in Chile and Uruguay. One of her outstanding performances was in the title role in Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. She was also well known in Brazil. In addition, she was also a cinema actress. Her first film, La vendedora de Harrod's (1921), was also her first step to celebrity. After two more films – Nada más que una mujer (1934) and Ceniza al viento (1942) – she dedicated herself exclusively to the theater but returned to the screen in the early 1980s. Her last film was Estigma (1982).

Berta Singerman also took part in Jewish and Zionist causes. In her career she donated proceeds from many performances all over Latin America to the Jewish National Fund and other Jewish campaigns. Her last performance was in 1990 in the opera theater of Buenos Aires – Teatro Colón.

Her younger sister, paulina (1911–1984), born in Buenos Aires, was also a well-known actress. She performed on the stage, in 12 movies – the first La rubia del camino (1938) and among others Hay que casar a Paulina (1944) – and on television. She had her own theater company and played in many countries of Latin America, in the United States, and in Spain.

[Efraim Zadoff (2nd ed.)