William Strauss
Date of Birth
Jun 14, 1885
Birth Place:
New York, NY


One of Hollywood's favorite portrayers of ethnic stereotypes in the 1920s, former stage comedian William Strauss starred in the title role of Solomon in Society (1922), a wildly improbable tale of an East Side tailor falling in love with a laundress turned movie star. Strauss had a good year in 1926 when he not only created Skinner's Dress Suit (1926) but also played George Jessel's immigrant father in Private Izzy Murphy, which dealt with the serious problem of anti-Semitism with disarming humor. Although Strauss was only Jessel's senior by 13 years (if we are to believe the singer's official birth year), he played his father once again in the part-talkie Lucky Boy (1929). This was the film in which Jessel sang "My Mother's Eye" to Rosa Rosanova but Strauss remained silent throughout. No longer a character star after the advent of talkies, Strauss continued to play scores of supporting roles through the 1930s, often cast in stereotypical roles such as tailors, pawnbrokers, and rent collectors. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

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