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A great actor is gone

There aren't many song-and-dance men anymore. Certainly not ones who can act pretty much anything, dance like a dream, make you laugh, and sing in a way that will move you to cheers or tears.  Not to mention earning two Tony Award nominations.

There aren't many like that, but Bruce Adler was.  Yesterday, word got out that Adler was in hospice care, coping with the final stages of cancer he had fought for a couple of years.  Sadly, he passed away Friday morning around 8:15.

Mollyme_4 Adler, the son of Yiddish theater greats Henrietta Jacobson and Julius Adler, joined the family business as a kid. Here he is (dancing in the photo at right) with Molly Picon in The Kosher Widow at New York's Phyliss Andersen Fummyworld Theater in 1959.  In this group photo, he is celebrating his Bar Mitzvah -- between the matinee and evening performances of It's a Funny World at New York's National Theater in 1957, no less -- with his proud parents (at right in the photo) looking on .  You can see a wonderful array of photos from his long, varied career on his website.

The first time I saw Adler perform was in the 1992 Broadway production of Crazy for You.  He played Follies impresario Bela Zangler, earning his second Tony nomination. I thought he was great then, and I never changed my mind whenever I was lucky enough to see him since.

Brucebaby Adler's personal life took an unexpected turn when he reconnected with South Florida-based director Amy London, whom he had known for years since both were active in Actors' Equity in New York.  The two married in December 2003, and Adler became stepdad to London's kids with actor Barry J. Tarallo, a supportive friend to both Adler and his ex.  Then, on Valentine's Day 2007, came the most unexpected turn of all: the birth of Jacob Hayden Adler, the baby who made Adler a first-time dad at 62.

A tribute/benefit featuring many of the stars who have worked with Adler is in the works, though details are still being worked out; a private funeral service for family and friends will take place Monday afternoon. In the meantime, send good thoughts to Amy and the kids, and remember a great entertainer and devoted family man in your prayers.


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Ken Clement

A true talent. We miss you, Bruce.

Margot Moreland

No words can express my sorrow for our industry's loss. Bruce was an extreme talent, a one of a kind. His energy and love of life will be sorely missed. I am honored to have been in the audience, on stage, and to have had his friendship as a part of my life. Thank you Bruce.

Antonio Amadeo

I didn't know Bruce as well as would have liked to, but my heart is broken, none the less. He was always very kind to me, which was no surprise to anyone who knew him. It is a great loss to the theatre community and to anyone he touched. For all of the people he brought joy to, i say: Thank you, Bruce.

CL Jahn

I only met Bruce a few times, but he was always gracious. Ny thoughts go out to Amy and her family.

Madeline Aronson-Friedman

This is a shock. My mother just called me with the news. Bruce knew my mother, one of the Feder Sisters, since he was a baby. They remained in touch and my mother, Sylvia Feder Roebuck, in South Florida, is torn apart by his passing. I met Bruce on several occasions after performances of his. He always enthusiastically greeted my mother, and her sister Mimi Sloan who passed last year who was also one of the Feder Sisters, backstage after performances and was always kind and gracious to me as well although he saw me infrequently. Condolences to his family. Please be aware that many people are saddened by the untimely death of this kind and talented person, Bruce.

Nick Duckardt

I did not know Bruce Adler well, but I still feel the effect of his untimely exit. He was a master at his cracft, and watching him on stage was always a treat. What a talent. What a man! So kind. The few times I did shake his hand and greet him, I was met with a smile and positive thoughts. Thats how I will always rememeber him. I send my love to Amy and the kids. Bruce will never be forgotten.

Lisa Schwartz

I just heard of Bruce's passing. Our hearts are broken with his untimely death. We invited him to our wedding in 2001. My husband and I spoke to Bruce and tried to be there for him. May he rest in eternal peace and our deepest and heartfelt sympathy go out to his family and friends.

RIP: Bruce :*(

Lisa and Joe

Madeline Aronson Friedman

Eight months ago I posted an entry here with condolences for Bruce's passing, and the history he had with my mother, Sylvia Feder, and my aunt, Mimi Feder, aka The Feder Sisters. I regret that my mother, Sylvia Feder, is seriously ill at this time. Please pray for her comfort and her well being. I am glad that the recordings and films and the people that care for them and collect them keep the amazing talents of these performers alive.

Madeline Aronson-Friedman

My mother, Sylvia Feder Roebuck, passed away on 25 April, 2009. A wonderful Mom and another star of the Yiddish theatre has joined Bruce and many others. I can only hope that Bruce and others that she loved were there to guide her and that there's a joyous Yiddishkeit reunion going on somewhere in the Universe.

Madeline Aronson-Friedman

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