You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Celia Silverman


Celia Silverman, actress and cofounder of the Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia, which was vital to the South Street renaissance there and was home to numerous higher-profile thesps, died of heart failure April 30 in Philly. She was 90.

Monaca, Pa., native attended Marjorie Webster College and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in 1933. During the 1930s, she produced and performed a radio show for children in Atlantic City.

She moved to Elkins Park, Pa., in 1949, served as the president of the Cheltenham Art Center in the 1950s and studied acting with Jasper Deeter, founder of Philadelphia’s Hedgerow Theater. That ensemble disbanded in 1956, leaving a void in the local theater scene. Silverman, with husband Louis Silverman and a group of friends, answered by founding the Theater of the Living Arts in the early ’60s.

The theater’s acting ensemble, the Southwark Company, included Ron Liebman, Sally Kirkland, Estelle Parsons, Lois Smith and M. Emmet Walsh. Later Judd Hirsh, Morgan Freeman and other appeared in its productions. The the company disbanded in 1971.

Silverman was pre-deceased by her husband in 1992. She is survived by a son, Leon; daughter-in-law Jan Silverman, a longtime stage director and acting teacher at Temple U.; daughter Caroljean Kier; and three grandchildren.

More Scene

  • Director Peter JacksonWarner Bros. Pictures THEY

    Peter Jackson Talks Transition From 'Hobbit' Movies to World War I Documentary

    Peter Jackson remains a bit astounded at his transition four years ago from the Shire of Middle Earth to the French battlefields of World War I. Jackson introduced his documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday night at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, four weeks after it aired on Armistice Day on the BBC. [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • Children's Defense Fund

    Angela Bassett, Conan O'Brien Honor Young Students at Children's Defense Fund Gala

    Awards season may be right around the corner, but on Thursday, Hollywood took a break from the glitz and glam to celebrate five high school students who have excelled academically despite facing extreme adversity both at home and in the classroom. The 29th annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center featured [...]

  • Dolly Parton attends the world premiere

    Dolly Parton Hopes to Perform 'Dumplin'' Song at the Golden Globes

    It’s not easy to upstage Jennifer Aniston. But everyone at Thursday night’s premiere of her new Netflix flick, “Dumplin’,” seemed to be singing the praises of Dolly Parton, who earlier in the day received a Golden Globe nomination for “Girl in the Movies,” one of half a dozen new songs she wrote for the film. [...]

  • Lena WaitheVariety's Power of Women, Arrivals,

    Who Lena Waithe Thinks Should Replace Kevin Hart as Oscar Host

    Lena Waithe thinks Kevin Hart could have handled his Oscar debacle in a much better way. “I kind of wish that he would have taken a moment to let it be a teachable moment and to say, ‘Hey, what I said wasn’t right and I want to make that right,’ not just to keep the [...]

  • Christie Brinkley32nd Annual Footwear News Achievement

    Christie Brinkley at 64: 'Women My Age Cannot Allow the Numbers to Define Them'

    Christie Brinkley may be turning 65 next year, but don’t you dare try to tell her what she should — or shouldn’t — wear. “I think women my age cannot allow the numbers to define them. We need to constantly redefine the number,” Brinkley told Variety on Tuesday at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in New [...]

  • Gerard Butler, Haim Saban and Cheryl

    Why Haim and Cheryl Saban's $50 Million Donation to Academy Museum Almost Didn't Happen

    Haim and Cheryl Saban’s $50 million donation has landed them their name on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures building on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, but the billionaire philanthropists’ contribution to the project almost didn’t happen. During Tuesday’s unveiling of the restored exterior of the new Saban Building (formerly the historic May Company department [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content