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Hanna Rovina

(1888 - 1980)

Sol Hurok and Hanna Rovina

Hanna Rovina was an Israeli actress. She was born in Berezino, Minsk district, Russia, and trained as a kindergarten teacher. During World War I, she took charge of an institute for refugee children at Saratov. In 1917, she joined the Hebrew theatrical studio being organized by Nahum Zemach in Moscow and became one of the founder-members of the Habimah Theater Company. She achieved success and fame with her portrayal of Leah in the Hebrew translation of Anski’s Dybbuk, the Habimah's first important production (1922), and as the mother of the Messiah in David Pinsky's The Eternal Jew. She played both these parts in Leningrad in 1925, in Riga in 1926, and on Habimah’s subsequent tours in Western Europe and the U.S. Arriving with the company in Palestine in 1928, she was soon acknowledged as the country’s leading actress and henceforth her career was identified with Habimah. Endowed with beauty and dignity, she was able to give authority and distinction to such varied heroines as Gordin’s Mirele Efros, Euripides’ Medea, and Shakespeare’s Cordelia, later excelling in mother types, as in Capek’s The Mother and Brecht’s Mother Courage.


I. Gur, Actors in the Hebrew Theatre (1958), 21–37; M. Kohansky, Hebrew Theatre (1969), index.

[Mendel Kohansky]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Hans Pinn, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.