Gertrude Berg Poster

Biography

Gertrude was born in New York City and her father owned a summer resort hotel. While in her teens, she wrote dialogues about her father and grandfather and recited them to guests at the hotel. This was the beginning of her writing which eventually led her to write "The Goldbergs". She married British-born Lewis Berg who was a chemical engineer and they moved to Louisiana where they lived on a sugar plantation for several years. Eventually they moved back to new York in the same neighborhood where Gertrude grew up. Gertrude returned to college in late 20's. During this time a friend took her to a radio network executive for whom she read one of her scripts. He liked it so much, he said he would put the show on the radio as a series if she would play the leading role. It premiered in 1929 and lasted till 1946 with over 5000 scripts. In 1949, "The Goldbergs" debuted on television and had a five year run. According to Gertrude, she turned out over 15 million words and 10,000 performances during this run. Gertrude was a lady of great modesty who was universally loved and respected. But she did keep track of career with scrapbooks that reached over 100. She was regarded as homey as apple. Milton Berle called her "Goodness personified". Actress Faye Emerson said she had "the face of mother". Gertrude's career included stage, screen, record albums, books, and live television.