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Marinoff, Fania, 1890-1971



Fania Marinoff was an American actress and a dancer whose career lasted for 50 years. She was born in Odessa, Russia, on March 20, 1890, was the thirteenth child and seventh daughter born to Mayer and Leah Marinoff. Leah died shortly after Fania was born. Mayer remarried and immigrated to America in 1893, when Fania was five or six years old, settling in Boston. At age seven, Fania was sent to live with her older brothers in Denver, Colorado. A year later, Marinoff made her stage debut as a little boy in Cyrano de Bergerac at the Elitch Theater in Denver. Fania first arrived in New York in 1903, finding steady work in theater there. Although she had little formal schooling, she showed considerable promise as an actor, and by age twelve she was earning her living playing roles in repertory in New York. In 1912, she met Carl Van Vechten, the author and photographer, and the two were married in 1914. Marinoff continued to act on the stage after her marriage, appearing as Ariel in the tercentenary revival of The Tempest in 1916, and as a lead in the Greenwich Village Players from 1916 to 1917. She was also a pioneer of the early silent film industry. In 1942, Marinoff became one of the early volunteers for the Stage-Door Canteen, a troupe established to entertain the armed forces.

His sister Fania Marinoff was associated with one of the most vibrant artistic circles in the United States and Europe. Fania Marinoff and her husband, Carl Van Vechten, played a prominent role in the bohemian social and artistic life of New York, particularly of the Harlem Renaissance. They hosted parties and salons that included Gertrude Stein, Eugene O'Neill, Georgia O'Keeffe and many luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance. She and her husband continued to entertain a large circle of friends in the arts until his death in 1964. Fania Marinoff died seven years later, on November 16, 1971, in Englewood, New Jersey.

Found in 4 Collections and/or Records:

Carl Van Vechten, September 14, 1922

Identifier: B420.01.0001.0002.00007
Abstract Carl Van Vechten was an author and photographer. He married Fania Marinoff in 1914 and the couple played a prominant role in the bohemian and artistic life of New York, particularly in the Harlem Renaissance. They hosted parties and salons that included Gertrude Stein, Eugene O'Neill, Georgi O'Keeffe, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Ethel Waters, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, and luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance. Carl Van Vechten and Fania Marinoff continued to...
Dates: September 14, 1922

Jacob Marinoff Papers and Photographs

Identifier: B420
Abstract Jacob Marinoff was a founder and the first superintendent of the JCRS Sanatorium in 1906. He served as the field secretary for four years, doing press and propaganda work in Yiddish. He was also involved in The Sanatorium, a journal from the JCFRS Press and Propaganda Committee. Jacob Marinoff was born in Russia in 1869 and immigrated United States in 1893. He came to Denver in 1895. He married May Charsky, the sister-in-law of Dr. Charles Spivak, in 1899. They were divorced and Jacob...
Dates: 1893-1970

Marinoff Family, 1893

Identifier: B420.01.0001.0002.00002
Abstract The photograph shows Meyer Marinoff, his second wife Schonechaya, her daughter Sarah at the left of the photograph, and the children of Meyer and his first wife Leah Marinoff. The children of Meyer and Leah Marinoff identified in the photograph are Israel (Mike), Jacob, Louis, Sam and Fania. Leah Marinoff died shortly after Fania was born. A women in the photograph is identified as Libby. The Marinoffs in the photograph immigrated to Boston in the mid 1890s. Fania Marinoff was orphaned at...
Dates: 1893

Marinoff Papers, 1913-1970

Identifier: B420.01.0001.0004

The folder contains a 1913 letter from Jacob Marinoff to Dr. Spivak, articles, a poem, a certificate for donations to a hospital when Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire, and a letter to a Marinoff in Pennsylvania about Fania and her husband's estate.

Dates: 1913-1970