Molly Picon was born Margaret Pyekoon in New York City on June 1, 1898. She was a star of stage, screen and television. She also was a lyricist. Her career began at the age of six in the Yiddish Theatre.
In 1912, she debuted at the Arch Street Theatre in New York and became a star of the Second Avenue Yiddish stage.
She was so popular in the 1920s that many shows had the name Molly in their title. In 1931 she opened the Molly Picon Theatre.
Picon appeared in many films, starting with the silent movies. Her earliest film still existing is East and West which deals with the clash of new and old Jewish cultures. Molly plays a daughter, and her husband in real life, Jacob Kalich, plays one of her Galician relatives from Eastern Europe.
Her most famous film, 'Yidl Mit'n Fidl (1936), was made on location in Poland. She made her English language debut on stage in 1940.
On Broadway, she starred in the first staged play of Neil Simon's Come Blow Your Horn in 1961, and in the musical Milk and Honey also in 1961.
Her first English speaking role in the movies was the film version of Come Blow Your Horn in 1963. She also played "Yente, the Matchmaker" in the film version of the Broadway hit Fiddler on the Roof in 1971.
An entire room was filled with her memorabilia at the Second Avenue Deli in New York (now closed).
She died on April 5, 1992, aged 93, from Alzheimer's disease in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her husband, from 1919 until his death in 1975 from cancer, was Jacob Kalich. They had no children.