George Jean Nathan was a leading drama critic during the 20th century. He and
H.L. Mencken edited the American Mercury magazine together, and made it
one of the world’s great magazines. He was played by George Sanders in the
film “All About Eve.”
He was part Jewish.
From a biography:
Nathan harbored a lifelong dread that his family’s Jewish origin would be exposed.
He suppressed any mention of his Jewishness and even fabricated a story that his mother
attended the same convent school, St. Mary’s Academy, as Eugene O’Neill’s mother.
Mrs. Nathan had converted later in her life and several of his uncles had attended
the Catholic boys’ school affiliated with St. Mary’s Academy, but there is no record of her
attending St. Mary’s.
Nathan was madly in love with Lillian Gish, the actress (“Birth of a Nation”), who shared his very conservative
views. But she rejected him.
One source reports that she “may have broken off the relationship when she learned of his Jewishness.”