Paul Muni was born in Lemberg, Austria in 1895. Muni's parents, both actors in a traveling Yiddish repertory company, immigrated to America in 1899. As a young boy, Muni made several appearances on stage with his parents. His formal stage debut was in 1907, after which he was recruited to join Maurice Schwartz's Yiddish Art Theater Company. Muni often performed at the Second Avenue Theater and the Irving Place Theater during his 18 years on the Yiddish stage.