Stars who started out at Seward Park High School

I wonder why so many famous actors and entertainers attended the Lower East Side’s Seward Park High School?

Among its alumni: Walter Matthau, Jerry Stiller, Zero Mostel, Estelle Getty, Tony Curtis (then known as Bernard Schwartz), Sammy Cahn, Aida Turturro, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and former Black News host Bill McCreary.

Opened in 1905 as P.S. 62 and renamed Seward Park Junior High, it evolved into a senior high school in the 1920s.

In 1929, the current school building went up on the Lower East Side block bounded by Essex, Broome, Grand, and Ludlow Streets—a few blocks from the actual Seward Park.

The school and park were named for William H. Seward, the former New York senator who served as secretary of state in the Lincoln administration . . . and was almost assassinated along with his boss.)

Seward Park won’t be producing any more notable alumni. The school graduated its last class in 2006, and the building now houses several smaller schools and academies, none of which are named after any New York politicians or landmarks.

This Brooklyn high school has also enrolled its share of future celebs.

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8 Responses to “Stars who started out at Seward Park High School”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Two other famous Seward Park alumni: Julius & Ethel Rosenberg!

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Wow–infamous alumni!

  3. Peter Bennett Says:

    Graduated from Seward in 1972, I stayed away from the boys room and locker rooms and managed to not get too much crap kicked out of me. On a similar note, I also went to Elizabeth Irwin HS and my science teacher was Helen Sobel, who’s husband was Martin Sobel, convited along with the Rosenbergs, but wasn’t executed. Released in about 1970 if I recall

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    Interesting. Later Sobell came clean about being a spy.

  5. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    I attended Seward Park HS in the early 60s, the day I dropped out some black guys got me in the boy’s room and beat the shit out of me. That was one of the reasons I was dropping out, the threats of violence was pretty constant.

    Anyway I just survived Hurricane Sandy and was living on the Jersey Shore, about a half hour from Staten Island. We lost power for 7 days but nothing like Staten Island got, still what a mess that was.

  6. Emily Says:

    My mom says it was a decent place back in the late 1940s.

  7. Elizabeth Schott Says:

    I graduated in 1969 and it was an OK school then.I enjoyed my time.

  8. Alex Levy Says:

    Came to Seward in 1949 and graduated in 1953. It was more than OK. It was a great urban comprehensive high school with wonderful students and magnificent teachers. Even its administrators were a special breed. Not mentioned in your list of famous grads is Santa Berger (movie character actress) and David Gordon (choreographer) as well as Michael Sternberg who worked for the State Department as an ambassador. Yes, it was quite a school. I came to it without a word of English and went on to become an English teacher. Without Miss De Maria and Mrs. Pollock (my Basic English teachers) this would not have been possible…

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