Bert Pollock was an educator, professional actor, writer and director who spent nearly 20 years as an English and drama teacher at Patchogue-Medford. He is best known and remembered as the mastermind who bought theater to an unprecedented level of excellence to the Patchogue-Medford school district and communitte. He built a robust after-school theater program that inspired and rewarded thousands of students over the course of his career.
Born in 1923 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bert attended Carnegie Mellon University. Like so many men of his generation, his undergraduate years were interrupted by a call to enlist in the military and serve in World War II. After returning from his service in Europe. Bert earned his BA and MFA degrees in drama.
With his degrees in hands Bert sought his fortunes on stage and screen, and moved to New York City where he had success as an actor, songwriter, and director. Among his notable credits was his stage work in Leave it to Jane on Broadway. He also co-wrote lyrics for the title song of the film Athena, starring Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds. But perhaps Bert’s most important role as a theater professional was the role he played in the Broadway production of Oliver. He served as special mentor to the company’s many show-stealing child actors. Oliver became one of the greatest hits in Broadway history, and Bert’s contribution to it set the stage, so to speak, for his future as a mentor and inspiration to generations of Patchogue-Medford student theatrical aspirants.
Mr. Pollock’s theater program was the catalyst that launched many of his students into successful careers in the performing arts at every level, including Broadway, television, and film. He accomplished these achievements while maintaining his commitment to high educational standards as an English teacher.