Bynunsky Hyman

born: 01 July 1883
died: 22 June 1948
Camarillo State Hospital,
Camarillo, California,
United States of America
(age 64)

Russian-born dwarf actor. As can be expected there are many variations of his name but most often it is "Hyman Binunsky". He came to the US in 1910 with his 63 year old widowed Mom as "Chaim Binunsky", a 28 year old "merchant--second hand dealer" born in Orany, Russia (now Ukraine). An 1882 birth year would have made his age 27 years, 8 months and 15 days. Their final destination was Boston, MA to live with the Mom's Brother.
His birthday wasn't specified in the passenger list but his 1918 WWI Draft Card and 1920 citizenship Declaration of Intent he specifies 1883 and Vilno, Russia. He gives his occupation as "peddler". The 1920 Census for LA has him as an "actor--Motion Pictures". This is the first reference I find for him as an actor. I didn't find any sources for him on stage or in vaudeville but he seems to have moved around New York, I surmise as a "peddler". His citizenship Declaration is a signed document and he gives his height as 4'8" but in other sources he gives his height as 4'10" and 4'11".
In October of 1920, "Hyman Binunsky" rented a room in a downtown Los Angeles hotel. The bellboy warned him to beware of the "athletic vampire" who frequented the halls and turned handsprings near guests "bubbling over with mirth and frivolity". Hyman went to bed and woke up when the "vampire" came over the transom and he found her going thru his pockets, taking $50. He confronted her. She ran out the door but left her fur coat behind. He went back to bed without reporting the incident because he figured that he had the fur coat worth $150! A little later he woke up and he found her back in the room with her fur coat in hand and she scampered out the open window and down the fire escape (the way she got in). Now he reported it to police to try to recover his $50!
In 1927 he gave a publicity interview for the United Artists Pressbook for "Night of Love", which mentioned that he acted with all the beautiful actresses but never got kissed. He stated that he was born in July 1882 in Vilna, Russia and came here in 1910 and "went before the cameras" in 1918. He gave his personal description: High School grad. / Not married (but currently looking for a "blind blonde") / Height 4'10" / Weight 108 lbs. / Color of eyes--brown /Color of hair---none
He died twelve years after being admitted to hospital for treatment of alcoholism and a stomach ailment. Upon recovery, he asked to be allowed to remain as a paying guest in the institution where he had made many friends. He is buried in Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, Ventura County, California, USA.
Real name: Chaim Binunsky
Height: 4'8"
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


A Ten Minute Egg
Man beating dog

Looking For Sally
Man on ship

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements: (1910 Mar 16 NYC arrives w widow Mom: 4'11": "Chaim Binunsky":bc 1882 (28)) (Hornell NY 1915 Dec 13: unclaimed letter) (1916 Jan 29: Wilkes Barre, PA: donated $1 to Jewish War Relief) (WWI Draft 1918 Sep 9 : b "July xx, 1883": Russia: Peddler: Oneonta, NY. "No Relatives") (U.S. Naturalization 1840-1957 1920 Jul 7 Hyman Binunsky b 1883: ht 4'8": 108 lbs: age 37: Vilno, Russia) (1920 Oct 12 LA robbed in hotel) (1927 Pressbook: ht 4'10": bio) (1948 Jun 22 Grave w bio) (1948 Jun 23 "Ventura County Free Press" p1: obituary) 1948 (June 22 Ventura, County: CADI: b 1882 July 01) 1920 (C LA: "Hyman Beninsky": actor MP: age 37) 1930 (Census LA: actor MP: age 48: r Atlas Hotel) (1940 C Camarillo State Mental Hospital: age 58: b Russia) (Find A Grave)
(Ventura Star, June 23, 1948)
Jim Jarvis (bio notes and research)

This page was last updated on: 13 June 2024