|Year of Birth:||1904|
|Year of Death:||1984|
Jan Peerce (June 3, 1904 – December 15, 1984) was an American operatic tenor. Peerce was an accomplished performer on the operatic and Broadway concert stages, in solo recitals, and as a recording artist. He is the father of film director Larry Peerce.
Jan Peerce was born Jacob Pincus Perelmuth to a Jewish family. His parents, Louis and Henya Perelmuth, came from the village of Horodetz, formerly in Poland, now Belarus. Their first child, a daughter, died in an epidemic. In 1903 they emigrated to America along with their second child, a boy named Mottel. A year later, on June 3, 1904, their third child, Joshua Pincus, was born in a cold water flat in the Lower East Side, Manhattan, New York. He was nicknamed "Pinky" by his neighborhood friends. When he was three years old, his older brother Mottel was killed in an accident as he hitched a ride on an ice wagon. Jan remained on the Lower East Side until his 1930 marriage to Alice Kalmanovitz (1907-1994), a childhood friend. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School and Columbia University. At his mother's urging he took violin lessons, and gave public performances, including dance band work as Jack "Pinky" Pearl. Sometimes he also sang and it was soon discovered he was an exceptional lyric tenor.
Peerce was the brother-in-law of fellow Jewish-American tenor Richard Tucker. He died at his home in New Rochelle, New York on December 15, 1984 at the age of 80. Peerce is interred at Mount Eden Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester County.