Michael Burstein is an Israeli-American actor known onstage as Mike Burstyn. He was born in New York City to the late Yiddish-language actors, Pesach Burstein and Lillian Lux. He is not related to actress Ellen Burstyn. His first cousin was Borsch Belt comedian, Jay Lester. Mike began performing on stage at Yiddish theaters from childhood, in musicals and melodramas produced by his father, Pesach Burstein, especially as part of the Four Bursteins. in standard Pesach Burstein productions like A Khasene in Shtetl. He headed out on his own after reaching adulthood, in a bid to reach audiences bigger than the Yiddish stage.