‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Broadway actor Theodore Bikel dies at 91

Theodore Bikel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Theodore Bikel, an American Jewish actor of Austrian heritage who played Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway, died Tuesday in Los Angeles at the age of 91, his publicist announced.

Bikel is also known for creating the role of Captain von Trapp in the original Broadway production of "The Sound of Music” and for appearing on screen in numerous films, including "The African Queen,"  "The Defiant Ones," and the movie version of "My Fair Lady.”

Born in Vienna, Austria, Bikel was sent by his parents to pre-state Israel after the Anschluss. He studied at an agricultural school and later at an acting program of the Habimah national theater. In 1945, he moved to London to study in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and a few years later received the opportunity to act in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” directed by Laurence Olivier.

In 1954, Bikel moved to New York, where he began to act on Broadway. He became a U.S. citizen in 1961. 

Posted on July 21, 2015 .