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Theodore Bikel Dies At 91


Theodore Bikel3

Theodore Meir Bikel, a legendary actor and musician, has died at the age of 91.

He was born in Austria and named for Theodore Herzl. His family fled their native land for Israel in 1938 after Austria was absorbed into Nazi Germany.

In Israel, Bikel got his start on stage as a teenager. In 1945 his family moved to England and from there Bikel moved on to America where he would eventually earn nominations for both a Tony and an Osar.

Bikel appeared on screen 155 times in a career that spanned 6 decades. From his first performance in “The African Queen, ” to his most memorable as the captain of the Russian submarine in the 1966 film “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are coming.”

He also played Tevye more than 2, 000 times in productions of “Fiddler on the Roof” and was the first Captain Georg Von Trapp in the original Broadway production of “The Sound of Music”

Bikel became know to a whole new generation of fans when he portrayed Warf’s adopted father on an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

Actors’ Equity Association said in a statement that it “mourns the passing of our dear friend, our brother and former President Theo Bikel. From the time he joined Equity in 1954, Bikel has been an advocate for the members of our union and his extraordinary achievements paved the way for so many. No one loved theater more, his union better or cherished actors like Theo did. He has left an indelible mark on generation of members past and generations of members to come. We thank you, Theo, for all you have done.”

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