Theodore Bikel





5/2/1924 , Vienna, Austria



Birth Name

Meir Bikel




Viennese-born and Israeli-raised, Theodore Bikel spent the first decade after World War II in England, where he graduated from the Royal Academy Of Dramatic Art. The British cast him as a wide variety of ethnic types, but, though he appeared on screen with Bogart and Hepburn in "The African Queen" and on stage with Vivien Leigh in "A Streetcar Named Desire", amongst much else, his own parts were usually small, and his secondary career as a musician and folk-singer did not flourish in 50s London. So, halfway through the decade, he departed for America, where he was, almost immediately, much more successful. Here, his great musical talent was immediately recognised, and he was quite as likely to turn up on "The Perry Como Show" as in "Naked City". His movie career also improved - he got an Oscar nomination for "The Defiant Ones" in 1958, and was very busy in everything from "I Want To Live!" to "My Fair Lady". On stage, he played Tevye in "Fiddler On The Roof" over a thousand times. He was still going strong as the new century began.