Saturday, July 25, 2015

213.3 - RIP, Theodore Bikel

RIP, Theodore Bikel

We have an RIP this week, just a very brief note here, to note the passing of Theodore Bikel.

He died of natural causes at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles on July 21. He was 91.

Bikel was probably most famous for defining the role of Tevye the Milkman in "Fiddler on the Roof," a role he played for over 2200 performances. But his acting skill and his versatility with accents saw this native of Vienna, Austria play, among others, a Dutch doctor, German army officers, a French general, Russian military men, and a Hungarian phonetics expert - and it was his role as a Southern sheriff in "The Defiant Ones" that got him an Oscar nomination.

He appeared in movies, on Broadway, and on hundreds of TV shows. He was also an accomplished folksinger. He recorded 37 albums, including ones that contained songs in multiple languages, including Ukrainian and Zulu. And in something a little special to me, in 1959 he helped found the Newport Folk Festival.

So RIP, Theodore Bikel.

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