Magazine article Variety

Versatile Bikel Lit Up Stage and Bigscreen

Magazine article Variety

Versatile Bikel Lit Up Stage and Bigscreen

Article excerpt

Oscar- and Tony-nominated character actor and folk singer Theodore Bikel, who originated the role of Captain von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" on Broadway and starred in "Fiddler on the Roof" onstage in thousands of performances, died July 21 in Los Angeles. He was 91.

To some, he is best known for his 1990 appearance on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" as the Russian adopted father of the Klingon Worf.

Bikel did his first bigscreen work in John Huston's 1951 classic "The African Queen" and Huston's "Moulin Rouge." He was Oscar nominated for his role in Stanley Kramer's 1958 film "The Defiant Ones," in which he portrayed a Southern sheriff pursuing a pair of fugitives played by Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis.

Onstage, Bikel made his first appearance as Tevye in the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" in 1967, and performed the role more than any other actor (at least 2,000 times - more than Chaim Topol, who starred in the movie version and appeared as Tevye numerous times onstage).

Bikel was president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America, a federation of trade unions for performing artists in the U.S. including Actors' Equity and the Screen Actors Guild. He was active in Actors Equity for many years, serving as president in the late '70s and early '80s. …

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