Theodore Bikel

Theodore Bikel

The actor who played Tevye in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ has died in Los Angeles, aged 91.

Theodore Bikel, who also created the stage role of Captain von Trapp in the original 1959 Broadway production of The Sound of Music, with Rodgers and Hammerstein writing the song ‘Edelweiss’ for him.

Born in Vienna, his family left for British Mandate Palestine after the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. He went on to study drama in London before moving to the United States.

He went on to star in over 150 films including ‘The African Queen’ and ‘My Fair Lady.’ With a talent for accents, he often assumed Russian or German roles, and even played former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

But he was perhaps best-known for his portrayal of Tevye on stage, and while he did not appear in the original 1964 Broadway version or the 1971 film, he reprised the role over 2,000 times from 1967.

His latest film was a documentary about interpreting the work of Yiddish author and playwright Sholem Aleichem, who wrote Fiddler.

He is survived by his wife, Aimee Ginsburg, sons Rob and Danny, and step-sons Zeev and Noam Ginsburg.