Theodore Bikel dies at 91

Theodore Bikel, a actor who stared on stage and sceen created the role of Captain Georg Von Trapp in the original Broadway production of “The Sound of Music” and defined the role of Tevye the Milkman during more than 2,200 performances of “Fiddler on the Roof” dies at 91, Bikel died of natural causes on Tuesday morning at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.


Theodore Bikel dies at 91


Theodore Bikel is one of the most versatile and respected actors and performers of his generation. A master of languages, dialects and accents, he has played every sort of film villain and semi-bad guy imaginable, and always adds depth, dimension and even sympathy to characters that would end up as cardboard cutouts in the hands of lesser actors. His memorable supporting roles include a German naval officer in The African Queen (1951), the king of Serbia in Moulin Rouge (1952) and a German submarine officer in The Enemy Below (1957).

He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Defiant Ones (1958). Equally at home on the stage, Bikel is remembered for creating the role of Captain Von Trapp in the original Broadway cast of “The Sound of Music” opposite Mary Martin. He also appeared on stage in “Tonight in Samarkand”, “The Lark” and “The Rope Dancers”. Bikel is fluent in more than half a dozen European and Middle Eastern languages, and sings folk songs in nearly 20 languages, skillfully accompanying himself on guitar, mandolin, balalaika and harmonica. He was a regular on the early 1960s TV show Hootenanny (1963), a weekly cavalcade of folk music. Over the years he has performed on college campuses and in concert halls all over the country, and has recorded a number of record albums of folk music from around the world.

In “The Sound of Music,” which opened on Broadway in 1959 and ran until 1963, Bikel earned a Tony Award nomination for his work. The musical also starred Mary Martin as Maria. (Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer took their parts in the 1965 version, which won the Oscar for best picture.) Since his first appearance as Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof in 1967, Bikel has performed the role more often than any other actor (more than 2,000 times). When an injury required 74-year-old fellow Israeli performer Chaim Topol (veteran of many productions of the stage show and star of the motion picture of Fiddler on the Roof) to withdraw from a high-budget, much-promoted 2009 North American tour of the musical, Bikel substituted for him in several appearances in 2010

Broadway Work

Productions Date of Productions
The Inspector General
[Play, Revival]

  • Performer: Theodore Bikel [Antón Antónovich Skvozník-Dmukhanóvsky]
Sep 21, 1978 – Nov 19, 1978
[Musical, Original]

  • Performer: Theodore Bikel [Professor George Ritter]
Mar 18, 1966 – Mar 19, 1966
Cafe Crown
[Musical, Comedy, Original]

  • Starring: Theodore Bikel [Samuel Cole]
Apr 17, 1964 – Apr 18, 1964
The Sound of Music
[Musical, Drama, Original]

  • Also Starring: Theodore Bikel [Captain Georg von Trapp]
Nov 16, 1959 – Jun 15, 1963
The Rope Dancers
[Play, Drama, Original]

  • Performer: Theodore Bikel [Dr. Jacobson]
Nov 20, 1957 – May 03, 1958
The Lark
[Play, Drama, Original]

  • Also Starring: Theodore Bikel [Robert de Beaudricourt]
Nov 17, 1955 – Jun 02, 1956
Tonight in Samarkand
[Play, Melodrama, Original]

  • Performer: Theodore Bikel [Inspector Massoubre]
Feb 16, 1955 – Mar 12, 1955

Film Work

  • The African Queen (1951)
  • Moulin Rouge (1952)
  • Never Let Me Go (1953)
  • A Day to Remember (1953)
  • The Little Kidnappers (1953)
  • The Love Lottery (1954)
  • The Divided Heart (1954)
  • The Young Lovers (1954)
  • The Colditz Story (1955)
  • Above Us the Waves (1955)
  • The Vintage (1957)
  • The Pride and the Passion (1957)
  • The Enemy Below (1957)
  • Fräulein (1958)
  • I Bury the Living (1958)
  • The Defiant Ones (1958)
  • I Want to Live! (1958)
  • Woman Obsessed (1959)
  • The Angry Hills (1959)
  • The Blue Angel (1959)
  • A Dog of Flanders (1959)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Sands of the Kalahari (1965)
  • The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966)
  • Sweet November (1968)
  • My Side of the Mountain (1969)
  • Darker than Amber as Meyer (1970)
  • 200 Motels (1971)
  • Victory at Entebbe (1976) (TV)
  • Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case (1977) (TV)
  • The Stingiest Man In Town (1978) (TV) (voice)
  • The Return of the King (1980) (voice)
  • See You in the Morning (1989)
  • The Final Days (1989) (TV)
  • Shattered (1991)
  • Shadow Conspiracy (1997)
  • Crime and Punishment (2002)


Read More on  Theodore Bikel at TheatreGold DataBase Click HERE

Holding the Man on DVD Here