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Theodore Bikel


Theodore Bikel, narrator

Folksinger; theater, film, and television actor; radio host; president of Actors’ Equity; political activist; Jewish spokesman, Theodore Bikel was born in 1924 in Vienna and was thirteen when his parents emigrated to Palestine. He joined the internationally famous Habima Theatre in 1943 as an apprentice actor, and a year later he became one of the cofounders of the Israeli Chamber Theatre (“Cameri”). In 1946 he entered London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, from which he graduated with honors two years later. Sir Laurence Olivier, impressed with his performance in several small London theater productions, offered him a role in his production of A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Vivien Leigh. Bikel soon took over the part of Mitch. Since then his career has flourished both on the stage and on the screen. In London he was acclaimed as the Russian Colonel in Ustinov’s The Love of Four Colonels, and on Broadway his long list of memorable performances includes Tonight in Samarkand, The Rope Dancers, The Lark, and the original production of The Sound of Music, in which he created the role of Baron von Trapp. In American national tours he has starred in Zorba and Fiddler on the Roof, playing the role of Tevye more than 1,600 times since 1967. 

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