Theodore Bikel was an amazing man and an amazing actor with a career spanning 70 years.
He was the original Captain Von Trapp opposite Mary Martin in the first run of “The Sound of Music” on Broadway in 1959. His signature role was Tevye the milkman in Fiddler on the Roof – a role he reprised over 2,000 times. He was “that ungrateful Hungarian” Zolton Karpathy in the movie version of My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.
He recorded 37 albums
He was fluent in more than half a dozen European and Middle Eastern languages and sang folk songs in nearly 20 languages, often times accompanying himself on guitar, mandolin, balalaika and harmonica.
He earned an Academy Award nomination for “The Defiant Ones” as Sheriff Max Muller.
But did you know that he was in The Twilight Zone, Knight Rider, Fantasy Island, the voice of Aragorn in the 1980 Rankin/Bass animated adaptation of The Return of the King, and Babylon 5 amongst his many TV appearances?
In Star Trek the Next Generation he was Worf’s foster father Sergey Rozhenko, who took the young Klingon in after his parents were killed at the infamous massacre of Camp Khitomer.
“He was a really lovely, entertaining, caring person,” Bikel’s rep, Robert Malcolm, said. “He was a wonderful storyteller and a deeply caring man.”
Bikel is survived by his wife and 2 children.