The multitalented artist Theodore Bikel recently died on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Bikel known widely for his singing, acting and political views was 91 years old at the time of his death. Bikel was famous for having played the character of Baron Von Trapp in the original production of ‘The Sound of Music’. Bikel also toured for decades as the character of Tevye for the show ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.
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Bikel’s publicist B. Harlan Böll confirmed the death at the UCLA Medical Center and revealed he had died of natural causes, according to NYTimes. Throughout his career Bikel sang in 21 languages and had an array of roles, ranging from comedy to villains, however he is also regarded as one of the most underappreciated actors of his time.
According to a headline in the Los Angeles times Bikel was an actor who was always in search of his identity, even though he received warm reviews for his roles.
In his entitled ‘Theo’ autobiography, Bikel himself modestly mentioned what he enjoys most is’ Versatility in itself’. As a political activist in 1969 Bikel famously denounced the militant Jewish Defense League for having committed atrocities against Arabs.
Bikel had a lucrative acting career with many roles in numerous stage, TV and film productions. In film Bikel famously played the roles of numerous army officers from different nationalities and even had a role in the TV production of ‘Charlie’s Angels’.
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In addition to acting Bikel was an expert singer and according to his mother could sing before he could talk. Bikel recorded several folk song albums in 1955 after landing in the US, in collaboration with the records company Electra. Bikelr eortedly sang in many languages such as Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Russian, medieval Spanish, Zulu and English etc.