Bikel in 2009
Theodore Meir Bikel
May 2, 1924
|Died||July 21, 2015 91) (aged|
|Resting place||Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery|
|Occupation||Actor, folk singer|
Theodore Meir Bikel ( // bih-KEL; May 2, 1924 – July 21, 2015) was an Austrian-American actor, folk singer, musician, composer, unionist and political activist. He appeared in films including The African Queen (1951), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Enemy Below (1957), I Want to Live! (1958), My Fair Lady (1964) and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966). For his portrayal of Sheriff Max Muller in The Defiant Ones (1958), he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
The African Queen is a 1951 British-American adventure film adapted from the 1935 novel of the same name by C. S. Forester. The film was directed by John Huston and produced by Sam Spiegel and John Woolf. The screenplay was adapted by James Agee, John Huston, John Collier and Peter Viertel. It was photographed in Technicolor by Jack Cardiff and had a music score by Allan Gray. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, and Katharine Hepburn with Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Walter Gotell, Richard Marner and Theodore Bikel.
Moulin Rouge is a 1952 British drama film directed by John Huston, produced by John and James Woolf for their Romulus Films company and released by United Artists. The film is set in Paris in the late 19th century, following artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in the city's bohemian subculture in and around the burlesque palace, the Moulin Rouge. The screenplay is by Huston, based on the novel by Pierre La Mure. The cinematography was by Oswald Morris. This film was screened at Venice Film Festival (1953) where it won the Silver Lion.
He made his stage debut in Tevye the Milkman in Tel Aviv, Israel, when he was in his teens. He later studied acting at Britain's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his London stage debut in 1948 and in New York in 1955. He was also a widely recognized and recorded folk singer and guitarist. In 1959, he co-founded the Newport Folk Festival and created the role of Captain von Trapp opposite Mary Martin as Maria in the original Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music . In 1969, Bikel began acting and singing on stage as Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof , a role he performed more often than any other actor to date. The production won nine Tony Awards and was one of the longest-running musicals in Broadway history.
Tevye the Dairyman is the fictional narrator and protagonist of a series of short stories by Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, originally written in Yiddish, and first published in 1894. The character is best known from the fictional memoir Tevye and His Daughters as a pious Jewish milkman in Tsarist Russia with six troublesome daughters: Tzeitel, Hodel, Chava, Shprintze, Beilke, and Teibel. He is also known from the musical dramatic adaptation of Tevye and His Daughters, Fiddler on the Roof. The Village of Boyberik, where the stories are set, is based on the town of Boyarka in Ukraine.
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) is a drama school in London, England that provides training for film, television and theatre. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious drama schools in the United Kingdom, founded in 1904 by Herbert Beerbohm Tree.
Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.
Bikel was president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America until 2014, and was president of Actors' Equity in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Partners for Progressive Israel,where he also lectured.
The Associated Actors and Artistes of America (4As), established in 1919, is the federation of trade unions for performing artists in the United States. The following unions belong to the 4As:
The Actors' Equity Association (AEA), commonly referred to as Actors' Equity or simply Equity, is an American labor union representing the world of live theatrical performance, as opposed to film and television performance. However, performers appearing on live stage productions without a book or through-storyline may be represented by the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA). As of 2010, Equity represented over 49,000 theatre artists and stage managers.
Partners for Progressive Israel is a non-governmental organization and registered 501(c)3 devoted to civil rights in Israel, and human rights throughout the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The organization advocates a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, social justice, human rights, religious freedom, and environmentalism.
Theodore Bikel was born into a Jewish familyin Vienna, Austria, the son of Miriam (née Riegler) and Josef Bikel, from Bukovina. As an active Zionist, his father named him after Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. Following the German union with Austria in 1938, Bikel's family fled to Mandatory Palestine, where his father's contacts helped the family obtain British passports. Bikel studied at the Mikve Yisrael agricultural school and joined Kibbutz Kfar HaMaccabi.
American Jews, or Jewish Americans, are Americans who are Jews, whether by religion, ethnicity or nationality. The current Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90-95% of the American Jewish population. Most American Ashkenazim are US-born, with a dwindling number of now elderly earlier immigrants, as well as some more recent foreign-born immigrants.
Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
The First Austrian Republic was created after the signing of the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye on 10 September 1919—the settlement after the end of World War I which ended the Habsburg rump state of Republic of German-Austria—and ended with the establishment of the Austrofascist Federal State of Austria based upon a dictatorship of Engelbert Dollfuss and the Fatherland's Front in 1934. The Republic's constitution was enacted in 1 October 1920 and amended on 7 December 1929. The republican period was increasingly marked by violent strife between those with left-wing and right-wing views, leading to the July Revolt of 1927 and the Austrian Civil War of 1934.
Bikel started acting while in his teens. He performed with Habimah Theatre in 1943 and was one of the founding members of the Cameri Theatre, which became a leading Israeli theatre company.He described his acting experience there as similar to, if not better than, the Method acting techniques taught at the Actors Studio in New York. "The Habimah people were much closer to the Method, indeed, than Lee Strasberg was, because they were direct disciples of Stanislavski."
Method acting is a range of training and rehearsal techniques that seek to encourage sincere and emotionally expressive performances, as formulated by a number of different theatre practitioners. These techniques are built on Stanislavski's system, developed by the Russian actor and director Konstantin Stanislavski and captured in his books An Actor Prepares, Building a Character, and Creating a Role.
The Actors Studio is a membership organization for professional actors, theatre directors and playwrights at 432 West 44th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. It was founded October 5, 1947, by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford and Robert Lewis, who provided training for actors who were members. Lee Strasberg joined later and took the helm in 1951 until his death on February 17, 1982.
Lee Strasberg was a Polish-born American actor, director, and theatre practitioner. He co-founded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective". In 1951 he became director of the nonprofit Actors Studio in New York City, considered "the nation's most prestigious acting school," and in 1966 he was involved in the creation of Actors Studio West in Los Angeles.
In 1945, he moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.Bikel moved to the United States in 1954 and became a naturalized citizen in 1961.
Bikel did not return to live in Israel nor did he take part in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Bikel wrote in “Theo”: “A few of my contemporaries regarded [not returning to Israel] as a character flaw, if not a downright act of desertion. In me there remains a small, still voice that asks whether I can ever fully acquit myself in my own mind.”
In 1948, Michael Redgrave recommended Bikel to his friend Laurence Olivier as understudy for the parts of both Stanley Kowalski and Harold "Mitch" Mitchell in the West End premiere of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire .Aside from being an understudy, Bikel's main role in the production was the relatively minor part of Pablo Gonzales. However, he graduated from supporting actor and understudy to star opposite the director's wife, Vivien Leigh, with a sudden unplanned performance when a co-star, playing the role of Mitch, came down with a case of flu. Bikel showed up backstage and went directly to Leigh's dressing room to ask if she wanted to rehearse with him, to make sure he was right for the role. She replied that she did not need to: "Go and do it," she said. "You are a professional, and Larry gave you this job because he trusted you to do it well." After the show, Leigh told him, "Well done."
For most of his acting career, he became known for his versatility in playing characters of different nationalities, claiming he took on those different personalities so his acting would "never get stale."On television, he played an Armenian merchant on Ironside , a Polish professor on Charlie's Angels , an American professor on The Paper Chase , a Bulgarian villain on Falcon Crest , a Russian on Star Trek: The Next Generation , and an Italian on Murder, She Wrote .
In movies, he played a German officer in The African Queen (1951) and The Enemy Below (1957), a Southern sheriff in The Defiant Ones , and a Russian submarine captain in the comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966). He also portrayed the sadistic General Jouvet in The Pride and the Passion (1957), and was screen tested for the role of Auric Goldfinger in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964).In My Fair Lady (1964), he played an overbearing Hungarian linguist.
He made his Broadway debut in 1955 in "Tonight in Samarkand" and in 1958 was nominated for a Tony for "The Rope Dancers". In 1959, he created the role of Captain von Trapp in the original production of The Sound of Music , which earned him a second Tony nomination.However, Bikel did not like his role because his ability to sing was underutilized, nor did he like performing the same role of the Captain repeatedly. When the composers, Rodgers and Hammerstein, realized Bikel was an accomplished folksinger, they wrote the song "Edelweiss" specifically for him to sing and accompany himself on the guitar.
In 1964, he played Zoltan Karpathy, the dialect expert, in the film version of My Fair Lady . Since his first appearance as Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof (1967), Bikel had 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.
Bikel was a guest star on many popular television series. He appeared in an episode of the 1954 NBC legal drama Justice based on cases from the Legal Aid Society of New York.He also appeared in the episode entitled "The Faithful Pilgrimage" of CBS's Appointment with Adventure anthology series. The particular episode was written by Rod Serling. He also appeared in a second episode of Appointment with Adventure entitled "Return of the Stranger". Bikel also appeared in an acting role in Frank Zappa's experimental film 200 Motels (1971).
Bikel later guest-starred on Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone (episode "Four O'Clock" as Oliver Crangle). He appeared on episodes of Wagon Train , Hawaii Five-O , Columbo (1977, "The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case"), Charlie's Angels , The San Pedro Beach Bums , Cannon , Little House on the Prairie , Mission: Impossible , Gunsmoke , Dynasty , All in the Family , Knight Rider , Murder, She Wrote , Fantasy Island , Law & Order , and Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (episode "Elegy for a Tramp" as Gerringer and aired on January 28, 1987).
In the early 1990s, he appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation , in the episode "Family", playing Sergey Rozhenko, the Russian-born adoptive father of Worf. Bikel performed two roles in the Babylon 5 universe, in 1994 as Rabbi Koslov in the first-season episode "TKO" and in 1998, as Ranger leader Lenonn in the TV movie Babylon 5: In the Beginning .
Bikel was nominated for the Drama Desk Award in 2010 for outstanding solo performance for Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears, an off-Broadway play which he also wrote.In 2012, Bikel played the title role in Visiting Mr. Green with the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company in Toronto, Ontario. In 2013, Bikel starred in Journey 4 Artists, a documentary which celebrates the power of music and religious diversity.
In 1955, at the suggestion of Jac Holzman of Elektra Records,Bikel began recording songs, including several albums of Jewish folk songs and songs from Russia and other countries, making over 20 contemporary and folk music albums during his career. For those, he played acoustic guitar alone or accompanied by other musicians. He was able to sing in 21 different languages, including Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Russian, Hungarian, Romanian, French, medieval Spanish, Zulu and English. His early albums included Israeli Folk Songs (1955) and Songs of Russian Old & New (1960). One of his Russian albums was entitled Songs of a Russian Gypsy, in 1958, where he introduced the folk tune, "Kretchma." Bikel's live performances were issued on two albums: Bravo Bikel (1959), and Bikel on Tour(1963).
In 1959, Bikel co-founded the Newport Folk Festival (together with Pete Seeger, Harold Leventhal, Oscar Brand and George Wein). He performed a number of recorded duets with Judy Collins at various festivals and on television.During an interview, when asked what inspired him to become involved in organizing a folk festival, he said that music was "one of the few answers to the chaos that we have," one of the only recourses to avoid social strife, and a means of giving youth hope for a better world.
Bikel viewed then 21-year-old Bob Dylan as one of those young performers expressing emotional and social messages through song.In 1963, Bikel joined Dylan, Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary and Joan Baez for the festival grand finale as they sang "Blowin' in the Wind" and "We Shall Overcome." Following the festival, Bikel, Seeger and Dylan traveled to a planned rally in Greenwood, Mississippi to perform Dylan's newly-written song, "Only a Pawn in Their Game," about the man who murdered Medgar Evers, head of the NAACP. Originally, only Bikel and Seeger were scheduled to perform, but Bikel wanted Dylan to go with them. He told Dylan's manager, Albert Grossman, "I'll tell you what. Buy him a ticket. Don't tell him where it came from. Tell him it's time to go down and experience the South."
Bikel's close friendship with Seeger was sometimes tested as a result of the festival's choice of performers. On one occasion, Seeger became infuriated and wished he had an ax to cut the electrical cables because of the poor audio during Bob Dylan's legendary performance accompanied by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Seeger expected Bikel to support him: "Theo, for Chrissake—tell them. Set them straight!" Bikel stepped forward and told Seeger, "Peter, this band, these rebels—they are us. They are what we were twenty years ago. Remember?" Seeger stared at him "like a trauma victim", as Bikel succeeded in calming Seeger down enough to let the group finish their songs.In 1965, Bikel, as well as Seeger, was shocked when Bob Dylan turned electric at the Festival, an event some call "Dylan's declaration of musical independence."
In 1962, Bikel became the first singer besides Dylan to perform "Blowin' in the Wind" in public. His album A Folksinger's Choice (1964) featured Jim McGuinn (as he was then known) on banjo.Bikel (with business partner Herb Cohen) opened the first folk music coffee house in Los Angeles, The Unicorn. Its popularity led to the two opening a second club, Cosmo Alley, which in addition to folk music presented poets such as Maya Angelou and comics including Lenny Bruce. Bikel became increasingly involved with civil rights issues and progressive causes, and was a delegate to the 1968 Democratic Convention.
Bikel was married four times. He married Ofra Ichilov in 1942. They divorced the following year. His second marriage was in 1967 to Rita Weinberg Call with whom he had two children. They divorced in 2008. He married conductor Tamara Brooks later that year. She died in 2012. He married journalist and foreign correspondent Aimee Ginsburg on December 29, 2013.
Bikel died on July 21, 2015, at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles of natural causes, according to publicist Harlan Boll. Bikel is survived by his wife, Aimee Ginsburg, his sons from his second marriage, Robert and Daniel, and four grandchildren.He was buried at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Bikel was a longtime activist in the civil rights and human rights movements, participating as a fundraiser with performances.He co-founded the Actors Federal Credit Union in 1962, and in 1968 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He was president of Actors' Equity from 1977 to 1982 in which office he supported human rights causes. Since 1988 he had been president of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America.
Upon hearing of his death, Actors’ Equity wrote: "From the time he joined Equity in 1954, Bikel has been an advocate for the members of our union and his extraordinary achievements paved the way for so many. No one loved theater more, his union better or cherished actors like Theo did. He has left an indelible mark on generations of members past and generations of members to come. We thank you, Theo, for all you have done."
Bikel was an active supporter and campaigner for John F. Kennedy. He did some of his campaigning during the run of The Sound of Music which got him into trouble with the producers, who did not think it was becoming for an actor. He recalls, "I would go out sometimes between matinee and evening performances, go to a rally and speak from a flat-bed truck, and then come back to the theater." The producers stopped complaining, however, when after one show he was picked up backstage by a limousine carrying Eleanor Roosevelt, and he accompanied her to a Democratic rally as her special guest.
At the 1977 AFL–CIO Convention, Bikel welcomed the Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky upon his release from the Soviet Union.He was arrested in front of the Soviet Embassy in Washington in 1986 while protesting the plight of Soviet Jews.
President Jimmy Carter appointed him to serve on the National Council for the Arts in 1977 for a six-year term.In 2007, he served as chair of the Board of Directors of Meretz USA (now Partners for Progressive Israel).
He was a member of the High IQ collective Mensa International.
Folksongs and Footnotes Theodore Bikel Meridian Books, Inc. 1960 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number M 60-1030
Chaim Topol, also spelled Haym Topol, mononymously known as Topol, is an Israeli theatrical, film, and television actor, singer, comedian, voice artist, film producer, author, and illustrator. He is best known for his portrayal of Tevye the Dairyman, the lead role in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, on both stage and screen, having performed this role more than 3,500 times in shows and revivals from the late 1960s through 2009.
Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters and other tales by Sholem Aleichem. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family's lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love – each one's choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of their Jewish faith and heritage – and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.
The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming is a 1966 DeLuxe Color American comedy film directed by Norman Jewison in Panavision. It is based on the Nathaniel Benchley novel The Off-Islanders, and was adapted for the screen by William Rose.
Peter Seeger was an American folk singer and social activist. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly's "Goodnight, Irene", which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, Seeger re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture, and environmental causes.
Harvey Forbes Fierstein is an American actor, playwright, and voice actor. Fierstein has won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his own play Torch Song Trilogy and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. He also wrote the book for the musical La Cage aux Folles, for which he won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical, and wrote the book for the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.
The Newport Folk Festival is an American annual folk-oriented music festival in Newport, Rhode Island, which began in July 1959 as a counterpart to the previously established Newport Jazz Festival. The festival is often considered one of the first modern music festivals in America and remains a focal point in the ever-expanding genre of "folk" music.
Mary Allin Travers was an American singer-songwriter and member of the folk music group Peter, Paul and Mary, along with Peter Yarrow and Paul Stookey. Peter, Paul and Mary was one of the most successful folk music groups of the 1960s. Unlike most folk musicians of the early 1960s who were a part of the burgeoning music scene in New York City's Greenwich Village, Travers grew up there. A contralto, Travers released five solo albums in addition to her work with Peter, Paul and Mary.
"Edelweiss" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. It is named after the edelweiss, a white flower found high in the Alps (Leontopodium alpinum). The song was created for the 1959 Broadway production of The Sound of Music, as a song for the character Captain Georg Ludwig von Trapp. In the musical, Captain von Trapp and his family sing this song during the concert near the end of Act II, as a statement of Austrian patriotism in the face of the pressure put upon him to join the navy of Nazi Germany following the Anschluss. It is also Captain von Trapp's subliminal goodbye to his beloved homeland, using the flower as a symbol of his loyalty to Austria. In the 1965 film adaptation, the song is also sung by the Captain earlier in the film when he rediscovers music with his children.
Harold Leventhal was an American music manager. He died in 2005 at the age of 86. His career began as a song plugger for Irving Berlin and then Benny Goodman where he connected with a new artist Frank Sinatra booking him as a singer for a Benny Goodman event. He managed The Weavers, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Alan Arkin, Judy Collins, Theodore Bikel, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Mary Travers, Tom Paxton, Don McLean and many others.
Fiddler on the Roof is a 1971 American musical comedy-drama film produced and directed by Norman Jewison. It is an adaptation of the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name, with music composed by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and screenplay by Joseph Stein and based on stories by Sholem Aleichem. Starring Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, and Paul Mann, the film centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family's lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love – each one's choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of his faith – and with the edict of the Tsar who evicts the Jews from the town of Anatevka.
The American folk-music revival began during the 1940s and peaked in popularity in the mid-1960s. Its roots went earlier, and performers like Josh White, Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Big Bill Broonzy, Richard Dyer-Bennet, Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie, John Jacob Niles, Susan Reed, Paul Robeson and Cisco Houston had enjoyed a limited general popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. The revival brought forward styles of American folk music that had, in earlier times, contributed to the development of country and western, jazz, and rock and roll music.
Festival is a 1967 American documentary film about the Newport Folk Festival, written, produced, and directed by Murray Lerner.
Matt McGinn was a Scottish folk singer-songwriter, actor, author and poet. Born in Glasgow in the late 1920s. McGinn was a prolific songwriter and is recognised as an influential figure in the British folk music revival of the late Fifties and early Sixties.
Staś Kmieć is an award-winning theater and dance choreographer, specializing in a variety of styles of dance: theatre dance, character/folk, period/historical, social/ballroom, ballet, and concert dance.
Jerry Silverman is an American folksinger, guitar teacher and author of music books. He has had over 200 books published, which have sold in the millions, including folk song collections, anthologies and method books for the guitar, banjo and fiddle. He has taught guitar to hundreds of students. He has presented concerts and lectures at schools, universities and concert halls in the U.S. and abroad.
"Only a Pawn in Their Game" is a song written by Bob Dylan about the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Showing support for the African Americans during the American Civil Rights Movement. It was released on Dylan's The Times They Are a-Changin' album of 1964. The song suggests that Evers' killer, Byron De La Beckwith does not bear sole blame for his crime, as he was only a pawn of rich white elites who incensed poor whites against blacks so as to distract them from their position on "the caboose of the train" in order create a more 'perfect white American society'.
The Pennywhistlers were an American singing group founded by folklorist and singer Ethel Raim and popular during the 1960s folk music revival. They specialized in Eastern European choral music, sung primarily a cappella. Folk singer Theodore Bikel, in his autobiography Theo, called them "the closest to the real thing in authenticity in the United States." They toured throughout the 1960s, appearing at the Sing Out! hootenanny at Carnegie Hall, the Fox Hollow Festival, and the Mariposa Folk Festival, among others. They shared the bill with performers such as Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Reverend Gary Davis, Leonard Cohen, and many others.
David Serero is a French baritone opera singer, actor, producer, philanthropist and Ambassador of the Arts. He has played more than 1,500 concerts worldwide, and has performed lead roles in opera, theater and musicals such as Cyrano (Cyrano de Bergerac), Shylock, Othello (Othello), Nabucco (Nabucco), Don Quixote, Richard III, Napoleon Bonaparte, Escamillo (Carmen), Enrico, Amonasro (Aida), the title roles of Don Giovanni and Rigoletto and starred in more than 100 films and TV series. He has toured in America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Russia. In 2017, David Serero is honored in the Who's Who America for outstanding achievement in the entertainment world and for his contribution for the betterment of contemporary society. He is a member of the Recording Academy (Grammys) and the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences (Emmys), for which he is both a voting member.
Shmuel Rodensky was a Russian-born Israeli actor whose stage, film, and television career in Israel and West Germany spanned six decades. He immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1924 and studied drama at the Eretz Israel Theatre in Tel Aviv. After performing with several theatre companies between 1928 and 1948, he joined Habima Theatre in 1949 and became one of its principal players. He was known as "the Israeli Laurence Olivier". In 1968 Rodensky traveled to Hamburg to join the German-language production of Fiddler on the Roof, playing the lead role of Tevye the Dairyman. He performed this role more than 1,400 times throughout West Germany and Switzerland. His notable film roles include the lead in the 1968 Israeli film Tevye and His Seven Daughters, Simon Wiesenthal in the 1974 Anglo-German film The Odessa File, and Jethro in the 1974 BBC television miniseries Moses the Lawgiver. He was the recipient of numerous honors in both Israel and West Germany, including the Federal Service Cross from the Federal Republic of Germany and the Israel Prize.
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