Theo: The Autobiography of Theodore Bikel

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HarperCollins, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 440 pages
Theodore Bikel is an actor: as Mitch opposite Vivien Leigh's Blanche DuBois in the original London production of A Streetcar Named Desire; opposite Bogie and Katharine Hepburn in The African Queen; as Baron Von Trapp opposite Mary Martin's Maria in the Broadway landmark The Sound of Music; and, of course, as Tevye, the sagacious milkman from the tales of Sholom Aleichem, immortalized in Fiddler on the Roof.
Theodore Bikel is an activist: from his early involvement with the struggle for civil rights to his support and active campaigning for then-Senator John F. Kennedy, through his work for progressive causes the world over, from Tel Aviv to Tbilisi. And with that voice, the voice that has won him applause as a singer, and, as an actor, an Emmy, an Oscar nomination, and countless other citations for his talent and his commitment.
Now, Theodore Bikel, Theo, as he calls himself, turns his voice to the telling of a truly compelling story: his own. Born in Austria, raised in Palestine, educated in England, and with a stellar career in the United States and around the world, Theo's autobiography is the story not only of his own life, but of our collective history of the past six decades, from the Third Reich to the birth of the state of Israel, the McCarthyite fifties and the struggles of the tumultuous sixties in America. All rendered in his uniquely eloquent, fiercely committed voice. It will surprise, delight, and shock you. A tale from a man you thought you knew: actor, activist, singer, writer. Theo is all of these, and so much more.

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THEO: The Autobiography of Theodore Bikel

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The autobiography of a prominent folksinger/actor/activist of the 1950s and '60s. It's difficult to write the story of a good man, harder still when the good man is writing his own story: Bikel does ... Read full review


Hebrew Theatre
Trippingly on the Tongue

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About the author (1994)

Theodore Bikel was born in Vienna on May 2, 1924. He moved to Palestine with his family when he was 13 years old. He apprenticed at the Habimah theater in Tel Aviv in 1943. Three years later he went to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. While there, he starred in numerous small productions and graduated with honors in 1948. He made his Broadway debut in 1955 in Tonight in Samarkand. He created the role of Baron von Trapp in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music and toured for decades as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. He became a U.S. citizen in 1961. He began recording folk song albums in 1955. His albums included Israeli Folk Songs, Songs of Russia Old and New, A Taste of Passover, A Taste of Hanukkah, and In My Own Lifetime: 12 Musical Theater Classics. He also wrote an autobiography entitled Theo. He died on July 21, 2015 at the age of 91.

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