Jewish Actor Fyvush Finkel, 93, Passes Away

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Actor Fyvush Finkel arrives for a ceremony honoring comedian Milton Berle at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles, Monday, April 1, 2002. Berle, who died last Wednesday at 93, was often credited with helping to popularize the medium of television. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Actor Philip “Fyvush” Finkel passed away on Sunday in Manhattan at the age of 93.

Born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, he later adopted the name “Fyvush” as a stage name.

He made his Broadway theater debut in the original 1964 production of Fiddler on the Roof, and later played Lazar Wolf, the Butcher,in the limited run of the 1981 Broadway revival of the same musical. Eventually, he played the lead role of Tevye the Milkman for years in the national touring company.

Finkel was the third of four sons of Jewish immigrant parents, Mary, a housewife from Minsk, Belarus, and Harry Finkel, a tailor from Warsaw.

Finkel first appeared on the stage at age 9, and acted for almost 35 years in the thriving Yiddish theaters of the Yiddish Theater District of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, as well as performing as a standup comic in the Catskill’s Borscht Belt.

Finkel was married to Trudi Lieberman from March 1947 until her death in 2008. They had two sons: Ian, a musical arranger, and Elliot, a concert pianist.

{Andy Heller-Matzav.com, Bio info courtesy of Wikepedia}

8 COMMENTS

    • Are you a litvak? Litvishe used to have no problem using the secular varient of the hebrew names! Shame on you! How disrespectful just to judge by the name! Know some litvishe history!

      • What are you talking about? Litvaks use the name Mary? I don’t think you know what is going on.

        Hungarians excelled in using goyishe names, like Thomas, etc.

        • Useing the secular varient was common for litvaks. i don’t know why your going on all about. What hungarians did is of no relevance! Not being a hungarian i wouldnt generally know what names hungarians used.
          I am talking about people who were born in pre war lita. What happens in america is another velt!

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