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Theodore Bikel dead: Fiddler on the Roof actor was 91

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Ryan Miller/Invision/AP

Theodore Bikel, a Broadway and film actor known for his roles in Fiddler on the Roof and My Fair Lady, died of natural causes Tuesday morning at the age of 91.

Born in Vienna, his family escaped Nazi occupation by moving to Palestine in 1938. The actor was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal as sheriff Max Muller in 1958’s The Defiant Ones, and had a slew of television guesting roles on The Twilight Zone, Charlie’s Angels, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Law & Order. Bikel also had a rich stage career and is perhaps best known for playing Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, a role he would play more times than any other actor. He also earned two Tony nominations for The Rope Dancer and The Sound of Music.

“He was a really lovely, entertaining, caring person,” Bikel’s rep, Robert Malcolm, tells EW. “He was a wonderful storyteller and a deeply caring man.”

Bikel was passionate about the arts, having recorded 27 folk albums, and served as president of both the Associated Actors and Artistes of America and the Actor’s Equity Association. Bikel is survived by his wife and two children.