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Bikel (Theodore) Papers
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Collection Overview
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This collection primarily consists of correspondence and subject files pertaining to Theodore Bikel's careers in music, stage, film, and television, as well as personal and family matters, and political and social activism. Also included are sheet music, scripts, and screenplays; clippings and ephemera; audiovisual material; awards; and a small amount of photographs.
Actor, folk singer, and political activist Theodore Bikel was born in Vienna, Austria on May 2, 1924. In 1938, Nazi Germany invaded Austria and Bikel's family emigrated to British-administered Palestine, where he lived on a kibbutz. Bikel got his start in acting at the Habimah Theater in Tel Aviv. He emigrated to Great Britain following World War II to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, performing several roles on the London stage in the 1940s. Bikel made his Broadway debut in Tonight in Samarkand in 1955, making the decision soon after to emigrate to the United States. In 1959, he originated the role of Baron von Trapp in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, opposite Mary Martin. His best-known stage role was that of "Tevye" in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, with more than 2000 performances over several decades. Bikel's film debut was in The African Queen (1951); he also appeared in The Defiant Ones (1956), My Fair Lady (1964), and The Russians Are Coming, the Russians are Coming (1966), among others. He was cast in numerous television roles during his career in both sitcoms and dramas. His stage, film, and television roles encompassed a wide variety of nationalities.
106.4 Linear Feet (236 boxes, 33 flat boxes)
Property rights to the physical objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Portions of collection unprocessed. Materials in the Clippings and ephemera series and Awards series are unavailable for access, as they are unprocessed. Please see LSC's Access to Unprocessed Collections Policy for more information about levels of discovery and access of special collections materials and registering interest in unprocessed collections.