Bikel, Theodore(1924– ) actor, singer; born in Vienna, Austria. He emigrated to Palestine in his teens, acted in plays, then went to London where he studied acting and appeared on stage. He came to the U.S.A. in 1954, made his New York stage debut (1955), and a few movies before he was cast as the original Georg von Trapp in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music (1959). An American citizen from 1961, he appeared in revivals of such musicals as Fiddler on the Roof (1964) and Zorba (1968) and played character parts in many movies. He also enjoyed a career as a folksinger-guitarist, noted especially for his renditions of Russian folk and gypsy songs.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.