Theodore Bikel died yesterday, at the age of 91. My main memories of him are a couple of guest appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation (he played Worf’s adoptive human father), and his memorable single scene in My Fair Lady as Zoltan Karpathy, former student of Professor Henry Higgins who is described by servant Mrs. Pierce as “that dreadful Hungarian”. That role is interesting, actually: Bikel is onscreen for all of five minutes of a nearly 3-hour film, but he makes the most of it, creating this slightly smarmy character who is nevertheless sharp enough to realize that there’s something off about this “Miss Doolittle”.
Anyway, here’s something interesting. It should embed as a playlist, if I did it right. It’s Bikel singing Yiddish folk and theater songs. This is music I know very little about.
I salute your long and energetic life, Mr. Bikel!