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Zero Mostel

b. Samuel Joel Mostel, 28 February 1915, New York City, New York, USA, d. 8 September 1977, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. After studying art and English at university, Mostel became a manual worker during the Depression, taking any job he could find in factories, mines and on the docks. He then applied his academic qualifications to teach and paint. In 1942 he became a nightclub comedian, playing Barney Josephson’s Café Society Downtown among other venues, worked in vaudeville, and the following year appeared in the film Du Barry Was A Lady. After military service during World War II, Mostel played on the stage in Duke Ellington’s Beggar’s Holiday (1946) and appeared in the films Panic In The Streets (1950), The Enforcer (1951), The Model And The Marriage Broker (1952) and others before being blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Mostel returned to painting and then towards the end of the 50s began to appear again on the stage. Early the following decade he achieved acclaim for his roles in Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros (1961), Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1962) and Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s Fiddler On The Roof (1964), winning Tony Awards for all three performances. In the latter, he introduced the song ‘If I Were A Rich Man’ and, with co-star Maria Karnilova, the duets ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ and ‘Do You Love Me?’. Although his role of Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof made his name on Broadway, Mostel was asked to leave the show because his ad-libbing confused and dismayed his fellow players. He appeared in a non-musical role in Ulysses In Nighttown (1958) and then had his best-remembered film role as Max Bialystock in Mel Brooks’ film The Producers (1967). He made more films, including The Angel Levine (1970), The Hot Rock (1972), Rhinoceros (1974) and The Front (1976), the latter about blacklisting in the 50s of which Mostel had first-hand experience. Also in the 70s he toured in revivals of Fiddler On The Roof, returning to Broadway with the show in 1976. The following year he was in The Merchant but died before the show reached Broadway. Together with his wife, Kate (b. Kathryn Harkin), and lifelong friend Jack Gilford and his wife, Madeline Lee, he wrote a book, 170 Years Of Showbusiness.
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Broadway: The American Musical

Disc 1

2. Swanee

3. When The Moon Shines On The Moonshine

7. If You Knew Susie (Like I Know Susie)

9. Bill

10. Ol' Man River

11. Ain't Misbehavin'

12. Ten Cents A Dance

14. Brother, Can You Spare A Dime

15. Night And Day

16. Heat Wave

18. You're The Top

20. September Song

21. My Heart Belongs To Daddy

22. It Never Entered My Mind

25. Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'

Disc 2

3. Come Rain Or Come Shine

4. There's No Business Like Show Business

5. How Are Things In Glocca Morra

6. Once In Love With Amy

8. Some Enchanted Evening

10. Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

12. Getting To Know You

14. Stranger In Paradise

18. I Could Have Danced All Night

21. Glitter And Be Gay

22. Tonight

Disc 3

1. Seventy-Six Trombones

3. Everything's Coming Up Roses

4. My Favorite Things

6. Try To Remember

7. Camelot

9. I Believe In You

11. Comedy Tonight

12. What Kind Of Fool Am I?

15. People

17. If I Were A Rich Man

18. Night Song

19. The Impossible Dream

Disc 4

4. Ladies Who Lunch

7. I Don't Know How To Love Him

10. Send In The Clowns

13. All That Jazz

14. Tomorrow

15. Don't Cry For Me Argentina

18. And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going

Disc 5

1. Memory

3. Move On

5. The Music Of The Night

9. With One Look

12. Seasons Of Love

17. Movin' Out

x

Track List: The Best Of Broadway: The American Musical

2. Swanee

3. Ol' Man River

4. You're The Top

7. I Could Have Danced All Night

9. My Favorite Things

10. People

11. If I Were A Rich Man

12. The Impossible Dream

13. Cabaret

15. Send In The Clowns

17. Tomorrow

18. Memory

19. The Music Of The Night

Comments

Report as inappropriate
mauraloizzo
Say iPhone 5 times
Say a color
Post. 5 times
Look under your pillow
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Love it
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Lol
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Hi
Report as inappropriate
I love this musical!!!
Report as inappropriate
trudigoodman
Nobody sings this like Zero Mostel. Maybe because his father was a Rabbi.
Report as inappropriate
he was awesome he is my favorite besides topol this is my all time favorite
musical his great voice love him
Report as inappropriate
he was awesome he is my favorite besides topol this is my all time favorite
musical his great voice love him
Report as inappropriate
He was awesome. He is my favorite besides Topol. This is my all time favorite musical
Report as inappropriate
Who could forget him in "Fiddler on the roof" Zere Mostel of course.

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