Actors' Equity Remembers Theodore Bikel as Advocate Who Left "Indelible Mark" – R&H Estate Praises Sound of Music Original

News   Actors' Equity Remembers Theodore Bikel as Advocate Who Left "Indelible Mark" – R&H Estate Praises Sound of Music Original Actors' Equity Association has released a statement on the passing of Theodore Bikel, the original Sound of Music star who served as president of the theatrical union in the late 1970s and early 80s. Bikel was also remembered by Ted Chapin, president of Rodgers & Hammerstein.

"Actors' Equity Association mourns the passing of our dear friend, our brother and former President Theo Bikel," the union said in a statement. "From the time he joined Equity in 1954, Bikel has been an advocate for the members of our union and his extraordinary achievements paved the way for so many. No one loved theater more, his union better or cherished actors like Theo did. He has left an indelible mark on generation of members past and generations of members to come. We thank you, Theo, for all you have done."

Theodore Bikel and Mary Martin in <i>Sound of Music</i>
Theodore Bikel and Mary Martin in Sound of Music

Chapin offered the following statement: "We at Rodgers and Hammerstein are saddened by the passing of Theodore Bikel. He always spoke fondly of his time appearing opposite Mary Martin in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, and always showed up at anniversary events, including the 50th at Barnes & Noble when his singing of 'Edelweiss' was simply extraordinary. My best recollection was a couple of years ago, on opening night of a new production done by the Lyric Opera of Chicago. One of the Opera's board members was hosting Bikel at his home while Bikel made an appearance at a local Jewish Charity, but when the performance was over and the cast party was in full swing in the vast rehearsal room at Lyric Opera, his host phoned Bikel and told him to come over. So at the moment when you would think the party would be winding down, in walks the original Captain von Trapp, and suddenly the entire party changed to honor a veteran and an icon - who, I should add, was more than happy to pose for photos with everyone in the cast!"

Read Mr. Bikel's obituary on Playbill.com here.

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