Fyvush Finkel, veteran theater actor and star of Picket Fences, has passed away at the age of 93, Variety reports.
Over the course of his 80-plus years on stage and screen, Finkel appeared in several films, theatrical productions, and TV shows, including a starring role on Boston Public.
Born to Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn, Finkel began acting on stage before he was even 10 years old. Throughout the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s, he made a successful career performing in the Yiddish theaters of Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the Catskill’s Borscht Belt. In the 1960s, Finkel began branching out, making his Broadway debut as Mordcha the innkeeper in the 1964 production of Fiddler on the Roof.
From there, he appeared in a number of plays and musicals before making his TV debut in a 1977 episode of Kojak. When producer David E. Kelley saw Finkel in Sidney Lumet’s film Q & A, he cast the actor as public defender Douglas Wambaugh in the CBS series Picket Fences, which ran from 1992 to 1996.
In 1994, Finkel won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on Picket Fences.
It wouldn’t be the last time he work with Kelley either. Between 2000 and 2004, Finkel starred as history teacher Harvey Lipschultz in the FOX drama Boston Public. His last TV role was in a 2013 episode of Blue Bloods.
What do you think? Are you a fan of Fyvush Finkel? What’s your favorite role of his?
Finkel was one ofthe last great character actors who learned his trade in the Borswcht Belt and Yiddish Theater. Like the late, great Molly Picon, he was one of a kind and about the last of a now-dead breed. I enjoyed him in Picket Fences and it was really nice to see him on Blue Bloods a few years ago. May he rest in peace.