Zero Mostel



  • Birth Name: Samuel Joel Mostel
  • Birth Place: New York, NY
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 02/28/1915, Pisces
  • Date of Death: 09/08/1977
  • Profession: Actor; painter
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Zero Mostel Fast Facts:
  • Wanted to be a painter as a child and worked as an artist during the Depression (he continued painting throughout his life).
  • Worked as a longshoreman, a factory worker and a miner before making it in show business. 
  • Worked as a museum tour guide, and his improvisations as a guide led to work as a nightclub comedian, which in turn led to early appearances on Broadway.
  • Was given the nickname Zero by a nightclub press agent, because he was a man who "started from nothing."
  • Briefly served in the U.S. Army in 1943. 
  • Was blacklisted in Hollywood after he testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951.
  • Was hit by a bus in 1960 and severely injured his left leg. 
  • Was the first performer to win Tonys in both the musical and dramatic acting categories.
  • Was known for frequently ad-libbing on stage.
  • Zero Mostel Relationships:
  • Clara Sverd - Ex-wife
  • Josh Mostel - Son
  • Kate Mostel - Wife (deceased)
  • Tobias Mostel - Son
  • Zero Mostel Awards:
  • 1969 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
  • 1963 Tony: Actor (Musical) - Winner
  • 1965 Tony: Actor (Musical) - Winner
  • 1974 Tony: Actor (Dramatic) - Nominee
  • 1961 Tony: Actor (Dramatic) - Winner
  • 1977 BAFTA Film Awards: Best Supporting Actor - Nominee
  • College:
  • City University of New York, City College, New York, NY (1935); attended New York University, New York, NY


Robert Frank: Zero Mostel Reads a Book
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Zero Dances: A Biography of Zero Mostel
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