- 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.
- 1969, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
- 1965, Tony — Actor (Musical): Winner
- 1961, Tony — Actor (Dramatic): Winner
- 1963, Tony — Actor (Musical): Winner
- 1974, Tony — Actor (Dramatic): Nominee
- 1978, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
- Clara Sverd — Ex-wife
- Tobias Mostel — Son
- Josh Mostel — Son
- Kate Mostel — Wife (deceased)
- City University of New York, City College, New York, NY (1935); attended New York University, New York, NY
- Birth Name: Samuel Joel Mostel
- Birth Place: New York, NY
- Died: September 8, 1977
- Profession: Actor, Painter
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