Fyvush Finkel, the Yiddish theater star best known to audiences for his Emmy-winning role on Picket Fences, has died. He was 93.
Finkel passed away Sunday at his Manhattan home, his son, Ian, told the New York Times. A cause of death was not released, but Ian said his father had been suffering heart problems for several months.
A Brooklyn native, Finkel, who was born Philip (Fvyush is the Yiddish version of the name), began his career at age 9 on the Yiddish stage, where he was a staple for nearly 40 years. He made his Broadway debut in the original 1964 production of Fiddler on the Roof as Mordcha, the innkeeper, and later played Tevye, the milkman, in a touring production. After starring in an off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors, Finekl won an Obie Award for his work in the New York Shakespeare Festival revival of Café Crown.
In 1992, he scored his most famous role, as defender Douglas Wambaugh on David E. Kelley's Picket Fences. A fan favorite, Finkel received two Emmy nominations for supporting drama actor, winning in 1994. He later reteamed with Kelly on Boston Public, on which he played history teacher Harvey Lipschultz.
Finkel's other TV credits include Kojak, Early Edition, Blue Bloods and ABC's short-lived remake of Fantasy Island. His film credits include Nixon and A Serious Man.
Finkel was married to Trudi Lieberman for 61 years until her death in 2008. Besides Ian, he is survived by their other son, Elliot.