Fyvush Finkel, 93, “an Emmy Award-winning actor who is best known to contemporary audiences for his roles on ‘Picket Fences’ and ‘Boston Public’ but who spent most of his early career on Gotham’s Lower East Side performing in the Yiddish theater, died Sunday in his Manhattan home,” reports Variety.
The story continues, “His son, Ian, confirmed the news to The New York Times, and said Finkel had been suffering from heart problems.”
Adds The New York Times, “Mr. Finkel, who began on the Yiddish stage as a 9-year-old, never gave up performing. In his autumnal years, he often starred in pastiches recalling the Yiddish theater’s heyday, adorned with old theater posters of Molly Picon and Jacob Adler and musical chestnuts like ‘Yidl Mitn Fidl.’”
The Times story also notes that Finkel’s “[P]erformance in the small role of a lawyer in Sidney Lumet’s crime film ‘Q&A’ in 1990 prompted David E. Kelley to cast Mr. Finkel as the blustery defense lawyer Douglas Wambaugh on ‘Picket Fences,’ a series chronicling the quirky events that befell the residents of a small town in Wisconsin, which ran from 1992 to 1996 on CBS. Mr. Finkel won an Emmy in 1994 as best supporting actor in a dramatic series. He later played a history teacher on ‘Boston Public,’ also produced by Mr. Kelley, seen on Fox from 2000 to 2005.”
If you click here you will be taken to a delightful interview that Finkel did with the late Tom Snyder on Synder’s “Late Late Show” on CBS. The appearance, about a year after Finkel won his Emmy, is in a clip on YouTube.