Zero Mostel

Treading the boards

Mostel was one of showbiz’s improbables. Though fat and droopy, he was a magnetic performer, graceful and committed, with a face so expressive, he would have succeeded mute. But mute he was not, and his inimitably inflected voice was just another of his many attributes. He succeeded at comedy first; then drama (most memorably in Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” in 1961); and finally in musicals. His comic timing and ironically acrobatic physicality made him irresistible in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1962) and, especially, “Fiddler on the Roof” (1964). His movie career, though substantial, was unremarkable — save for his now classic performance as the rapacious Max Bialystock in “The Producers” (1968).

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety