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Long before Christopher Plummer, Theodore Bikel wielded the whistle.
The Austrian-born folk singer and actor who played Captain von Trapp in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, died Tuesday morning of natural causes at Los Angeles' UCLA Medical Center. He was 91.
"No one loved theatre more, his union better or cherished actors like Theo did. He has left an indelible mark on generation of members past and generations of members to come," Actors' Equity Association, which Bikel was president of from 1973 until 1982, said in a statement.
In addition to playing the strict father of seven whose walls start to come down thanks to a certain guitar-strumming governess, Bikel also played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof more than 2,000 times on stage in touring productions of the classic musical.