Herschel Bernardi Cause of Death: How the Broadway Star Died at 62

Herschel Bernardi was a talented actor and singer who had a successful career on Broadway, television, and film. He was best known for his roles in musicals such as Fiddler on the Roof, Zorba, and Bajour. He also appeared in popular TV shows such as Peter Gunn, Arnie, and Hail to the Chief. But how did Herschel Bernardi die? What was his cause of death? Here is what we know.

Herschel Bernardi’s Early Life and Career

Herschel Bernardi was born on October 30, 1923, in New York City, into a theatrical family. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia who performed in Yiddish theater. Herschel started acting at a young age and made his Broadway debut in 1937 in The World We Live In. He served in the US Army during World War II and later resumed his acting career.

Herschel Bernardi had a versatile voice and could sing in different languages and styles. He recorded several albums, including Sings Fiddler on the Roof, Herschel Bernardi Sings Broadway, and Herschel Bernardi Sings Yiddish. He also did voice-over work for animated films, such as Journey Back to Oz and The Mouse and His Child.

Herschel Bernardi’s Blacklisting and Comeback

Herschel Bernardi’s career was affected by the Hollywood blacklist in the 1950s, which targeted actors, writers, directors, and others who were suspected of having ties to the Communist Party. Herschel Bernardi was among those who were blacklisted and had difficulty finding work. He later said that he was not a communist, but a liberal who supported civil rights and social justice causes.

Herschel Bernardi made a comeback in the late 1950s, when he co-starred with Craig Stevens in the TV series Peter Gunn, created by Blake Edwards. He played Lieutenant Jacoby, a police detective who helped the private eye Peter Gunn solve crimes. He received an Emmy nomination for his performance in 1959. He also appeared in other TV shows, such as Bonanza, Mr. Novak, and The Twilight Zone.

Herschel Bernardi’s Broadway Success and Final Years

Herschel Bernardi achieved his greatest fame on Broadway, where he starred in several hit musicals. He replaced Zero Mostel as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof in 1965 and played the role for more than three years. He received rave reviews and a Tony nomination for his portrayal of the Jewish milkman in czarist Russia. He also starred as Zorba in Zorba in 1968 and received another Tony nomination. He later reprised his role as Tevye in a 1981 revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

Herschel Bernardi continued to work in TV and film until his death. He starred in the sitcom Arnie, which ran from 1970 to 1972, and earned two Golden Globe nominations. He also appeared in films such as Irma La Douce, Love with the Proper Stranger, The Front, and No Deposit, No Return. He narrated and hosted The Golden Age of Second Avenue, a documentary about the Yiddish theater in New York.

Herschel Bernardi’s Cause of Death

Herschel Bernardi died in his sleep of a sudden heart attack in Los Angeles, California, on May 9, 1986. He was 62 years old. He was survived by his wife, Teri, and four children. He was buried at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.

According to the website Find a Grave, Herschel Bernardi’s epitaph reads: “A great talent, a great man, a great joy.” He is remembered as one of the most beloved and versatile performers of his generation. His legacy lives on in his recordings, films, and Broadway shows. He was a true star who left a lasting impression on his fans and colleagues.

Doms Desk

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