David Opatoshu

David Opatoshu

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 30 Apr 1996 (aged 78)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Garden of Memories, Court of Devotion, Block 1, Plot 40, Grave 6
Memorial ID 5433 · View Source
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Actor. He received notoriety as an award-winning American actor of stage, screen, and television during the 20th century. In 1991 he was the recipient of the Emmy Award for his guest appearance in the episode “A Prayer for the Goldsteins” of the ABC series “Gabriel's Fire.” Starting with parts in Yiddish theater, he did a film in Yiddish in 1938. During World War II, he delivered the evening news in Yiddish on the New York City radio station WEVD and served in the South Pacific in the Air Force. Yiddish is the language spoken by Jewish people of central and eastern Europe prior to the mid-20th century, and with migration, it is spoken in the United States and Israel. His wartime experiences gave him the material for “Between Sea and Sand,” a collection of short stories he published in Yiddish in 1946. From 1948 to 1949 he had four uncredited parts before the 1950 comedy film the “Goldbergs”. Born first generation American to Polish Jewish parents, he was the son of Yiddish author, Joseph Opatoshu, and wrote a screenplay for the 1971 film “Romance of a Horse Thief,” which was based on his father's novel. His ten stage roles included “Night Music” in 1940, “Silk Stockings” in 1956, “The Wall” in 1960, and his last in 1969 “Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie”. In the fall of 1953, he had a leading role in the NBC situational comedy, “Bonino.” This followed with the 1958 the made-for-television movie “Where Is thy Brother?” He was known for his role of Akiva, a scholarly Jewish resistance leader in the 1960 film, “Exodus.” He made at least 45 films or made-for-television movies. He made hundreds of 30-minute to an hour guest television appearances such as “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Mannix,” “Ironside,” “Bionic Woman” with 3 episodes, “Daniel Boone,” “Dr. Kildare” with a seven-episode stint,” “Twilight Zone,” ”Fantasy Island,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and “Star Trek the Original Series.” In 1982 his voice was used as King Vultan in the animated movie, “Flash Gordon: The Greatest Adventure of All.” With his dark, balding hair, and olive-colored skin, along with speaking Yiddish, he was often given roles as a Jewish or Arabic character. His last role was the judge in a 1987 made-for-television movie, “Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8.” Never leaving his roots, he directed Yiddish theater and narrated a documentary film on the Yiddish theater in America.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 May 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5433
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Opatoshu (30 Jan 1918–30 Apr 1996), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5433, citing Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .