Worked With:

Bill Cosby

Harry Belafonte

Woody Allen

Gene Wilder

Kim Novak

Robert Redford

Bradford Dillman

Sam Waterston

Zero Mostel Biography

Home > Actors > M > Mostel, Zero > Biography

Birth Name: Zero Mostel
Born: 02/28/1915
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died: 09/08/1977

This volatile, stage-trained comic actor made his film debut playing dual roles in "Du Barry Was a Lady" (1943). Mostel's solid, bulky build and heavy-lidded eyes made him a convincing heavy, but his promising film career (e.g., "Panic in the Streets" 1950) was cut short when he was blacklisted following his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951. His fortunes revived in the early 1960s with his maniacally comic Broadway performance in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (1962) and, as Tevye, in "Fiddler on the Roof" (1964). Mostel turned in a landmark screen performance as bamboozling Broadway producer Max Bialystock in Mel Brooks' "The Producers" (1967), and continued making regular film appearances into the late 1970s. One of his most notable later roles was in the Martin Ritt drama, "The Front" (1976), as a man facing the blacklist.