Made his Broadway debut as Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof" in late 1971, playing the part for the last few months of the play's eight-year run. In his 70s, he toured in the same role.
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Made a triumphant Metropolitan Opera debut on a broadcast performance of November 29, 1941, singing "Alfredo" in Giuseppe Verdi
's "La Traviata". Although he shone in a cast that also included Jarmila Novotna
and Lawrence Tibbett
, it was decided not to tell the already nervous young man that the scheduled conductor, Gennaro Papi, had died suddenly, earlier that day. He found out when he saw Hector