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Heritage Florida Jewish News
Fern Park , Florida
August 8, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 8, 1980

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Page 12, HERITAGE, Florida Jewish News, August 8. 1980 Our Folk Interview with Tovah Feldshuh; Remembering Actor Peter Sellers by Herbert G. Luft (Copyright 1980, JTA, Inc.) TOVAH FELDSHUH rush- ed from her dressing room, with her hair still in curlers, to meet us for an interview in the lobby of the Wilshire Theater while on stage a production number was being filmed with a noisy rock orchestra in the sideline and Ray Sharkey going through the motions of an Elvis Presleyish entertainer of the late 1950s, with his singing voice, accompanied by the guitar, as customary, reproduced on a playback. Torah Feldshuh co-stars in the picture entitled "The Idol- maker," a penetrating study about the creation of teen idols from 1959 through the '60s, portraying the editor-in- chief of a youth-oriented magazine and lover of the title hero. When we entered the theater, a converted movie house which meanwhile opened with a dramatic play starring Henry Fonda, we had to pass a police cordon set up near the side entrance. When I identified myself to the officer in charge and told him about the interview, he said with a smiling face "Tovah Feldshuh? She is a sweet- heart." A sweetheart she is, radiating warmth and friendliness during our informal chat and making the visitor at home in spite of the maddening rush and beehive of activities in the make-shift film studio. Though she has not been seen on the theatrical screen, she actually has now completed two features, the musical "The Idolmaker" for United sts release, and earlier still "Cheaper to Keep Her," a romantic comedy in which she portrayed a female • attorney who hires Mac Davis as her private eye. Both pictures are scheduled for fall release. "Doing feature films has been a revelation," the extremely beautiful young lady told us. "'It has added dimension and subtlety to my understanding and expiration of the truth and to my willingness to improvise." Torah Feldshuh came to this columnist's attention first as the fierce partisan Helena Slomova in the NBCtelevision series "Holocaust." As she told us now, she is being recognized and applauded when walking through Jewish neighborhoods of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and regarded as the heroine she depicts on the home screen. The Israeli government has honored her with its highest award for a foreigner --"The Israeli Friendship Award." For her portrayal of another Jewish character, I. B. Singer's "Yentl," in its original Broadway run, she won a Tony nomination and a number of top awards. ("Yentl" is meanwhile prepared for the screen by Barbra Streisan.d who plans to portray the title role and also to direct for her own company.) In spite of her seemingly mixed Hebrew-European name, Tovah Feldshuh was born in Manhattan. Showing promise as a pianist in her earliest years, she studied music and drama and appeared in "HMS Pinafore," "Little Mary Sunshine" and "Pirates of Penzance" while still a teenager. After graduating from high school, she studied at Sarah Lawrence College and applied to Harvard Law School. But before the university could respond to her application, she won a fellowship at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis where in two seasons she created over 20 roles in ] 1 classical plays which culminated in an offer to go to Broadway in the musical version of "Cyrano de Bergerac" starring Christo- pher Piummer. Within a short period, she won the Drama Desk Award, the Obie, the Outer Critics 671-2104 Hwy. 17-92, Fern Park (% mile north of Maitland Int.) 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On television, Tovah Feldshuh first gained recognition as the young Katherine Hepburn in CBS's "The Amazing Howard Hughes." She also received acclaim for her performance in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," "The Great Triangle Factory Fire" and "Beggarman, Thief." This fall, she will be seen on the home screen in "The Women's Room," a TV special for Warners. Immediately after complet- ing "The Idolmaker," in Hollywood, Tovah dovetailed from her cinematic commit- ment into rehearsal for the stage production of "Romeo and Juliet" at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego. "Fortunately my work has afforded me the opportunity to explore stage, television and film. Each feeds the other and clearly contributes to my sense of relaxation and freedom." The brilliant -,career of PETER SELLERS came to an end on July 24. The 54-year- old actor, who had portrayed a vast array of comical characters, accents and voices in roles that ranged from a wild nuclear scientistto that of a duchess, died in Middlesex Hospital in London a day after hewas stricken with a heart attack, his third during the past 20 years. Sellers, who was born in Southsea, England, the son of Peg and Bill Sellers, ITaced his roots back to British Prime Minister Benjamin and Daniel Portuguese Jewish was England's bare champion. Sellers' was Jewish but educated in His career an Academy Award tion last spring for his "Being There." was stricken with heart attack, completed the comedy "The Fiendish 1 Dr. Fu Manchu" for Zev Braun in the Paris, with Sid Caesar sidekick. While Sellers the "Fu Manchu" epic, the co-author forthcoming "Romance € Pink Panther," in planned to star in adventure of the Inspector Closseau. was set to portray the character in an version of Preston classic, "Unfaithfully with Howard Zieff Last, but not least, considering to essay the of Chadie Chaplin on Broadway stage in a now in preparation. A Special Place For That, Special Occasion For the ultimate in Catering Service, you must see our new Citrus Grove Ballroom. Available for groups ranging from 25 to 800 people for a light reception, with hors d'oeuvres, a delightful brunch or a 2 Alom Ave. (behind McDonjld's}, Winler P=rk | i ,,:!5: ;;,;,.;;;,d "::"1 our Executive Chef, will see that everything is op,m . c,.., , full course dinner with dancing. Louis Perrotte, FINE SEAFOOD & IIAI I!l I ! 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