|Born||Terri Sue Feldshuh
December 27, 1952
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, singer, playwright|
|Spouse(s)||Andrew Harris Levy (1977-present; 2 children)|
Terri Sue Feldshuh was born to a Jewish family in New York City, the daughter of Lillian (née Kaplan) and Sidney Feldshuh, who was a lawyer. She was raised in Scarsdale, New York, an affluent community in Westchester County and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. She started her career under British director Michael Langham at the Guthrie Theater where she was awarded the McKnight Fellowship in Acting.
Feldshuh appeared on the stage under the name Terri Fairchild before deciding to incorporate her Hebrew name and her original surname as her professional name Tovah Feldshuh. She made her Broadway debut in the short-lived 1973 musical Cyrano starring Christopher Plummer. She appeared in the title role in Yentl both off-Broadway at the Chelsea Theater Center and later on Broadway. Both productions are detailed in the book, Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater, which describes tensions between Feldshuh and director Robert Kalfin over the play's interpretation.
Other Broadway credits include Saravà, Lend Me a Tenor, and Golda's Balcony. The last, William Gibson's work about the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, set a record as the longest-running one-woman play in Broadway history on January 2, 2005.
Feldshuh made her cabaret debut at the Algonquin Hotel Oak Room with her act, Tovah: Crossovah! From Broadway to Cabaret, which was followed by Tovah: Out of Her Mind!, which she took on the road to Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Hong Kong, and Sydney. The West End production sold out an eight-week run at the Duke of York's Theatre. The Boston Globe selected her as "Best Cabaret Artist of 2000". She penned the one-woman play Tallulah Hallelujah!, about actress Tallulah Bankhead, in which she also starred.
In 1973, Feldshuh appeared on television in a supporting role in Scream, Pretty Peggy. In 1976 she also had a supporting role in "Ryan's Hope", and later portrayed Katharine Hepburn in The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977), but she came to international prominence as Helena Slomova in the 1978 mini-series Holocaust.
Feldshuh has a recurring role as defense attorney Danielle Melnick on Law & Order. Feature film appearances have included Lady in the Water, The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal, A Walk on the Moon, Happy Accidents, Brewster's Millions, The Idolmaker, The Blue Iguana, A Day in October, The Believer, Love Comes Lately, Just My Luck, and Kissing Jessica Stein. She also played Ruthie in the 2004 film, The Tollbooth.
Feldshuh's most recent film is Goyband, co-starring Adam Pascal, Amy Davidson, Cris Judd, Dean Edwards, Tibor Feldman and Natasha Lyonne. Feldshuh also will star in Acts of Mercy, a psychological thriller. She returned to Broadway in the Dan Gordon play, Irena's Vow in March 2009. She had appeared off-Broadway in this play in September 2008. In 2009, Feldshuh recorded the song "Bein Nahar Prat" for the organization Pioneers For A Cure, with the proceeds benefiting Ellen's Run. In 2012 Feldshuh performed as Mama Rose in a revival of Gypsy. Also in 2012, she appeared as Mossad agent Rivka in the Covert Affairs episode "Wishful Beginnings".
It was announced at the September 21, 2013 Broadway performance of Pippin that Andrea Martin's last performance as Berthe (Pippin's grandmother) would be on September 22, 2013 and that Tovah Feldshuh would be subsequently taking over the role. This casting has since been confirmed. However, Feldshuh is now starring in Gypsy at the Bristol Riverside Theatre as Madame Rose.
Feldshuh married New York attorney Andrew Harris Levy in 1977. They have two children.
For her charity work, she is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award, Hadassah's Myrtle Wreath, and the Israel Peace Medal. The National Foundation for Jewish Culture honored her with the 2002 Jewish Image Award and the Performing Arts award in 2006.
Awards and nominations
- 2005 Method Fest Independent Film Festival for Best Supporting Actress (The Tollbooth, winner)
- 2004 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Golda's Balcony, nominee)
- 2003 Golden Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress (Kissing Jessica Stein, winner)
- 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Law & Order, nominee)
- 2003 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show (Golda's Balcony, winner)
- 1993 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, nominee)
- 1989 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play (Lend Me a Tenor, nominee)
- 1989 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Lend Me a Tenor, winner)
- 1979 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Saravà, nominee)
- 1978 Emmy Award for Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Holocaust, nominee)
- 1976 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Yentl, nominee)
- 1976 Theatre World Award (Yentl, winner)
- 1976 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play (Yentl, nominee)
- 1975 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play (Yentl, nominee)
- 1975 Drama Desk Special Award (Yentl, winner)
- "Tovah Feldshuh Bio". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "Tovah Feldshuh's official website". Tovahfeldshuh.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater by Davi Napoleon, Iowa State University Press, 1991. pp. 156-160.
- Golda's Balcony
- "Tovah Feldshuh official website". Tovahfeldshuh.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Gans, Andrew "Feldshuh to Return to Broadway in March in Irena's Vow" playbill.com, December 22, 2008
- "Tovah Feldshuh Theatre Credits". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- Jewish Culture website - report on Feldshuh[dead link]
- NFJC citations[dead link]
- Official website
- Tovah Feldshuh at the Internet Movie Database
- Tovah Feldshuh at the Internet Broadway Database
- Tovah Feldshuh at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- List of Broadway appearances
- Tovah Feldshuh - Downstage Center interview at American Theatre Wing.org