Feldshuh in 2004
|Born||Terri Sue Feldshuh
December 27, 1952 
New York City, New York, United States
|Occupation||Actress, singer, playwright|
|Spouse(s)||Andrew Harris Levy|
Terri Sue "Tovah" Feldshuh (born December 27, 1952) is an American actress, singer and playwright. She has been a Broadway star for more than four decades, earning four Tony Award nominations. She has also received two Emmy Award nominations for Holocaust and Law & Order, and appeared in such films as A Walk on the Moon, She's Funny That Way, and Kissing Jessica Stein. More recently, she has perhaps become best known for her role as Deanna Monroe on AMC's television adaptation of The Walking Dead.
Feldshuh was born to a Jewish family in New York City, the daughter of Lillian (née Kaplan) and Sidney Feldshuh, who was a lawyer. Her brother David Feldshuh is the Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright of Miss Evers' Boys.
She was raised in Scarsdale, New York, 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 said of her name changes: "I fell in love with a Christian boy, Michael Fairchild, who didn't want to kiss a Terri Sue. He said: 'Terri Sue doesn't fit you at all. What's that other name of yours? Tovah? Now that's a name!" She has joked[when?] that she could have changed her name to "Goody Two-Shoes," since "Tovah" is Hebrew for "good," while "Feldshuh" translates from German as "field shoe."
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, William Gibson's work about the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Golda's Balcony 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! She took the latter show 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." In 2000, she co-wrote and performed in a one-woman play about actress Tallulah Bankhead titled Tallulah Hallelujah!
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 in the following year, 1977, she played Katharine Hepburn in The Amazing Howard Hughes. However, Feldshuh came to international prominence as Helena Slomova in the 1978 mini-series Holocaust, based on Gerald Green's novel. Between 1991 and 2007, Feldshuh had a recurring role as defense attorney Danielle Melnick on Law & Order.
Feldshuh's 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 appeared as Ruthie in the 2004 film The Tollbooth.
Feldshuh appeared in Goyband, co-starring Adam Pascal, Amy Davidson, Cris Judd, Dean Edwards, Tibor Feldman and Natasha Lyonne. She was also slated to star in the psychological thriller Acts of Mercy. 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.
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 the following day and that Feldshuh would be subsequently taking over the role.
In February 2015, she performed a one-woman show which she called Aging Is Optional at 54 Below. In March 2015, she made her debut in a starring role on AMC's highly rated The Walking Dead. Feldshuh had never seen the show before being cast as former politician Deanna Monroe, whose character Feldshuh says she based on Hillary Clinton.
Feldshuh married New York attorney Andrew Harris Levy in 1977. Actress Ruth Gordon was her maid of honor. They have a son, Garson, an economist and graduate of Harvard and Oxford universities; and a daughter, Amanda, who graduated from MIT. When Amanda married in 2014, Feldshuh gave her the advice, “You know how to have a successful marriage? Shut one eye, and don't leave. Some of it's fun and some of it isn't. It can be challenging, but you do not leave the field of play.” Her nephew, Noah Feldshuh, is a member of alternative rock band X Ambassadors.
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.
When doing research for her role as Irene Gut Opdyke in the play Irena's Vow, Feldshuh traveled to Borshchiv, Ukraine, and discovered that her own ancestor, Moishe Feldshuh, had lived there in the early 20th century.
In March 2015, Feldshuh hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro with her son. She told Variety she was inspired after the 2014 death of her mother at age 103, and her own athletic role in Pippin, in which she had to swing on a trapeze. "I really do feel we're only in this body once," she said. "I just want enough money to buy experience. I can forego a dress, but the idea of taking a trip and trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro, or going on the Trans-Siberian railroad, or tracking lemurs in Madagascar — these things are very exciting to me. To see the world until I leave my own body. It’s now or not at all."
|1980||The Idolmaker||Brenda Roberts|
|1981||Cheaper to Keep Her||K. D. Locke|
|1984||An All Consuming Passion||Vivian Palmer||Video|
|1985||Silver Bullet||Older Jane's voice|
|1988||The Blue Iguana||Detective Vera Quinn|
|1991||En dag i oktober||Emma Kublitz|
|1995||The Real Shlemiel||Voices|
|1995||Comfortably Numb||Victoria Stevens|
|1997||Hudson River Blues||Charlotte|
|1998||Charlie Hoboken||Angie Cedars|
|1999||A Walk on the Moon||Lillian Kantrowitz|
|1999||The Corruptor||Margaret Wheeler|
|2000||Happy Accidents||Lillian Weaver|
|2001||The Believer||Woman in Shul|
|2001||Kissing Jessica Stein||Judy Stein||Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture|
|2001||Friends & Family||Alma Jennings|
|2001||Old Love||Ethel Brockeles||Short|
|2001||The 3 Little Wolfs||Sarah Wolf|
|2002||Noon Blue Apples||Sponge-Brush Woman|
|2002||The End of the Bar||Mrs. Garner|
|2004||The Tollbooth||Ruthie Cohen||Method Fest Independent Film Festival - Best Supporting Actress|
|2005||Life on the Ledge||Mother|
|2005||The Reality Trap||Irina Bolton|
|2006||Just My Luck||Madame Z|
|2006||Lady in the Water||Mrs. Bubchik|
|2006||O Jerusalem||Golda Meir|
|2007||The Shallow End of the Ocean||Jason's Mother||Short|
|2007||Love Comes Lately||Ethel|
|2008||A House Divided||Rebecca Meir|
|2009||Acts of Mercy||Nurse Ruth Baker|
|2010||A Buddy Story||Buddy's Mom|
|2010||Ten Stories Tall||Grace Parker|
|2012||All the Broken Pieces||Grandmother||Short|
|2014||A Little Game||Blackstone Head of School|
|2015||She's Funny That Way||Miriam|
|TBA||Unreachable by Conventional Means||David's Mom|
|1973||Scream, Pretty Peggy||Agnes Thornton||TV Movie|
|1976||Ryan's Hope||Martha McKee||12 Episodes|
|1976||Serpico||Erica Molinas||Episode: "Rapid Fire"|
|1977||Family||Susan Bowers||Episode: "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall..."|
|1977||The Bob Newhart Show||Veronica Kidd||Episode: "The Heartbreak Kidd"|
|1977||Barnaby Jones||Laura Woods||Episode: "Circle of Treachery"|
|1977||The Amazing Howard Hughes||Katharine Hepburn||TV Movie|
|1977||The World of Darkness||Clara Sanford||TV Movie|
|1977||The Love Boat||Susan Ridley||1 Episode|
|1978||Holocaust||Helena Slomova||4 Episodes|
|1978||Once Upon a Classic||Sandy||Episode: "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"|
|1978||Terror Out of the Sky||Jeannie Devereux||TV Movie|
|1979||The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal||Florence||TV Movie|
|1979||Beggarman, Thief||Monika Wolner||TV Movie|
|1980||The Women's Room||Iso||TV Movie|
|1980||Murder Ink||Laura Ireland|
|1984||Airwolf||Sarah Lebow||Episode: "Fight Like a Dove"|
|1984||The Love Boat||Margo Bush||1 Episode|
|1985||The Equalizer||Samantha Page||Episode: "Desperately"|
|1987||Mariah||Deena Hertz||7 Episodes|
|1987||L.A. Law||Lynn Palmer||2 Episodes|
|1990||ABC Afterschool Specials||Mrs. Carr||Episode: "All That Glitters"|
|1991||Against the Law||Connor||Episode: "Evil Conduct"|
|1991–07||Law & Order||Danielle Melnick||13 Episodes|
|1992||Lifestories: Families in Crisis||1 Episode|
|1992||Citizen Cohn||Iva Schlesinger||TV Movie|
|1992||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Denise Warshak||Episode: "Sexual Considerations"|
|1993||TriBeCa||Sheila Goldberg||Episode: "The Loft"|
|1994||The Cosby Mysteries||Rose||Episode: "Home, Street Home"|
|1995||Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story||Eleanor Alter||TV Movie|
|1997||All My Children||Lila Stevenson||2 Episodes|
|1998||A Will of their Own||Mrs. Rubenstein||1 Episode|
|1999||Cosby||Episode: "There's Something About Hilton"|
|2002||The Education of Max Bickford||Sharon Bickford||2 Episodes|
|2003||Queens Supreme||Marie||Episode: "Flawed Heroes"|
|2003||The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced||Narrator||TV Movie Documentary|
|2006||Crossing Jordan||Mrs. Elaine Brandau||3 Episodes|
|2010||Ugly Betty||Mrs. Varner||Episode: "Blackout!"|
|2010||The Good Wife||Lena||Episode: "Doubt"|
|2011||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Danielle Melnick||Episode: "To the Boy in the Blue Knit Cap"|
|2012||Beautiful People||Lynch||TV Movie|
|2012||Covert Affairs||Rivka Singer||2 Episodes|
|2015||Blue Bloods||Sylvia Hayden||Episode: "Bad Company"|
|2015||Flesh and Bone||Ivana||6 Episodes|
|2015–16||The Walking Dead||Deanna Monroe||11 Episodes|
|2015–present||Crazy Ex-Girlfriend||Naomi Bunch||Recurring|
Awards and nominations
- 2016 Saturn Awards for Best Support Actress in a Drama Series ("The Walking Dead", nominee)
- 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)
- John A. Willis (2000). Screen World Volume 50: 1999. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. p. 307. ISBN 978-1-55783-410-2.
- "Tovah Feldshuh Bio". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "Tovah Feldshuh's official website". Tovahfeldshuh.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Jerry Tallmer (March 4, 2009). "Finding herself". The Villager. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
- Chelsea on the Edge: The Adventures of an American Theater by Davi Napoleon, Iowa State University Press, 1991. pp. 156-160.
- "''Golda's Balcony''". Goldasbalcony.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
- "Tovah Feldshuh official website". Tovahfeldshuh.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "Tallulah Hallelujah". Theatermania.com. 2000.
- Gans, Andrew "Feldshuh to Return to Broadway in March in Irena's Vow" playbill.com, December 22, 2008
- "Tovah Feldshuh in Gypsy | Bristol Riverside Theatre". Brtstage.org. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
- "Welcome to Tovah Feldshuh's Official Site!". Tovahfeldshuh.com. Retrieved 2014-08-15.
- Holden, Stephen (February 21, 2015). "Review: Tovah Feldshuh Embraces Life at 54 Below". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
- Geoff Berkshire (March 1, 2015). "'Walking Dead' Q&A: Tovah Feldshuh On Playing Alexandria Leader Deanna Monroe and Rick's Big Shave". Variety. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
- Rosalie R. Radomsky (December 7, 2014). "A Broadway Baby Takes on a Co-Star". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
- Feldshuh, Tovah (June 23, 2015). "Tovah Feldshuh tweet (Verified Account)". Twitter.com. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
My nephew Noah Feldshuh goes on Jimmy Fallon tonight he's the gorgeous one on the far right
- Jewish Culture website - report on Feldshuh Archived June 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- NFJC citations Archived June 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.