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David Opatoshu

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Title: David Opatoshu  
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David Opatoshu

David Opatoshu
Born David Opatovsky
(1918-01-30)January 30, 1918
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died April 30, 1996(1996-04-30) (aged 78)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor; screenwriter
Spouse(s) Lillian Weinberg (m. 1941–96)(his death)

David Opatoshu (January 30, 1918 – April 30, 1996) was an American film, stage and television actor. He was born as David Opatovsky in New York City, where he was reared and educated.[1] His father was the Yiddish writer Joseph Opatoshu.


His career in television began in 1949 and lasted through the 1980s. In the fall of 1953, he played a theatrical agent representing Ezio Pinza's title character in the NBC situation comedy Bonino. Other costars were Mary Wickes, Chet Allen, and Van Dyke Parks. The series focused upon an Italian American opera singer trying to rear his six children after having been widowed.[2]

He played Anan 7 in the original Star Trek series episode "A Taste of Armageddon", and also co-starred with James Doohan in an episode of The Twilight Zone, entitled "Valley of the Shadow". He guest-starred in the 1964 The Outer Limits episode "A Feasibility Study", in the 1965 two-part episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. called "The Alexander the Greater Affair," in the 1969 season 3 Ironside episode "L'Chayim", in the "No Way To Treat a Relative" episode of the 1973 situation comedy Needles and Pins (never broadcast because of the show '​s cancellation), the 1977 The Bionic Woman episode "Doomsday is Tomorrow", the 1981 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Time of the Hawk", and the 1981 miniseries Masada. On October 30, 1989, Mr. Opatashu guest-starred as the Tenctonese ex-slave 'Paul Revere', in the episode "Night of the Screams", of the television series Alien Nation. In 1991 he won an Emmy for his guest appearance in the episode "A Prayer for the Goldsteins" of the ABC series Gabriel's Fire.[3]


His first film, The Light Ahead (1939), directed by Henry Felt and Edgar G. Ulmer, is notable for being entirely in Yiddish. Opatoshu appeared as the homicide detective, Sgt. Ben Miller, in the film noir, The Naked City (1948) produced by Mark Hellinger. In 1958, he played a supporting character in The Brothers Karamazov with soon-to-be Star Trek co-star William Shatner. He also portrayed Herr Jacobi, one of the people who help Paul Newman and Julie Andrews escape from East Germany in Alfred Hitchcock's 1966 film Torn Curtain.

He played the Irgun leader (and Ari Ben Canaan's estranged uncle) in Otto Preminger's 1960 film Exodus. In the 1977 film, Raid on Entebbe, he played the part of Menachem Begin, a film based on the actual Operation Entebbe and the freeing of hostages at Entebbe Airport in Entebbe, Uganda on July 4, 1976.


He appeared on Broadway in The Wall in 1960, and Bravo Giovanni in 1962, and others.


David Opatoshu also wrote the screenplay for the film Romance of a Horsethief (fr) (1971), based on a novel by his father, Joseph Opatoshu.


David Opatoshu was survived by his wife, Lillian Weinberg, a psychiatric social worker, whom he married on June 10, 1941. They had one child together, a son, Danny. Lillian died on May 13, 2000.[4]


  1. ^ New York Times
  2. ^ IMDb
  3. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1441.  
  4. ^ The New York Times

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