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97. ZERO MOSTELSamuel Mostel
, born in Brownsville, is best remembered for his stage work—especially for originating the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof
. But his storied theater career was almost accidental. Surely he would have made a career in pictures and television, had he not been blacklisted after B-movie screenwriter (and one of Brooklyn’s Worst People Ever) Martin Berkeley fingered him as a Communist, along with 154 other industry members; Mostel survived the 1950s mostly by selling paintings—he was also an artist—but there was no blacklist on the New York stage, where he would eventually win a Tony for Tevye, earning him an invitation to the White House. Take that, HUAC. Later, he would return to the movies, starring in The Producers
as Max Bialystock, dubiously laying the foundation for Nathan Lane to make a billion dollars.