The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, was the first run of a musical in history to surpass the 3,000 performance mark. Fiddler held the record for the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until Grease surpassed its run. It remains Broadway's fourteenth longest-running show in history. The production was extraordinarily profitable and highly acclaimed. It was nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning nine, including Best Musical, score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned four Broadway revivals, a successful 1971 film adaptation, and the show has enjoyed enduring international popularity.
The original Tevye was played by Zero Mostel who was the best. Others that followed him were Herschel Bernardi, Theodore Bikel, Leonard Nemoy (yes Spock), Paul Lipson, Chaim Topol (also starred in the film version), Alfie Bass, Lex Goudsmit, Henry Goodman, Alfred Molina and Harvey Fierstein (who I'm seeing tomorrow). Other well known actors to perform in the production include Andrea Martin (Golde), Rosie O'Donnell (Golde), Beatrice Arthur (Yente), Bette Midler (Tzeitel), Bert Cony (Perchik), Adrienne Barbeau (Hodel), and Fyvush Finkel (Mordcha).
Here are some of the leads: