Philip “Fyvush” Finkel died today at the age of 93. He was an American actor known as a star of Yiddish theater and for his role as lawyer Douglas Wambaugh on the television series Picket Fences, for which he earned an Emmy Award in 1994. He is also known for his portrayal of Harvey Lipschultz, a crotchety history teacher, on the television series Boston Public.
Finkel was born at home in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, the third of four sons of Jewish immigrant tailor Harry Finkel (from Warsaw) and housewife Mary (from Minsk). He adopted the stage name “Fyvush”, a common Yiddish given name.
Finkel was married to Trudi Lieberman from March 1947 until her death in 2008. They had two sons: Ian, a musical arranger, and Elliot, a concert pianist.