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Terri Sue "Tovah" Feldshuh (born December 27, 1952) is an American actress, singer and playwright.

Life and career

Early life

Feldshuh (pronounced feld-shoe) was born to a Jewish family in New York Citymarker, the daughter of Lillian (née Kaplan) and Sidney Feldshuh, who was a lawyer. She was raised in Scarsdale, an affluent community in Westchester Countymarker and graduated from Sarah Lawrence Collegemarker. She started her career under Britishmarker director Michael Langham at the Guthrie Theatermarker in Minneapolismarker, where she was awarded the McKnight Fellowship in Acting.


Feldshuh appeared on the stage under the name Terri Fairchild before adopting Tovah, her Hebrew name. She made her Broadwaymarker 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 also describes tensions between Feldshuh and director Robert Kalfin over the play's interpretation.

Additional Broadway credits include Saravà, Lend Me a Tenor, and Golda's Balcony. The latter, William Gibson's work about the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, 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 Hotelmarker Oak Room with her act Tovah: Crossovah! From Broadway to Cabaret, which was followed by Tovah: Out of Her Mind!, which she took on the road to Philadelphiamarker, Houstonmarker, Dallasmarker, San Franciscomarker, Los Angelesmarker, Chicagomarker, Hong Kongmarker, and Sydneymarker. The West End production sold out an eight-week run at the Duke of York's Theatremarker. The Boston Globe selected her as "Best Cabaret Artist of 2000".

Feldshuh penned the one-woman play Tallulah Hallelujah!, about actress Tallulah Bankhead, in which she also starred.

In 1973, Feldshuh appeared on television in a supporting role in the Movie of the Week Scream, Pretty Peggy and later portrayed Katharine Hepburn in The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977), but she came to international prominence as Helena Slomova in the 1978 mini-series Holocaust. Throughout her career, she has continued to make numerous appearances in television movies and primetime series.

Feldshuh has a recurring role as defense attorney Danielle Melnick on Law & Order. Feature film appearances have included A Walk on the Moon, Happy Accidents, Brewster's Millions, The Idolmaker, The Blue Iguana, A Day in October, The Believer, Just My Luck, and Kissing Jessica Stein. She also played "Ruthie", a well-meaning but traditional-and-loud-about-it Jewish mother in the 2004 coming of age film, The Tollbooth.

Feldshuh just completed the feature film Goyband with Adam Pascal, Amy Davidson, Cris Judd, Dean Edwards,Tibor Feldman and Natasha Lyonne. She also stars on the up and coming film Acts of Mercy, a psychological thriller shot on location at the Sunland Hospital in Orlando, Florida.

She returned to Broadway in the Dan Gordon play Irena's Vow in March 2009. She appeared off-Broadway in this play in September 2008.

Tovah is scheduled to appear in "R.R.R.E.D.: A Secret Musical," part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival on October 2, 2009 at the 45th Street Theatre.

Personal life

Feldshuh married New York attorney Andrew Harris Levy in 1977. They have two children. 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.

Her brother David Feldshuh is the Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright of Miss Evers' Boys.

Awards and nominations


  1. Factiva Search
  2. Tovah Feldshuh Biography (1952-)
  3. [1] Tovah Feldshuh website
  4. [2] Golda's Balcony
  5. [3] Tova Feldshuh website
  6. Gans, Andrew "Feldshuh to Return to Broadway in March in Irena's Vow", December 22, 2008
  7. [4] [5] NFJC citations

External links

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