October 26, 2010
‘Fiddler on the Roof’ writer Joseph Stein dies at 98
Joseph Stein, the Tony Award-winning writer of “Fiddler on the Roof,” has died.
Stein died Sunday in Manhattan after fracturing his skull in a fall. He was 98.
Stein wrote more than a dozen Broadway musicals, but is best known for “Fiddler,” which won nine Tony Awards in 1965, including Stein’s Best Author of a Musical.
He began his career in writing after meeting comedian and actor Zero Mostel, who played Tevya in the original Broadway production of “Fiddler,” and writing him some material, according to The New York Times.
Stein also wrote “Enter Laughing,” a comedy based on an autobiographical book by Carl Reiner about a Jewish boy who wants to become an actor, as well as “Zorba” and “Rags.” He wrote screenplays for three shows including “Fiddler,” and also wrote a handful of television projects.
Stein earned a degree in social work from Columbia University in 1937 and worked for a decade as a psychiatric social worker.