Tutte Lemkow

Tutte Lemkow (28 August 1918 – 10 November 1991) was a Norwegian actor and dancer, who played mostly villainous roles in British television and films. His chief claims to mainstream familiarity were his roles as the fiddler in the film version of Fiddler on the Roof and the old man ("Imam") who translates the Staff of Ra for Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Tutte Lemkow
Lemkow in The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Isak Samuel Lemkow

(1918-08-28)28 August 1918
Oslo, Norway
Died10 November 1991(1991-11-10) (aged 73)
London, UK
Years active1945–1985
Spouse(s)Mai Zetterling (1944–1953)
Sara Luzita (1954–?)


Lemkow appeared as a dancer in John Huston's 1952 film Moulin Rouge and in Blake Edwards' A Shot in the Dark as the Cossack who drinks the poison intended for Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau, Sellers' films The Wrong Arm of the Law, The Wrong Box and Ghost in the Noonday Sun, Woody Allen's Love and Death and the Morecambe and Wise comedy film The Intelligence Men (1965).

He played three roles in Doctor Who with William Hartnell's Doctor: Kuiju in Marco Polo (1964), Ibrahim in The Crusade (1965) and Cyclops in The Myth Makers (1965), as well as providing choreography for The Celestial Toymaker (1966) and Casino Royale (1967).

ln 1968 he played the role of 'Old Gorgy' in the episode "Legacy of Death" of The Avengers.

He adapted Ibsen's play for the 1983 film The Wild Duck.[1]

Personal life

Lemkow was born in Oslo, Norway of Jewish heritage.[2] He was married to Swedish actress Mai Zetterling from 1944 to 1953. In 1954, he married dancer Sara Luzita.

Tutte Lemkow died in London at the age of 73. A biography called "Tutte Lemkow; På tå og hev" written by Margaret Ljunggren was published in Oslo in 1989. (Gyldendal Norsk Forlag A/S)



  1. Törnqvist, Egil (1999). Ibsen, Strindberg and the Intimate Theatre: Studies in TV Presentation. Amsterdam University Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-90-5356-371-7.
  2. Barnes, Clive (7 June 1975). "Stage: Kafka Double Bill; Tutte Lemkow Provides Eerie Mixture of Theater, Film and Lecture". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
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