Fiddler on the Roof writer dies

Zero Mostel in Fiddler on the Roof

Zero Mostel in Fiddler on the Roof

The writer behind the stage and screen versions of the musical Fiddler on the Roof has died at the age of 98.

Playwright Joseph Stein, who won a prestigious Tony award in 1965 for the Broadway hit, had been suffering from prostate cancer. He died in New York.

Born to Polish immigrants to New York, he worked with Woody Allen and Mel Brooks, and wrote for both radio and television.

Mr Stein adapted the story of an Anatevka milkman, his meddling wife and five wilful daughters from the Shalom Aleichem story, Tevye and his daughters.

It became the first musical in Broadway history to run for more than 3,000 performances.

The film, made in 1971, was awarded three Academy Awards.

His follow-up to Fiddler, a musical called Rags, about the arrival of a penniless Jewish immigrant in America, closed after four performances in 1986.

Watch a clip from Fiddler on the Roof here

Last updated: 9:34am, October 27 2010