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November 30: Mandy Patinkin

November 30, 2014

ne_27504Singer and actor Mandy Patinkin, whose varied and interesting career has included several Jewish highlights — including his 1998 Mameloshn show and album of Yiddish songs, his role alongside Barbra Streisand in Yentl, and his current role as sympatico spy Saul Berenson on television’s Homeland — was born in Chicago on this date in 1952. His other stage productions include Evita (for which he won a Tony), Sunday in the Park with George (a Tony again; Patinkin has called Stephen Sondheim “the Shakespeare of the musical theater world”), The Secret Garden, The Wild Party, and An Evening with Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin. Films in which he has been featured include Ragtime, Dick Tracy, Alien Nation, The Princess Bride, and Wish I Was Here. He quit the television show Criminal Minds after two seasons because, he said, “I never thought they were going to kill and rape all these women every night, every day, week after week, year after year. It was very destructive to my soul and my personality.” In 2012, Patinkin delivered a speech at Peace Now’s Annual Convention of the Israeli Left, where he described his visit to the West Bank with members of Breaking the Silence, the organization of Israeli military resisters. “If there’s one wish that I have in life,” he told Esquire magazine in 2012, “it’s to connect, to connect to my children, connect to my wife, connect to my friends, to connect to you. On my tombstone, I’d like it to say: ‘He tried to connect.’ ” To see him singing, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” look below.

“I desperately want to see the day today and do the best I can not to miss a shred of sunlight. It’ll be over before I know it.” —Mandy Patinkin

Bob Simon profiled Mandy Pantinkin on the November 16, 2014 episode of 60 Minutes: