- Used the stage name Fyvush, a Yiddish translation of his legal name, Philip.
- Once studied to be a furrier.
- Was a fixture on the Yiddish theater circuit in New York City and the Catskill Mountains during the early part of his acting career.
- Spent 12 years playing various roles, including patriarch Tevye, in Broadway and touring productions of Fiddler on the Roof.
- Found success on television in his 70s with roles on two series from writer-producer David E. Kelley: Picket Fences and Boston Public.