Norma Crane (born Norma Anna Bella Zuckerman; November 10, 1928 — September 28, 1973) was an American actress of stage, film, and television best known for her role as Golde in the 1971 film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof. She also starred in They Call Me Mister Tibbs! and Penelope. Crane was born in New York City, but raised in El Paso, Texas.[1]

Norma Crane
Norma Crane in Penelope.jpg
Crane in 1966
Norma Anna Bella Zuckerman

(1928-11-10)November 10, 1928
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedSeptember 28, 1973(1973-09-28) (aged 44)
Resting placeWestwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Los Angeles
Years active1951–1973
Spouse(s)Herb Sargent
(m. 1961; div. 19??)
On the set of the CBS anthology TV series Studio One, a production of 1984 (U.S. TV program). L-R: scenic designer Kim Swados, Norma Crane, Eddie Albert, and director Paul Nickell


Born to a Jewish family in New York City and raised in El Paso, Crane studied drama at Texas State College for Women in Denton,[2] and was a member of Elia Kazan's Actors Studio.[3] She made her debut on Broadway in Arthur Miller's play The Crucible.[1]

Throughout the 1950s, she appeared on a variety of live television dramas, first gaining recognition in a televised adaptation of George Orwell's 1984.[1] She played Ellie Martin in Vincente Minnelli's film version of Tea and Sympathy. She appeared in the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "There Was an Old Woman" the 1958 episode "The Equalizer" and the 1959 episode “Appointment at Eleven”. Also in 1959, she portrayed “Tilda” on the TV Western Gunsmoke.

She guest-starred four times on the CBS western television series Have Gun – Will Travel with Richard Boone. She appeared on an episode of ABC's The Untouchables as Lily Dallas, a ruthless gang leader, and she appeared in two other episodes.

In 1960, Crane appeared as Sarah Prentice in the episode "River Champion" of the NBC Western series Riverboat starring Darren McGavin. A few weeks later, Crane was cast as Sarah in the episode "Deadly Tomorrow" of the ABC adventure series The Islanders, set in the South Pacific.

In 1961, Crane guest-starred in the title role in the episode "The Return of Widow Brown" of the NBC Western The Deputy. Later that year she re-appeared on Gunsmoke in an episode entitled "Perce", as well as in an episode of The Asphalt Jungle. In 1965, Crane guest-starred as Mrs. Mavis Hull in The Fugitive episode "Masquerade" and a 1968 episode of The Flying Nun.

Personal lifeEdit

In 1961, she married writer-producer Herb Sargent; the marriage ended in divorce.[4]


Crane died of breast cancer at age 44 in Los Angeles, California, two years after the release of Fiddler on the Roof (1971), her last film.[5] She is interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.[citation needed]


Year Title Role Notes
1956 Tea and Sympathy Ellie Martin
1961 All in a Night's Work Marge Coombs
1966 Penelope Mildred
1968 The Sweet Ride Mrs. Cartwright
1970 They Call Me Mister Tibbs! Marge Garfield
1970 The Movie Murderer Ellen Farrington
1971 Fiddler on the Roof Golde


  1. ^ a b c "Norma Crane, Starred in 'Fiddler'". St. Petersburg Times. 1973-09-29. p. 11-B. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  2. ^ "New Carol Lombard". The Baltimore Sun. 1961-09-03. p. A6. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  3. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 280. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  4. ^ Finstad, Suzanne (2009). Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood. Crown p. 308. ISBN 978-0-3074-2866-0.
  5. ^ "NORMA CRANE DEAD; PLAYED TEVYE'S WIFE". The New York Times. 1973-09-29. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-08-04.

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