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HomeNewsChaim Topol, 'Fiddler on the Roof' star, dies at 87

Chaim Topol, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ star, dies at 87


Chaim Topol, the award-winning actor known to audiences around the world for his lead performance in “Fiddler on the Roof” on both stage and screen, has died at the age of 87.

His death was announced Thursday by Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who recalled Topol in a tweet as “one of the most outstanding Israeli stage artists, a talented actor who conquered many stages in Israel and abroad, filled movie screens with his presence and, above all, everything, penetrated deeply into our hearts.”

Born in Tel Aviv in 1935, Topol played the Jewish milkman Tevye in more than 3,500 performances of “Fiddler on the Roof”. She was part of the original West End cast of the musical in 1967 before reprising the role in the classic 1971 film adaptation directed by Norman Jewison.

Topol, as he was known mononymously, received an Oscar nomination for his performance in the film and won honors at the Golden Globe Awards and the David di Donatello Awards, Italy’s premier film ceremony.

He reprized Tevye in a 1980 London revival and later played the character in Broadway revivals in 1990 and 1994. He last appeared in the role in 2009.

“YO did not grow up in hollywood”Topol told The Associated Press during a 2015 interview in Tel Aviv. “I grew up on a kibbutz here and started working at the age of 14 in a printing press. Obviously, when you’re successful in a movie and the money is flowing, yes, obviously, it’s very nice. But to tell you that’s the most important thing, I’m not sure.”

The actor also won a Golden Globe for the 1964 Israeli comedy “Sallah Shabati,” in which he played the title role. He later appeared as a teacher in the 1980 superhero space opera “Flash Gordon” and played James Bond ally Milos Columbo in 1981’s “For Your Eyes Only.”

Survived by his wife and three children, Topol was awarded Israel’s highest cultural honor, the Israel Prize, in 2015 to commemorate his life and career.

“He loved the land of Israel very much, and the people of Israel loved him in return”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted on Thursday.

“Topol was a versatile artist, with great charisma and energy. He proudly represented Israel around the world and received international recognition few have received. His works and his films were extraordinary experiences.”

with cable news services

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