Chaim Topol, actor in Fiddler on Roof, has passed away at the age 87.
The Israeli actor who played Tevye in the musical is his most well-known role. He was nominated for an Oscar.
On Wednesday, Isaac Herzog, the Israeli president, confirmed his death by posting a tweet in which he called Topol “one of Israel’s giants of culture”.
Topol was described by the president as “a gifted actor, who conquered many stage in Israel and abroad, filled the cinema screens and entered deeply into our hearts with his presence”
Last year, the Oscar-nominated actor was diagnosed as having dementia.
He was born in 1935 and grew up in Tel Aviv’s working-class neighborhood.
After starring in the 1964 Israeli comedy Sallah Shabati as the title character, Topol’s career was launched. He won a Golden Globe award to be the most promising male newcomer.
In 1971, he won a second Golden Globe for best actor for his performance in Fiddler on the Roof. This adaptation was made for the screen after Topel had starred in a successful run on London’s West End.
When he starred as the lead in the 1991 Broadway revival, he was nominated for a Tony Award.
He played the role of Tevye throughout the globe. He had already performed the role over 3,500 times on screen and stage by 2009.
Topol was a star in many American and Israeli films, including the 1975 adaptation Bertolt Birecht’s Galileo, Flash Gordon (1980), and For Your Eyes Only (1981) of James Bond.
In 2015, he was awarded the Israel Prize, the most prestigious award in the country for his lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to society and the nation.
Topol’s wife Galia, whom he married in 1965 and their daughters Anat, Ady, and Omer are his survivors.
Omer stated to an Israeli news outlet that his father was “amazing actor” who invented all sorts of strategies to hide the problems that had begun to emerge.
Omer stated that his Alzheimer’s disease was still in its early stages when he won the Israel Prize.
“He spoke beautifully at the ceremony and at other events and it was felt by everyone.”