Actor Chaim Topol, known for his role in “Fiddler on the Roof,” has passed away at the age of 87. The Israeli actor is best known for playing Tevye, the milkman, in the well-known musical.
Topol was “one of the giants of Israeli culture,” as Israeli President Isaac Herzog tweeted upon hearing the news of his passing on Wednesday.
Topol was “a gifted actor who conquered many stages in Israel and overseas, filled the cinema screens with his presence, and above all, entered deep into our hearts,” as the president put it.
The actor who was nominated for an Oscar has dementia. He was born in 1935 and grew up in a low-income neighborhood of Tel Aviv.
You may not be aware, but this year has already seen some prominent fatalities. Via our reporting, you can learn of their deaths:
- Bert I. Gordon Cult Filmmaker of “The Food of the Gods” and “Empire of the Ants” Dies at 100.
- Gary Rossington Founding Member of Lynyrd Skynyrd Has Died at Age 71.
Topol’s breakthrough role was as the title character in the Israeli comedy Sallah Shabati (1964), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for a best new actor.
Topel won his second Golden Globe in 1971 for his performance in the film adaptation of the musical Fiddler on the Roof, in which he had previously starred in a critically acclaimed run on London’s West End.
Topol received an Academy Award nomination for his performance as well. Later, in 1991, he starred in a Broadway revival of the musical and was nominated for a Tony Award for best actor.
The role of Tevye took him all over the world. Through stage and screen, he had played the part over 3,500 times by 2009.
Topol appeared in several films, both Israeli and American, including the 1975 Galileo adaptation (based on the play by Bertolt Brecht), the 1980 science fiction film Flash Gordon, and the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
In 2015, he received the Israel Prize, the country’s highest honor, for his outstanding contributions to Israeli society and the nation as a whole.
Topol’s daughters Anat and Ady, as well as his son Omer, along with his wife Galia, whom he married in 1965, all survive him.
Omer told that his father was an “amazing actor who developed all kinds of tactics to cover up the problems that began to arise”. Omer said –
“When he won the Israel Prize, his Alzheimer’s was in its early stages.”
“He spoke wonderfully at the ceremony, and also at other events, and no one even felt it.”
This was all for our coverage on Chaim Topol, who had passed away at the age of 87 and had been in “Fiddler on the Roof.”