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Fiddler On The Roof star Chaim Topol dead at 87

The Israeli president’s office has announced the death of actor Chaim Topol, best remembered for his role on stage and screen as Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof.

March 10, 2023
By Emily Rose
10 March 2023

Israeli actor Chaim Topol, best known for his role as Tevye in the 1971 classic musical Fiddler On The Roof, has died aged 87 in Israel, a statement from the president’s office has announced.

The Israeli president on Thursday described Topol as a “gifted actor who conquered many stages in Israel and overseas, filled the cinema screens with his presence and especially entered deep into our hearts.”

Topol received a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Film Comic or Musical for his role as the lead, Tevye, in Fiddler On The Roof and was nominated for an Oscar that same year, according to data from the Haifa University.

The Oscar-nominated actor was reportedly diagnosed with dementia last year.

Topol’s acting career began to gain momentum after he was cast as the titular character in Israeli comedy Sallah Shabati, which earnt him the Golden Globe award for most promising male newcomer.

He went on to star in a number of films, both in Israel and the US, including the 1975 adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo and 1980 sci-fi film Flash Gordon.

Topol scooped a second Golden Globe in 1971, this time for best actor, for his role of Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof.

A 1991 Broadway revival of Fiddler also led to him ebing nominated for a Tony Award for best actor.

In addition to acting, Topol also dedicated his time to charitable causes and founded Variety Israel – an organisation that provides support for children living with disabilities and their families.

Topol also served as the president of Jordan River Village, a free overnight camp for Israeli children living with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

In 2015 he was awarded the Israel Prize – the country’s most prestigious award – for lifetime achievement and special contribution to society and the state.

Topol is survived by his wife Galia, who he married in 1965, and the couple’s three children, daughters Anat and Ady and son Omer.

with PA

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