Israeli Actor, Chaim Topol dead at 87

Chaim Topol

The actor Chaim Topol, best known for playing Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” passed away in Israel on Thursday after “a protracted illness,” his representative told CNN. He was 87.

On Thursday, Topol received praise and condolences from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described him as a “multifaceted artist, with enormous charisma and energy.”

“The story of Haim Topol’s life has been sealed but I am certain that his contribution to Israeli culture will live on for generations,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “He greatly loved the land of Israel, and the people of Israel loved him in return.”

Topol, who was born on September 9, 1935, in Tel Aviv, was known professionally by his last name.

He started his acting career after joining the entertainment unit while serving in the Israeli army. He met his future wife Galia Topol while serving, too.

He received numerous international film awards for his acting, including two Golden Globes: Most promising rookie for playing in 1965

Most promising newcomer for plaing the role of  “Sallah Shabati” in 1965  and best actor in a motion picture comedy or musical for “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1972.

He was also nominated for an Oscar in 1971 for his portrayal of Tevye the milkman.

In 1980 he played Dr. Hans Zarkov in “Flash Gordon” and Milos Columbo alongside Roger Moore in ” For Your Eyes Only” in 1981.

On Thursday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog published a statement on Twitter in remembrance of the late actor.

“From fiddler on the roof to the roof of the world, Haim Topol, who has passed away from us, was one of the most outstanding Israeli stage artists, 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.”

“Topol was one of the giants of Israeli culture and he will be greatly missed,” Herzog tweeted.

According to Herzog and Netanyahu, Topol was also involved in charity work with sick and disabled children.

Topol is survived by his wife and their three children.

May his soul rest in peace.

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