Chaim Topol, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Actor, Dies Aged 87

Topol was known by his last name alone and famous for his performance as Tevye in both the musical and film

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The actor Chaim Topol, best known for his portrayal of milkman Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof, has died at the age of 87, Israel's president has said.

Topol, who was widely known by his last name alone, died at home in Israel on Wednesday while surrounded by his family, local media reported. His son had recently confirmed that he had been diagnosed with dementia last year.

Topol's death was confirmed in a statement shared on Twitter by Israel's president Isaac Herzog described him 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 played Tevye in the stage musical Fiddler On The Roof over five decades, once estimating that he had performed the role more than 3,500 times. He also played the pious Jewish father in the 1971 film, for which he won a Golden Globe award for best actor, and was nominated for best actor at the Academy Awards.

A 1991 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof also saw Topol nominated for a Tony Award for best actor.

He was just 30 years old when he first began playing fiftysomething Tevye on stage in 1966, Topol used makeup and costuming to make himself appear older and heavier than his years; in 2009, when he finished performing the role in his 70s, he had to act younger than his years.

In 2015 Topol 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, whom he married in 1965, and the couple's daughters, Anat and Ady, and son, Omer.



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From This Author - Aliya Al-Hassan

Aliya Al-Hassan is UK Managing Editor of BroadwayWorld. A London-based theatre critic and journalist, she has a life-long passion for the arts, with a focus on theatre. She is always keen to... (read more about this author)



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