Chaim Topol, the renowned Israeli actor and singer famous for his portrayal of Tevye in the much-loved musical Fiddler on the Roof, has died at the age of 87.
According to local reports, he peacefully passed away at his home in Israel while surrounded by his family, after being diagnosed with dementia last year.
Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog, paid tribute to Topol, acknowledging him as a gifted actor who had won the hearts of audiences both at home and abroad.
Throughout his career, Topol played the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof more than 3,500 times over five decades, a role which earned him a Golden Globe award in 1971 for the film adaptation. He was also nominated for an Academy Award.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1935, Topol joined the Israeli army at 18 before becoming a member of an entertainment troupe, starting a long career as an actor and singer.
His role in the satirical film Sallah Shabati brought him international acclaim and was the first Israeli film to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Two years later, Topol debuted as Tevye in the Israeli production of Fiddler on the Roof, before moving to London to star in the West End production, which opened on 16 February 16 1967, at Her Majesty’s Theatre, and played for 2,030 performances.