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Chaim Topol

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ star Topol dies in Israel aged 87

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ star Topol dies in Israel aged 87
Israeli actor and singer Chaim Topol as scientist Galileo Galilei in the biographical film 'Galileo', directed by Joseph Losey and based on the play by Bertolt Brecht, UK, 26th July 1974. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM, March 9 (Reuters) - Israeli actor and singer Chaim Topol, best known for his role as Tevye the dairyman in the musical 'Fiddler on the Roof', has died at the age of 87 in Israel.

Topol, known by his last name alone, won worldwide fame talking and singing and dancing his way through “If I Were A Rich Man” and other hits from the show on stage and on screen in the 1971 film version.

“My wife and I, and all the citizens of Israel, with deep pain are parting from our dear Chaim Topol – loved by the audience and one of the great artists of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.

Topol was born in Tel Aviv in 1935 and founded a comedy troupe after completing military service.

His first on-screen role was in “I Like Mike” in 1961, and his part in the Israeli comedy film Sallah Shabbati in 1964 won him his first Golden Globe.

His performance as Tevye won him a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Film Comedy or Musical, and an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog 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.”

(Reporting by Emily Rose; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Andrew Heavens)

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