Fiddler on the Roof and James Bond star Chaim Topol dies aged 87 after Alzheimer’s battle



The Fiddler on the Roof star was best known for his iconic portrayal of long-suffering, charismatic milkman Tevye in the celebrated 1971 musical film. The Israeli president confirmed Chaim’s death on Wednesday via Twitter.

The president, Isaac Herzog, led tributes marking Chaim as “one of the giants of Israeli culture”.

He also declared the Israeli star: “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.”

Although the star’s cause of death was not confirmed, Chaim had been battling Alzheimer’s Disease for years according to Deadline. 

The world-renowned actor first started his career as the titular and beloved character in 1964’s Israeli comedy Sallah Shabati.

His work on the film earned the star his first Golden Globe for the Most Promising Male Newcomer.

Years later the versatile actor took to the West End starring as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof before originating the role on film too in 1971.

His stellar performance earned Chaim another Golden Globe, this time for Best Actor, and his vocals to the tunes of If I Were A Rich Man became an unforgettable part of musical history.

Two decades later, Chaim returned to the stage as Tevye for the Broadway revival of Fiddler, earning him a Tony Award nomination.

It is believed that in total, by the time Chaim officially retired from the role in 2009, he had performed Fiddler on the Roof more than 3,500 times on both stage and screen. 

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