Chaim Topol

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Chaim Topol (Hebrew: חיים טופול‎; born September 9, 1935), often billed simply as Topol, is an Israeli theatrical and film performer.


Early life

Topol was born in Tel Aviv, in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine, (now Israel), to Rel (née Goldman) and Jacob Topol.[1] He first practiced acting in amateur theatrical plays staged by the Israeli Army. Subsequently he established his own theatre troupe in Tel Aviv, and in 1961, he significantly contributed to the foundation of the Haifa Municipal Theatre.

Acting career

Among Topol's earliest film appearances was the lead role in the 1964 film Sallah Shabati by Ephraim Kishon — a play, later adapted for film, depicting the hardships of a Mizrachi Jewish immigrant family in Israel of the early 1960s. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and earned the actor the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor. In 1966, Topol made his first English-language screen appearance as Abou Ibn Kaqden in the big-budget Mickey Marcus biopic Cast a Giant Shadow.

He came to greatest prominence in the role of Tevye the milkman in the long-running musical show Fiddler on the Roof, at Her Majesty's Theatre.[2] After scoring a major success on the West End stage, he later starred in the 1971 film version.

In 1972, Topol won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the film. He was on active service with the Israeli army at the time, but was granted permission to attend the awards ceremonies. Some of his other notable appearances were in Galileo (1975), Flash Gordon (1980), and as Milos Columbo in James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only (1981).[3]

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