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April 2, 2015 11:30 am

Chaim Topol of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ to Receive Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement

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Actor Chaim Topol played Tevye in the "Fiddler on the Roof" musical and film adaptation. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – The Israeli Education Ministry announced Monday that actor Chaim Topol, who played Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof both on stage and in the iconic film adaptation, will be awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement.

Topol had won a Golden Globe award in 1972 for his performance as Tevye, and he was nominated for an Academy Award. In addition to his most famous role, Topol also acted in other films, including the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.

In Israel, Topol had served in the Nahal singing troupe of the IDF and is a founder of the Haifa Theater. His most famous Israeli film role was in the 1964 film Sallah Shabati, which was the first Israeli film nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign movie.

Topol spoke to Haaretz in the wake of the announcement, telling that newspaper that “as they say in English, better than a slap in the face.” But he expressed “mixed feeling because I have been hearing for five years about people who I think really deserve to win this prize and they haven’t been given it.”

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