Topol, star of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ on screen and stage, dies at 87

In June, as Israel fought the Six Day War, he left preparations and returned home, where he entertained the troops. (He would make a similar decision with the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, leaving the Broadway revival to be with his family in Tel Aviv.)

After seeing London’s “Fiddler,” Mr. Jewison made the unexpected decision to cast Topol, a cousin still unknown in America, in a motion picture.

“I need a third-generation European actor, a third-generation man who understands the background,” says Mr. Jewison told The Globe in 1971. “I don’t want a second avenue version of Dewey” – an unmasked swipe at Mr Mostel and his unstoppable shtick.

Topol underwent two hours of age-old makeup every day of filming — Mr. Jewison contributed to the grafting of white hairs from his beard to the dark eyebrows of his star – in the eyes of many critics, a more persuasive Dewey. .

Pauline Gale, reviewing the film in The New Yorker, wrote of her:

“He is a hard presence, masculine, bitter, bitterly strong, yet sensual and warm. He is a poor man but he is not a small man, he is a great man—a man of Old Testament size brought down by circumstances of oppression.

Tobol is the author of two books, “Topol by Tobol” (1981) and “Topol’s Treasury of Jewish Humor, Wit and Wisdom” (1994).

Her awards include the Israel Prize, the country’s highest cultural honor, which she received in 2015. The recognition came for her acting and her charitable work, particularly helping to found the Jordan River Village. Ethnic and religious background. Modeled after Paul Newman’s hole at Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut, it opened in 2011.

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Year after year, Tobol continued to find the role he knew was a source of light.

“I fiddled for a long time that this was a story about the Jewish people,” he said in a 2009 interview. “But now I am performing all over the world. Wherever I’ve been, whether it’s India, Japan, England, Greece, Egypt, people come up to me after the show and say, ‘This is our story too’.

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