Chaim Topol (1935-2023) was a film, television, and stage actor, and one of Israel’s most prominent cultural figures during the second half of the 20th century. Born in Tel Aviv, in the 1950s Topol served in the Israeli military’s renowned musical ensemble, Lehakat Hanachal, alongside the likes of Uri Zohar and Arik Einstein to name but a few. Following his military service, he and a group of friends started ‘Batzal Yarok’ (green onion), a theatre and entertainment company and in the early 1960s, Topol became one of the founders of the Haifa Theatre where he would go on to give some of his most memorable stage performances. His big screen debut came in 1960 when he starred in Peter Frye’s hit comedy, I LIKE MIKE. Next, in 1963 he appeared alongside Gila Almagor in Menahem Golan’s ELDORADO. In 1964, Topol joined forces with Ephraim Kishon and Menahem Golan in the film, SALLAH. The film, based on the character of Sallah Shabati which Topol had originated back in his military band days became a breakout hit, scoring an Oscar nomination and two Golden Globe awards (for Best Picture and Most Promising Newcomer which Topol himself had won.) SALLAH was Topol’s ticket into the big league and he began appearing in London, playing Tevye the Milkman in the famous musical, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF that spent years running on both Broadway and West-End stages. Topol was even cast in the 1971 film adaptation of the musical; a role that won him yet another Oscar nomination and his second Golden Globe award. In the ‘70s and ‘80s Topol’s international career truly took off and he went on to appear in various films and plays, chiefly in the US and the UK. In 2015, Chaim Topol was named the Israel Prize’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for that year for his extraordinary contribution to country and society.


Sallah Shabati

Directed by Ephraim Kishon, 1964
סאלח שבתי
Rental English subs.

111 min.



Directed by Menahem Golan, 1963
Rental English subs.

99 min.


I Like Mike

Directed by Peter Frye, 1961
איי לייק מייק
Rental English subs.

106 min.

Subscribe to our mailing list and stay up to date
הירשמו לרשימת התפוצה שלנו והישארו מעודכנים

This will close in 0 seconds