Fiddler on the Roof actor Chaim Topol has died at the age of 87.
The Israeli actor is best known for the portrayal of Tevye in the popular musical, for which he earned an Oscar nomination.
His death was confirmed in a Twitter post by Israeli president Isaac Herzog on Wednesday, in which he said Topol was “one of the giants of Israeli culture”.
The president described Topol as “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”.
The Oscar-nominated actor was diagnosed with dementia last year.
Born in 1935, he grew up in a working-class area of Tel Aviv.
Topol’s career took off after starring as the titular character in the 1964 Israeli comedy Sallah Shabati, for which he won a Golden Globe award for most promising male newcomer.
He picked up a second Golden Globe in 1971 for best actor for his role in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, which was adapted for the screen after Topel starred in a successful run on London’s West End.
He went on to be nominated for a Tony Award for best actor when he starred in a 1991 Broadway revival of the musical.
He toured across the world playing the role of Tevye. By 2009, he had performed the role more than 3,500 times both on stage and screen.
Topol starred in several Israeli and American films including the 1975 adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo, the 1980 sci-fi film Flash Gordon and 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.
He was awarded the Israel Prize – the country’s most prestigious award – in 2015 for lifetime achievement and special contribution to society and the state.
Topol is survived by his wife Galia, who he married in 1965, and their daughters Anat and Ady and son Omer.
Omer told an Israeli news outlet in recent days that his father was an “amazing actor who developed all kinds of tactics to cover up the problems that began to arise”.
“When he won the Israel Prize, his Alzheimer’s was in its early stages,” Omer said.
“He spoke wonderfully at the ceremony, and also at other events, and no one even felt it.”