Saturday, June 15, 2024

RIP Topol, 87, Star of the Film Version of “Fiddler on the Roof” Who Became Tevye Many Times


Chaim Topol, known as Topol, has died at age 87.

The Israeli actor was chosen by director Norman Jewison in 1969 to play Tevye in the big screen version of “Fiddler on the Roof.” At the time, no one had ever heard of him, fans wanted Zero Mostel for the role as he was hot off Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.” Mostel created Tevye on Broadway, winning the Tony Award.

But Topol got the job and was cemented in history as Tevye, much to Mostel’s chagrin. He went on to playing Tevye as an industry, even performing on Broadway in a revival. It became a…tradition!

Topol never broke out of that role in America. But he was an international star and beloved. May his memory be a blessing.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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