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.