My old friend Chaim Topol recently came to Los Angeles for the day. We had lunch
and reminisced about 1966.
At that time, I was making the motion picture
Cast a Giant Shadow in Israel. I gave the young Israeli actor a job.
then on, we kept our friendship alive with visits to London and New York. I
think the most impressive thing about Chaim Topol was his portrayal of Tevye in
Fiddler on the Roof. I saw him play it three times.
Of course, Fiddler on
the Roof was a tremendous hit. The last time I saw Chaim in the play was a few
years ago. He drew a wonderful portrait of me. I thought a long time about how I
could pay him back.
Finally, it came to me – everyone talks about Fiddler
on the Roof, but did they ever see a fiddler on the roof? I had the sculptor
Aris Demetrios make a sculpture of a fiddler, and I placed it on top of my roof.
At night the lights make it visible to everyone. Finally, fiddler on the roof is
on the roof! Chaim Topol always makes me think of the many times I have been to
Israel. I am unable to travel so far now, but I have wonderful memories of
Israel. And it was satisfying to discuss them with my friend Chaim.