Israeli actor and comedian Sefi Rivlin succumbed to cancer on Tuesday at the age
Rivlin had suffered from the disease for the past several years
and his condition had worsened over recent weeks.
Rumors that Rivlin had
passed away have been circulating in recent days, including during the funeral
of Israeli singer Arik Einstein, who died last week.
Rivlin was one of
Israel’s most successful comedians, acting in dozens of films and television
Among the programs Rivlin gained fame for were Nikui Rosh
(Head-Cleaning) – a popular satire program – and the children’s programs Rega im
Dodley (A moment with Dodley) and Ha-Bayit Shel Fistuk (Pistachio’s
Rivlin won the Israeli Television Academy award and The Golden
Screen award for lifetime achievement.
He grew up in Rishon Lezion’s
Nahalat Yehuda neighborhood. After finishing his acting studies at the Beit Tzvi
School, he began his career in the play The Servant of two Masters.
subsequently starred in several other stage plays, but he is most well-known for
his television roles.
He played the part of the Archie Bunker character
in the Israeli version of All in the Family, as well as starring in the series
Sefi, the Israeli version of Britain’s Mr. Bean.
Rivlin was identified
with the Likud party, and starred in advertisements for the party in the run-up
to the 1984 national elections. He briefly served on the Rishon Lezion City
Rivlin was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2007. He announced in
2010 that he had beat the disease, but in 2012 was forced to undergo further
treatment, which left him unable to speak.
He leaves behind his wife,
Rina, four children and seven grandchildren.
Prime Minister Netanyahu
said he mourned the passing of his friend, Sefi Rivlin, who had regaled
generations of Israelis with his wit and humor. Rivlin he said had firm
nationalistic political believes but at the same time engaged in dialogue and
had friends with many different opinions who respected and appreciate him,
“Sefi was a man of principles and values. He was
educated, sharp and kind. He fought his illness courageously for many year with
the spirit of optimism and hope that had defined him. He will be greatly
missed by me and the people of Israel,” Netanyahu said.