(photo credit: Courtesy)
Celebrated Israeli impresario Yehuda Talit died last Friday at his home in Herzliya following a difficult battle with cancer.
Talit, 74, who was one of the more important figures in Israel’s entertainment industry in his heyday, launched his career in 1966 with billionaire Haim Saban, when the latter was still a struggling bass player with The Lions of Judah rock band.
Talit offered Saban a deal, in which he would manufacture key-chains featuring portraits of the members of the band. That was their first joint business venture.
They later went on to found a production company that represented The Lions of Judah as well as other bands and individual entertainers, such as Arik Einstein.
Talit and Saban parted company when Saban left Israel in search of greener fields and new ho-rizons. In 1977, Talit established Talit Productions, through which he managed some of the top Israeli entertainment stars and brought a wealth of international artists to Israel.
Locally, he represented not only Arik Einstein, but Kaveret, Shalom Hanoch, Yardena Arazi and the Churchills, among others.
Among the international artists that he brought to Israel were Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Billy Joel, Boy George, Brian Adams, Joe Cocker, Julio Iglesias, David Bowie and Dire Straits. On somewhat more of a highbrow level, he brought the Bolshoi Ballet to Israel, and on a more popular level, the Harlem Globetrotters.
Twenty years after founding Talit Productions, he expanded his operations and renamed his company Talit Communications, through which he brought internationally highly-rated televi-sion productions to Israel, such as The Muppet Show, for instance.
He also initiated various festivals that have become an annual tradition, and also acquired the franchise for Fox News.
He is survived by his wife and business partner Batia and their three children: Liran – who cur-rently lives in London – and Liat and Elinor, who are part of the family entertainment and communications enterprise.
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