Actor Chaim Topol used his status as a VIP to work for the Mossad in countries that Israelis generally had a hard time accessing in the 1970s and 80s, according to a report by Haaretz.
Topol’s wife, Galia, and his children, Adi and Omer, told the newspaper about missions their father carried out for Israel’s spy agency – including installing surveillance on an Arab nation’s embassy in a European capital.
They said the Mossad utilized Topol because of the fame he received from The Fiddler on the Roof musical, in which he starred in as Tevye.
Adi Topol told Haaretz that her father used to take a miniature Minox camera and a tape recorder with him every time he went abroad. She and her siblings believe they were devices that Topol used on out his various assignments.
Topol's handler was reportedly Zvi Malkin
Topol’s liaison for his missions, according to his children, was Mossad agent Zvi Malkin, who was one of the members of the team that abducted Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in 1960.
“Zvika always showed up in disguise, came through the backyard, so he wouldn’t be seen, and then came into our apartment,” Adi told Haaretz. “‘You don’t have a key, so how did you get in?’ I asked him once, and he replied in his nasal tone: ‘You call that a lock?’”
“They were both actors,” Malkin’s son Omer told Haaretz. “One acted on the stage and in films, the other did so clandestinely using false identities under cover. So, in that odd and peculiar way, they had a lot in common.”
“One acted on the stage and in films, the other did so clandestinely using false identities in the underground."Omer Malkin
Galia added that Malkin would stay with them when they lived in London, using a visit to his friend as a cover, and Topol would help him plan his missions, joining him on some.
Omer Topol told Ynet that his father’s contributions were more minor.
“I know he helped to transfer documents and similar tasks, but we’re not talking about daring actions like James Bond or anything like that,” he said.
Topol died last month and was commemorated in a ceremony attended by politicians and fellow Israeli artists.