Radio presenter Shosh Atari dies at 58

Veteran presenter, TV actress seen as pioneer and revered by many as "Israel's first deejay."

Shosh Atari 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Shosh Atari 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Veteran radio personality and actress Shosh Atari passed away in her Tel Aviv apartment on Tuesday. She was 58 years old. Atari had not answered her telephone for several hours and her sisters, Gali and Yona, went to her home worried, only to find her lifeless body. Atari suffered from a kidney disease and had undergone a kidney transplant operation in recent years. She will be laid to rest in the Yarkon Cemetary in Tel Aviv on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Atari was born in Rehovot to a family with seven children. At age fourteen she was sent together with her sister Gali, who is also an actress, to a boarding school. Already in her military service she began a radio career in Army Radio. Afterwards she worked in the Israeli television channel, then the only TV channel in the country. Atari studied English in Cambridge and worked concurrently as a Hebrew teacher in the local Jewish community. Upon returning to Israel she worked as a presenter and musical editor in all of Israel Radio's stations. Atari was a pioneer in presenting foreign popular music to Israeli listeners and is revered by many as "Israel's first deejay." Her 1980s show Hadash, Hadish Umehudash [New, Modern and Polished] was many Israelis' portal into the world of pop music. She also presented Pitzuhim, a game show that aired on Israeli television years before the advent of cable television inundated Israeli viewers with the format. In 2004 Atari published a book, entitled Secrets and Lies. During 2007 Atari returned to television in a dramatic role in the series Hakol Dvash [Everything's Hunky Dory], a successful drama which was slated to embark on a second season this summer. Atari's co-star Yisrael Poliakov passed away earlier this year, and the show was expected to continue without him. Atari said continuing to film the show would be a fitting tribute to Poliakov.