Yosef Shiloach Passes Away

Published: January 3rd 2011
in Culture » Movies

King for a Day

Israeli actor Yosef Shiloach, who has has entertained generations of Israelis and is considered a legend in the Israeli film industry and culture, has passed away today (Monday) at the age of 69. Shiloach died after a long harsh battle with cancer, leaving behind a wife and three daughters: Hagar, Omer and Maayan. He has participated in loads (over 80) of Israeli movies, especially comedy films, which became instant classics, including Alex Holeh Ahava as well as Hagiga Ba'Snuker which are some of the most quoted Hebrew movies of all times.


Shiloach was one of the biggest actors on the Israeli silver-screen. He was a one of a kind player and entertainer, who put his soul into his work and did not fear what other people would say, as he totally devoted himself to his roles. Beside the movies mentioned above, he is also known for playing some legendary characters in many classic films such as Sapiches, Ha-Shoter Azulai and many more. In July 2009, Shiloach was awarded a life-time achievement award at the Jerusalem Film Festival. "Luckily, the gesture was just in time," said a representative of the Israeli Film Fund.


He was born in Kurdistan (a region inside Iran) in 1941 and moved with his family to Israel at the age of 9. After making alliyah, he studied at Beit Zvi acting school and was one of the first graduates. At 1964, at the age of 23, he made his first movie appearance in the film Mishpachat Simchon. Following that movie, he went on to become a star and appeared in both films and TV shows, while portraying comic characters, especially a man of Persian descent accompanied with one hell of an accent.


Aside from his comical acts, Shiloach also played some very complex, dramatic and touching roles, over his five centuries long career, although he probably will not be remembered for them. He has also played acts on stage, most of which written by Hanoach Levin. He has also participated in a number of American films, including Rambo 3 alongside Silvester Stallone, The Mummy Lives with Tony Curtis and Chain of Command.


Israel's Culture Minister Limor Livnat stated today: "Over the years, Yosef has played exceptionally a wide and colorful range of roles in the Israeli cinema and theater. He was a wonderful actor, who was always loved by the audience and was appreciated for his professionalism. He appeared in many films, many of them became cult movies which entered Israel's film industry's hall of fame. His death is a huge lost". 


In addition, he was a left wing activist, who yearned for peace. In his will, Shiloach requested his family not to hold a public service for him, as well as to not sit "Shiva'a" for him. His family asks all the mourners to respect his will.

Related articles: (Yosef Shiloach, Actor, Cancer)
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