My old friend Chaim Topol recently came to Los Angeles for the day. We had lunch and reminisced about 1966.
At that time, I was making the motion picture Cast a Giant Shadow in Israel. I gave the young Israeli actor a job.
From then on, we kept our friendship alive with visits to London and New York. I think the most impressive thing about Chaim Topol was his portrayal of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. I saw him play it three times.
Of course, Fiddler on the Roof was a tremendous hit. The last time I saw Chaim Topol in the play was a few years ago. He drew a wonderful portrait of me. I thought a long time of how I could pay him back.
Finally, it came to me -- everyone talks about Fiddler on the Roof but did they ever see a fiddler on the roof?
I had the sculptor Aris Demetrios make a sculpture of a fiddler and I placed it on top of my roof. At night the lights make it visible to everyone. Finally, fiddler on the roof is on the roof! Chaim Topol always makes me think of the many times I have been to Israel. I am unable to travel so far now but I have wonderful memories of Israel. And it was satisfying to discuss them with Chaim.
This first appeared on the Jerusalem Post