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Shaike Ophir
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Comedian
    (November 29, 1929-August 17, 1987)
    Born in Jerusalem, Israel
    Birth name is Yeshayahu Goldstein-Ophir
    Israeli pantomimist, comic actor, vocalist, and filmmaker
    Acted in 'Ervinka,' 'The Blaumlich Canal,' 'The Fox in the Chicken Coop,' 'Hole in the Moon,' 'Daughters, Daughters,' and 'Abual Benat'
    Best known for playing the title role of Ha-Shoter Azoulay ('Policeman Azoulay' or 'The Policeman'; 1972)
    Trademark songs include 'Dahilak Motke,' 'Inyan Shel Offi,' and 'Ani Akiva'
    He was a heavy smoker.
    He acted in a Chuck Norris movie.
    His first name is difficult to pronounce.
    He was sometimes billed as 'Shai K. Ophir.'
    He married twice, having kids with both spouses.
    He worked opposite a topless 20-year old Melanie Griffith for 'Ha-Gan' (translated in English to 'The Garden').
    He hosted a series of Arabic-instruction TV programs that ran through the 1980s, which many Palestinians recalled coming off as 'condescending.'
    His trademark bit was impersonating a Histadrut orator eating a sandwich while delivering a speech.
    While he did on-and-off work in the United States over the course of a forty-year career, he failed to ever attain international stardom.
    He was arguably Israel's first 'mime.'
    He was dubbed 'the King of Israeli entertainment' and 'the Prince of the Israeli comic stage.'
    He left school in the 1940s to join the pre-IDF 'Palmach.'
    He escorted convoys to the besieged city of Jerusalem, during the Israeli War for Independence.
    He was one of the founders of the Army’s first entertainment troupe, the Chizbatron.
    He studied mimery under Etienne Decroux, as well as the great French mimist, Marcel Marceau.
    He performed with Marlene Dietrich during his time in the US (she later praised him in her autobiography).
    He had memorable guest spots on episodes of the American programs Shirley Temple's Storybook ('Rumpelstiltskin') and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. ('The Waxwork').
    He starred in a stage adaptation of Janusz Korczak's children's novel 'King Matt the First,' in which he played seven different roles.
    He was the namesake for the Israeli Film Academy's Ophir Award, which was named in his honor.
    'Ha-Shoter Azoulay' won both a Golden Globe for Best Foreign-Language Film and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Academy Award (1972).
    He was voted the 33rd-greatest Israeli of all time in an online poll conducted by Haaretz.
    His comedic timing and versatility was comparable to that of Peter Sellers and, especially, Danny Kaye, who was Jewish-American and deeply committed to the cause of Israel (Kaye & Ophir also died in the same year).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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