Friday, May 08, 2015
Beloved Iraqi-born actor Arieh Elias dies
Arieh Elias, award-winning actor:
Beloved Israeli veteran character actor, Arieh Elias, born in Iraq, has died at the age of 94, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Elias was best known for his roles in Israeli classics of the ’60s and ’70s, among them Kazablan (1974), The Policeman (1971), Charlie and a Half (1974) and Snooker (1974).
He specialized in playing Mizrahi characters, often with comedic overtones. In recent years, Elias appeared in the movie James’ Journey to Jerusalem (2003), portraying a stubborn older man who refuses to sell his property to Tel Aviv real-estate developers and bonds with a young African foreign worker. He won the Best Actor Award from the Israel Academy of Film for his outstanding performance in the touching role. That same year, he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the grandfather in the movie Bonjour, Monsieur Shlomi.
Born in Iraq in 1921, Elias studied theater in Baghdad.
He came to Palestine in 1947 and served in the Palmach.
Following his military service, he tried to break into the theatrical world, which at the time had little use for actors from non-Ashkenazi backgrounds.
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