Veteran Israeli Comedian Sefi Rivlin Dies at 66

Rivlin, 66, was one of Israel’s leading comedians, receiving the Golden Mask Prize in 2002 for his lifetime achievement.

Comedian and actor Sefi Rivlin died last night at the age of 66, after a long battle with cancer.

Rivlin was one of Israel’s leading comedians, receiving the Golden Mask Prize in 2002 for his lifetime achievement. He grew up in a Revisionist family in Rishon Letzion, where he lived his entire life. He started his career in repertoire theater, playing in a "Servant of Two Masters" in 1974. His career took a turn when he performed in the musical “The Journeys of Benjamin the Third," written by Naomi Shemer.

He subsequently left the theater to perform as a comedian, to which he owes his fame. He played in other musicals and was the emcee in children’s festivals. He returned to acting in 2007, appearing in several plays.

Rivlin was an enthusiastic Likud activist, starring in TV ads for the 1984 elections. In 2008 he ran in the Likud primaries for the 18th Knesset but didn’t secure a safe spot. He also ran for Rishon Letzion’s city council.

His made his TV debut was in a weekly satirical program called "Nikui Rosh." He then joined educational TV, starring in several children’s programs. In his final decade he was the moderator of several TV programs.

Rivlin died, surrounded by his wife and children, at a hospice at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, where he moved two weeks ago.

The Habima Theater Archive