Israel Prize laureate Ehud Manor died suddenly in the early hours of yesterday morning of an apparent heart attack. Manor, one of Israel's most prolific and best-loved songwriters, died at his Tel Aviv apartment, his widow Ofra Fuchs said yesterday.
Manor will be laid to rest in his home town, at the Binyamina cemetery at 2 P.M. today. He was 64.
Manor was a extraodinarily fecund songwriter, author and translator with a wide creative range. In addition to the hundreds of hits he wrote, he translated plays beginning with "Hair" in 1970 and including Moliere's "The Miser" and Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and "Romeo and Juliet." Recently, he translated "Chicago," which was then staged in Israel.
Manor hosted numerous television programs and wrote children's books.
In 1998, Ehud Manor was awarded the Israel Prize for his unique contribution to Israeli song.
Manor said earlier this year that he did not know how many songs he had written, but that when he was awarded the prize, his friends had counted more than 1,000, and that he had written many more since then. Actually, he has written an estimated 1,250 songs.
He had fruitful and long-standing collaborations with Matti Caspi, Riki Gal, Boaz Sharabi and other prominent Israeli singers and musicians.
Manor's oeuvre comprises hundreds of songs that have become cornerstones of Israeli music such as "Ein Li Eretz Aheret" (I Have No Other Country), "Lo Dibarnu od al Ahava" (We Haven't Spoken Yet About Love) and "Bashana Haba'ah" (Next Year).
His song "Abanibi," with the music composed by Nurit Hirsch, won the 1977 Eurovision competition.
"One of the greatest creators of modern Hebrew culture has gone," said Education Minister Limor Livnat yesterday. "Today is a day of mourning for the entire Israeli people."
Manor is survived by his wife, singer Ofra Fuchs, and three children.
"Five years ago he had lung cancer and recovered completely," his wife Ofra said yesterday. "During the night he woke up, rose, had no air and if a few minutes he was gone. The medical team diagnosed cardiac arrest."
Singer Gali Atari will sing Manor's song, "I Have No Other Country" at his funeral today.
Two weeks ago, Manor and Fuchs returned from New York where they celebrated their 40th anniversary at the Sabra Club. That's where they met and where they were married, while Manor was studying communications and Fuchs was studying acting. The couple have three children - Yehuda, 30, Gali, 35 and Libi, 33. The eldest son was named after Manor's brother who was killed in the War of Attrition, and in whose memory he wrote the song "My Young Brother Yehuda."