Chaim Topol, the Israeli actor who found global fame for his role as Tevye in the film version of “Fiddler on the Roof,” died Thursday at the age of 87 in Tel Aviv after a multi-year battle with Alzheimer’s.

Topol was Oscar nominated for his performance in the 1971 film adaptation of the musical.

Herzog described Topol, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease several years ago, as "a gifted actor who conquered many stages in Israel and overseas, filled the cinema screens with his presence and above all entered deep into our hearts".

Born in Tel Aviv in 1935, Topol began his acting career while completing his service in the army’s entertainment troupe where he met his wife, Galia.

Topol played the title role in the now-iconic film about the hardships of a Mizrahi immigrant family living in a transit camp.

He rose to prominence in the Israeli comedy Sallah Shabati, which depicted the hardships of a Mizrachi Jewish immigrant family in Israel of the early 1960s, won him an early Golden Globe award for most promising male newcomer.

He was on active duty with the Israeli army when he was received his Academy Award nomination - becoming the first Israeli actor to do so - in 1972. But he was granted leave so he could attend the ceremony in Los Angeles.

Reprising the role in the 1991 Broadway revival of Fiddler On the Roof, he was also nominated for a Tony Award for best actor.