Zeev Ravach: A Multi-Talented Icon of Israeli Cinema and Entertainment
Zeev (Zeevik) Nahum Ravach, born on August 15, 1940, is a prominent figure in Israeli cinema, television, and theater. He is a versatile artist, excelling as an actor, comedian, singer, producer, screenwriter, and film director. Ravach has received three Ophir Awards, two for Best Leading Actor and one for Lifetime Achievement, cementing his status as one of Israel's most significant figures in the film industry.
Ravach was born in Rabat, Morocco, and was named after his grandparents, Zeev Zhabotinsky and Nahum Sokolov. He is the eldest child of Hanna and Rabbi Yitzhak Ravach, who had eight children in total. At the age of eight, in 1948, he immigrated to Israel with his family. Initially, they settled in a transit camp in Haifa. From the age of nine to thirteen, Ravach lived with his family in the Musrara neighborhood of Jerusalem. His father even established a synagogue in this neighborhood. Later on, the family moved to the Kiryat HaYovel neighborhood in Jerusalem.
At the age of thirteen, Ravach attended a religious-Zionist high school in Kfar Hasidim. He later served in the Nahal Brigade during his mandatory military service.
Ravach has been politically associated with the right-wing, particularly the Likud Party. In 1992, he appeared in the Likud's election broadcasts. In 2003, he ran for a seat in the Ramat Gan City Council as a member of the Likud's list.
In April 2018, he and actress Leah Koenig jointly lit a torch at the Independence Day celebrations for Israel's 70th anniversary, and he blessed with the "Shehechiyanu" prayer.
Ravach is a graduate of the first class of the Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts.
From 1963 to 1966, he performed at the Ohel Theater, appearing in plays such as "The Idiot," "Three Angels," and "Without the Evil Eye." From 1966 to 1973, he acted at the Cameri Theater, where he starred in productions like "The Kushi Did His Thing" and "Peretz At The Crossroads," a play he later directed and performed in. He also appeared in "Medea" alongside Hanna Maron, played Leonardo in "The Blood Wedding," Othello in "Othello," Figaro in "The Marriage of Figaro," and Inspector Azolay in "The Inspector."
In 1988, the successful musical "Salach Shabati" was staged at the National Theater, starring Ravach alongside Geula Nuni and Hani Nahmias. The production was directed by Ephraim Kishon, with music composed by Nurit Hirsh. The show's standout hit was "Ach Ya Rab."
After several years away from the theatrical scene, Ravach returned to the stage in 2010, playing the role of Alberto in the play "Valentino" at the Beit Lessin Theater. He then portrayed Shimon Buskila in "I Grew Up and Got Tall" and Yochnan in "Rubber Merchants," written by Hanoch Levin.
In 2013, he appeared in "Celebration in the Snooker Hall," based on the original film in which he also starred. That same year, he performed in the comedy show "Another Friend Like That, and We're Doomed" alongside Yossi Yudin. In 2014, Ravach starred in the production "Momo Renovations."
In 2019, he appeared in the comedy show "Restless Seniors" alongside Aryeh Moskona and Irit Anavi.
In 1978, Ravach appeared in the television movie "Chafif," alongside Leora Tikuzki, Yitzhak Hizkiyah, and Jacques Cohen.
In 1994, he starred in the TV series "Papa." From 1999 to 2000, he hosted the program "BeTaberna" on Channel 1. In 2002, Ravach acted in the drama series "The Van," and in late 2010, he appeared in the series "Hatzama."
In 2003, with the launch of the "Israeli Cinema Channel" on YES, Ravach hosted several special programs about Israeli cinema.
In 2016, he appeared in the children's comedy series "Sofsheli." In 2017, he starred in the sitcom "Simchatim," portraying Mordechai Bali, the events hall owner.
In 2018, Ravach played a leading role in the series "The Shadow Government."
Ravach has acted in over forty films, becoming particularly renowned as a star of Israeli comedy films, often portraying stereotypical and comically exaggerated characters from the fringes of society. These characters navigate through various absurd situations, typically involving minor scams, disguises, and identity swaps (Ashkenazi/Mizrahi, male/female, rich/poor, twins, and more).
His directorial debut was the 1976 film "Just for Today," in which he also played the lead role alongside Ilan Dar, Sapir Ribon, Efrat Lavie, Jacques Cohen, and Gideon Singer.
In the film "The Robbery of the Robber Peter," which he directed and starred in, satire on numerous aspects of Israeli society can be found. This includes religious tensions, as the Ashkenazi police officer, portrayed by Ilan Dar, frames the Mizrahi protagonist and steals his wife; a parody of the Israeli film industry as Ravach impersonates Yehuda Barkan, who was filming "Operation Thunderbolt" at the time; and fake spirituality imported from India and the East, as Ravach pretends to be a yoga guru visiting Israel at that time.
In 2010, Ravach was honored with the Ophir Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Israeli Academy of Film and Television.
In 2021, Ravach appeared in the music video for Eyal Golan's song "Yamim Tovim," a new version of the opening song from the film "Just for Today," in which Ravach also starred. The song was composed by Yair Rosenblum, with lyrics by Yoram Taharlev.
Ravach was previously married to actress Shula Ravach. He is currently married to Mali and resides with his family in Ramat Gan. He is the father of five children.
His younger brother, Uri Ravach, was a singer before returning to religious observance. Prior to his religious transformation, he sang the theme songs for his brother's films, "Charlie and a Half" and "Just for Today."
Ravach's nephew, Moshe Ravach, serves as the deputy mayor of Ramat Gan and as the chairman of the Likud faction in Ramat Gan.
- זאב רווחhe.wikipedia.org