Hundreds on Monday attended the funeral of Israeli playwright and screenwriter Anat Gov, who succumbed to cancer Sunday at the age of 59.
The ever defiant and life-loving Gov staged an unconventional service (leaving detailed instructions regarding who should eulogize her at Kfar Saba’s secular Menucha Nechona cemetery). She was laid to rest to the accompaniment of the Monty Python song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
Gov’s widowed husband, the popular singer and actor Gidi Gov, said he was overwhelmed by condolences and tributes not only from showbiz friends, but also from high-ranking officials. “It’s all very personal and emotional, but it turns out they really loved her,” he said.
“When they called me from the Prime Minister’s Office, I thought it was a prank at first,” Gov told the assembly. “But [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu was on the phone and spoke very kindly, saying ‘Sometimes she spoofed me, all the time in fact,’ yet he also said some personal and touching things.”
Gidi Gov also read out a letter sent by President Shimon Peres.
“I grieve the passing away of Anat, a wife and mother, and a talented and prolific playwright, whose premature demise is a great loss to Israeli culture and to all those who knew her,” wrote Peres.
“Her defining features of noble truthfulness, goodness and originality accompanied her in her battle with the disease. She fought it with courage, humor and creativity. She lived lovingly, she wrote profoundly, and she died boldly,” the letter concluded.
Anat Gov’s close friend, playwright Tzipi Shohat, wrote in Haaretz the deceased saw death as a part of life and accepted her fate with a smile — and asked of her loved ones to view it the same way.
“Gov once told me in a personal conversation that she approaches death without fear, that she got all she wanted of life — a happy marriage, children, grandchildren, and what not,” Shohat wrote.
Gov’s plays include “Haverot Hachi Tovot” (“Best Friends”), “Akar Bait” (“House-Husband”) and “Lysistrata 2000.”