Actress and singer Yona Atari dies at 85

Actress and singer Yona Atari dies at 85

Netanyahu praises Israeli star of the ’50s and ’60s as ‘paragon of talent in everything she did’

Yona Atari (Twitter)
Yona Atari (Twitter)

Veteran Israeli actress and singer Yona Atari has died at the age of 85.

Born in Yemen’s capital of Sana’a, she immigrated to Israel as an infant with her parents and started her career in the Israel Defense Forces’ Nachal music troupe in 1950. Over the years she performed with many of Israel’s top singers and actors and appeared in television series, movies and theater productions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eulogized the well-known personality on Monday, praising the achievements of her long career.

“Atari was a paragon of talent in everything she did,” Netanyahu tweeted. “We grew up on her and she became part of Israel’s heritage. She will be missed by us all. May her memory be blessed.”

Yona Atari (left) and her sister, singer Gali Atari in an undated photo (Twitter)

She was the older sister of singer Gali Atari. Their other sister, radio and television personality Shosh Atari, died in 2008.

Atari played in many television series ranging from  the “Sesame Street” children’s education show to the drama series “The Azani Family.”

Over the years Atari collaborated with some of Israel’s top actors and singers, including Shaike Ofir and Yossi Banai, with whom she served in the IDF.

Atari’s husband, Uri Yaffe, died in 2012. She is survived by a son and daughter and her sister Gali.

Her coffin will be at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv on Tuesday for the public to pay their respects.

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