Actor Meir Margalit Is Born
Meir Margalit. Photo: National Library of Israel
May 3, 1906

Stage actor Meir Margalit, a winner of the Israel Prize in 1964, is born in Ostroleka, Poland, then part of the Russian Empire.

Margalit begins acting in local plays at age 13. He moves to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1922 with HeChalutz, a youth movement founded by Joseph Trumpeldor to provide agricultural training in 25 European countries in preparation for life in Palestine. Margalit works in construction in Tel Aviv before transitioning to agriculture in Hadera.

He renews his pursuit of an acting career in 1925 when he is admitted to the Ha’ohel Theatre’s drama school. He joins Ha’ohel as a full cast member in 1929. He earns a reputation for comedic parts such as the title role in the play “The Good Soldier Schweik,” based on a Czechoslovak dark comedy about World War I.

After World War II, Margalit tours Europe and the Middle East to perform for Jewish soldiers from Palestine serving with the British army, Holocaust survivors and would-be immigrants detained by the British in Cyprus.

He moves to the Habima Theatre in the early 1960s but returns to Ha’ohel, which remains his stage home until it closes in 1969. His last play is Ada Ben Nachum’s “Where Is the Land of Israel?” at the Lilach Theatre in 1972 and 1973. His lone film appearance is the starring role of Noah Simhon in the 1964 movie “The Simhon Family,” based on a popular Israeli radio series.

Margalit dies in 1974.