Milos Columbo (Chaim Topol)
Character: Milos Columbo
Actor: Chaim Topol
Movie: For Your Eyes Only
Appearance: Brown hair, Brown eyes, and thick brown mustache
Date of Birth: 9th September 1935
Height: 5'10" (1.78m)
Place of Birth: Tel Aviv, Palestine [now Israel]
"I'm a good judge
of man. You have what the Greeks call "thrausos" -
Pleased To Meet You
Bond and Columbo first meet across the dining room of an
upscale hotel and casino, where 007 is meeting with Kristatos.
Columbo is seen with his mistress Countless
von Schlaf, while Bond is being briefed by Kristatos over
dinner. Columbo has taped a conversation between 007 and
and hears Kristatos's suggestion that Bond may
have to kill him.
Milos Columbo is a Greek smuggler who first appears to be
the man running Emile Locque, but in fact he was set up by the
double-crossing Kristatos - the man actually responsible. Known
as 'the Dove', and with a love for pistachio nuts and a distaste
for the illegal drug trade, Columbo is a warm an charismatic man
who proves himself to be one of 007's most valuable allies.
Columbo is first mentioned by Kristatos when he meets Bond in the
Italian ski resort of Cortina, where he mentions that Columbo
is known as "the dove". Bond realises that Locque leaves
a dove-shaped badge at the scene of his crimes, for instance
the murder of agent Luigi Ferrera, who was stabbed to death while
waiting in Bond's car. Kristatos' desire to frame Columbo and have
James Bond take him out is due to the Greek's intimate knowledge
KGB connections and the fact he was an agent for the Nazi's in
After Columbo sees 007 talking with Kristatos
at the the restaurant and listens to their taped conversation,
he returns and deliberately
makes a scene, causing Lisl to walk out of the restaurant. Fully
aware it is likely a trap, Bond follows Lisl, who has been ordered
to learn more about the spy who is under cover as a novelist.
Locque and Claus kill Lisl on the beach, but Bond is saved
by four men who then take him prisoner. Bond realises they are
Columbo's men and is left mystified as to why they have saved
him from the same fate as Lisl. When Columbo meets Bond onboard
his ship, he convinces him that Kristatos is actually giving
Locque orders (and committing all the acts that he heard Kristatos
saying that Columbo had been going), and invites Bond on a raid
of one of Kristatos's factories in Albania where they find Locque.
Columbo tells Bond that Kristatos is the real enemy and admits
he smuggles gold, diamonds, cigarettes and pistachio nuts - the
later of which he has a personal taste for and is often seen
eating - but not heroin, which Kristatos does.
"By tomorrow, we'll be good friends. Let us drink to that."
Later, he joins Bond and Melina on the raid of St. Cyril's Monastery
where Kristatos was hiding out. Columbo later chases Kristatos
in an aggressive yet brief scuffle, causing Kristatos to lose
his footwork and drop the ATAC. When Melina is about to kill
Kristatos, Bond begs her not to. Kristatos pulls out a switchblade
knife and tries to kill Bond, but Columbo impales him in the
back with a knife, killing him instantly. Columbo then becomes
the new sponsor for ice skater Bibi
Columbo first appeared
as Enrico Colombo in Ian Fleming's 1960 short story "Risico". The
character was named after Gioacchino Colombo,
a Ferrari engine designer, specifically the supercharged Ferrari 125, which
Topol was born in Tel Aviv, in what was then the British Mandate
of Palestine (now in Israel), to Rel and Jacob Topol. He first
practiced acting in amateur theatrical plays staged by the Israeli
Army. Subsequently he established his own theatre troupe in Tel
Aviv, and in 1961, he significantly contributed to the foundation
of the Haifa Municipal Theatre.
Among Topol's earliest film appearances
was the lead role in the 1964 film Sallah Shabati by Ephraim
Kishon — a play,
later adapted for film, depicting the hardships of a Mizrachi
Jewish immigrant family in Israel of the early 1960s. The film
was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language
Film and earned the actor the Golden Globe Award for New Star
of the Year - Actor. In 1966, Topol made his first English-language
screen appearance as Abou Ibn Kaqden in the big-budget Mickey
Marcus biopic Cast a Giant Shadow.
He came to greatest prominence in the role of Tevye the milkman
in the long-running musical show Fiddler on the Roof, at Her
Majesty's Theatre. After scoring a major success on the West
End stage, he later starred in the 1971 film version. In 1972,
Topol won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Best Actor
Oscar for his performance in the film. He was on
active service with the Israeli army at the time, but was granted
permission to attend the awards ceremonies. Some of his other
notable appearances were in Galileo (1975), Flash Gordon (1980),
and the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only (1981).
Above: Topol in his most famous role as Tevye in "Fiddler
on the Roof" (1971).
In 1983, he reprised the role of Tevye in a London revival of
Fiddler on the Roof. In the late 1980s, he played the role in
a touring United States production. He was by now the approximate
age of the character, and in fact the actress playing his wife
Golde in the production, Rosalind Harris, had played his oldest
daughter Tzeitel in the film. In 1990, he again played the part
in a Broadway revival of Fiddler, and was nominated for 1991
a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical,
losing to Jonathan Pryce. He played the part again in a 1994
London revival, which became a touring production. He has since
played the part in various productions including stages in Europe,
Australia and Japan.
His most recent film roles were in Left Luggage (1998) in the
role of Mr. Apfelschnitt, and Time Elevator (1998) as Shalem.
He continued to reprise his as Tevye in various stage productions
of 'Fiddler' up until 2009 when he was forced to withdraw from
a farewell tour due to a shoulder injury. He and made his last
appearance as Tevye in Boston, Massachusetts on November 15,
2009. His autobiography, Chaim Topol on Topol, has been published
in London and Israel.