Assi Dayan

Asaf "Assi" Dayan (Hebrew: אסף "אסי" דיין; 23 November 1945 – 1 May 2014) was an Israeli film director, actor, screenwriter, and producer.

Assi Dayan
אסי דיין
Born(1945-11-23)23 November 1945
Died1 May 2014(2014-05-01) (aged 68)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Resting placeMoshav Nahalal Cemetery
OccupationDirector, actor, screenwriter
Years active1967-2013
Spouse(s)Aharona Melkind (2 children)
Caroline Langford (1 child)
Smadar Kilchinsky
Vered Tandler-Dayan
Partner(s)Augusta Neumann (1 child)
ChildrenAmalia Dayan & Avner Dayan (Melkind)
Lior Dayan (Langford)
Assia Neumann Dayan (Neumann)[2]


Assaf (Assi) Dayan was the youngest son of Israeli general and defense minister Moshe Dayan and peace activist Ruth Dayan (née Schwartz). He had two siblings: politician and author Yael Dayan, born 1939,[3] and sculptor Ehud (Udi) Dayan, born 1942.[4] After military service and studying philosophy and English literature at Hebrew University, Dayan embarked on a career as film actor, which eventually also led to directing.[1]

He was married three times and had four children: New York gallery owner Amalia Dayan[5] and Avner Dayan with first wife Aharona Melkind; writer Lior Dayan with second wife, actress Caroline Langford,[6] daughter of Barry Langford, and Assia Neumann Dayan after a short affair with Augusta Neumann.[4] In 1999, his third wife, ceramic artist Vered Tandler Dayan, made a documentary film about him, Living, Period.[7]

In March 2009, Dayan was indicted on suspicion of drug use and beating his girlfriend. In the wake of an earlier conviction for possession of drugs, he received a suspended sentence and 200 hours of community work as part of a plea bargain. Dayan admitted at the time that he was in possession of cocaine for personal use.[8]

In November 2009, Dayan suffered a massive heart attack and underwent angioplasty at Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital.[9]

Dayan died on 1 May 2014, at his home in Tel Aviv. No cause was given by his family but media reports noted his several health issues.[10]

Acting career

In 1967, Dayan established himself as a film actor and Israeli icon in He Walked Through the Fields, Yossi Milo's adaptation of Moshe Shamir's novel and play by that name.[11] That year, he appeared in Micha Shagrir's Scouting Patrol, about elite fighters on a mission to capture the commander of a fedayeen squad.[12] In 1969 Dayan co-starred in the American movie A Walk with Love and Death, set in medieval France and directed by John Huston, in which he plays alongside Huston's daughter, Angelica.[13] He portrayed Giora Geter, owner of a Tel Aviv pub whose life falls apart, in Eitan Green's Into the Night.[12]

In 1984, Dayan had a supporting role as a prisoner in Uri Barbash's Beyond the Walls, described as an important milestone in Israeli political cinema.[12] Other acting credits include Operation Thunderbolt, about the Israeli raid in Entebbe, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Dayan is the deputy of Yoni Netanyahu, played by Yehoram Gaon.[12]

Dayan played the leading role of psychologist Reuven Dagan in the TV drama series BeTipul, which ran for two seasons on Israeli TV (2005 and 2008). The series was later adapted for the US market by HBO under the name In Treatment with Gabriel Byrne in the lead role.[9]

By 2008 Dayan had acted in some 50 films and TV series episodes.[14]

Directing career

Dayan directed 16 films.[14] In 1976 he directed Giv'at Halfon Eina Ona, a comedy about a group of military reservists in the Sinai. In 1992, he wrote and directed Life According to Agfa, portraying life in a Tel Aviv pub. The film was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival and won an Honorable Mention.[15] In 1999, he was a member of the jury at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival.[16]

Awards and recognition

Dayan won the Israeli Academy Award as Best Actor for Mr. Baum.[13] In 1998, he received a lifetime achievement award at the Jerusalem International Film Festival. His role in Time of Favor was acclaimed by Israeli critics as his best screen role of his career.[13]

Filmography (selected)

See also


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