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Yehoram Gaon

(1939 - )

Yehoram Gaon is an Israeli singer, actor, director and media personality.

Gaon (born December 28, 1939) was the son of Sephardic immigrants to pre-State Israel. He grew up in Jerusalem aspiring to be an actor. During his army service he performed in the Nahal entertainment troupe but he did not formally begin his singing career until his release from the army.

Gaon achieved his first major professional appearance with a leading role in the musical Kazablan (Casablanca). After that performance, Gaon's career as a singer, actor and director flowered. He has produced almost fifty albums, including of Ladino music, has performed extensively in Israel and abroad, and has starred in television and movie productions. Among these is Operation Thunderbolt, the movie made about the 1976 rescue at Entebbe which starred Gaon as Yoni Netanyahu.

In addition to his work in performing arts, Gaon has recently entered the political arena. In 1993 he was elected to the Jerusalem City Council and has worked extensively for the city, primarily in the area of cultural and municipal arts. He has indicated that he may well be interested in pursuing a political career, but retains his interest in promoting Israel, together with its popular and folk music.

In 2005, Gaon was voted the 27th-greatest Israeli of all time in an online poll conducted by an Israeli newspaper.

Sources: Joint Authority for Jewish Zionist Education; Wikipedia