Jacques Cohen, Egyptian-born Israeli actor, Died at 86

Jacques Cohen was born on October 13, 1930, in Alexandria, Egypt and died on December 1, 2016.

He was an Egyptian-born Israeli actor.

Cohen was best known for his starring role as Abu Rahmi, an Arab Israeli restaurant owner, on the sitcom HaMis’ada HaGdola, from 1985 until 1988.

That show was on air for three seasons, which was created to appeal to both Jewish and non-Jewish television viewers in the surrounding region.

He was already an accomplished stage and television actor before HaMis’ada HaGdola, became so identified with his iconic role of Abu Rahmi that he later became a spokesperson for a major brand of hummus.

He spoke fluent Arabic and Hebrew, allowing him to play characters in both languages.

He had relocated to Mandatory Palestine (present-day Israel) with his parents when he was just 5 years old.

His family settled in Jerusalem, where Cohen became an actor during his 20s.

He spoke Hebrew without an accent.

The language for his best-known role as restaurateur Abu Rahmi on HaMis’ada HaGdola was mostly in Arabic, but also required lines in Hebrew, as well as other languages, including Japanese and Yiddish.

Cohen played a Lebanese government minister in the 1986 American action film, The Delta Force.

Since 2000, he opened his own restaurant in his hometown of Bitzaron.

He died from complications of pneumonia at a hospital in Rehovot, Israel,

Cohen lived in Bitzaron with his wife, they had three children.

Jacques Cohen passed away at 86 years old.