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Zevulun Mosheashvili, comedy star known for role in ‘Shemesh,’ dies at 52

Comedic actor Zevulun Mosheashvili died early Friday morning after a long battle with an unspecified illness, his family said.

The Georgian-born actor, 52, was best known for his role in the Israeli sitcom “Shemesh” (1997-2004) in which he played Sasson “Sassi” Shvilli.

He starred in several other films and stage shows during his career, most recently the 2019 film “The Composer,” a dark comedy about a kidnapping.

Mosheashvili’s family moved to Israel when he was nine months old, settling in the northern city of Nof Hagalil, which at that time was named Nazareth Illit.

Mosheashvili began his acting career at 16 by participating in drama classes at his local community center.

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Following his army service, Mosheashvili attended Yoram Levinstein’s performing arts school in Tel Aviv.

After graduating, Mosheashvili starred in some short films, but in 1997, he scored his career-changing roles in the 1997 Romantic comedy film “Afula Express” and TV show “Shemesh.”

During the 1990s, Mosheashvili began to study Torah and Kabbalah and began to follow traditional Jewish religious practices.

Shortly before becoming ill, he released a version of the morning prayer Ana b’Koach with artist Yosef Matzner.

Zvika Hadar, who starred alongside him in “Shemesh,” praised Mosheashvili as “a man with a big and good heart,” in an interview with Channel 12 on Friday.

“I knew him when he finished acting school, and since then we had many hours together with a lot of experiences, which peaked during the filming of Afula Express, and of course when he was the legendary ‘Sassi’ in ‘Shemesh.'”

Hadar said that Mosheashvili kept his struggle with his illness to himself, not even sharing it with his friends.

“We will remember his smile, playfulness, and talent,” he said.

Mosheashvili died at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem. His funeral will be held at 2 p.m. at the Georgian synagogue in Nof Hagalil on Friday.