Daliah Lavi

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Daliah Lavi (2009)

Daliah Lavi ( Hebrew דליה לביא[ ˌDalja laˈvi ], born as Daliah Lewinbuk , the family name was later changed to Lavi (Hebrew: lion); born on October 12, 1942 in Haifa , League of Nations mandate for Palestine ; died on May 3, 2017 in Asheville , North Carolina ) was an Israeli film actress and singer .



Daliah Lavi was born to her German-Jewish mother, Ruth Klammer, who came from Breslau / Silesia and immigrated to Palestine in the 1930s , and to her Russian-Jewish father, Reuben Lewinbuk, in Haifa in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine (today: Israel ) and grew up in the moshav Shavei Zion north of Akko . Lavi's paternal grandparents and many of their relatives were killed in the Holocaust . The American actor Kirk Douglas , also a Jew, turned the early 1950s, the feature film The Gehetzte (The juggler) in her home village and gave Daliah Lavi a scholarship to train as a dancer at the Royal Opera in Stockholm . Lavi: “My maternal grandmother, a converted Jew, and my grandfather fled Germany to Israel so as not to fall victim to the Nazi regime that was just emerging. My grandmother, who actually always wanted to be an entertainer, but never fulfilled this dream, always supported me and my greatest dream: I really wanted to become a ballet dancer. ”But due to circulatory problems and her too big stature she had to break off this training and returned to Israel after four years in Sweden after the death of her father.

Film career

After minor film roles in Sweden ( Hemsöborna , 1955), Lavi completed her military service in the Israeli army at the end of the 1950s . Later she worked as a mannequin in Israel for a while , which in 1960 also helped her to her first leading role in the German-Israeli film Brennender Sand . A year later she played in Im Stahlnetz des Dr. Mabuse at the side of Gert Fröbe . Her marriage to the French department store owner Jacques Gérard brought 18-year-old Lavi to Paris , where she lived for five years and starred in several French films. For example, she was seen in Cyrano and d'Artagnan (1964) directed by French film pioneer Abel Gance . Her language skills (in addition to her native Hebrew , Lavi spoke German, a little Yiddish and Russian as well as English, Swedish, French and Italian) and her modern appearance enabled her to work as an actress in numerous international film productions in Europe and Hollywood for over ten years .

Although she received a Golden Globe nomination for “ Best Young Actress ” in 1962 for the role of Veronica in the US melodrama Two Weeks in Another City , with Dean Martin ( The Silencers , 1966), Christopher Lee ( La Frusta e il Corpo , 1963), Lex Barker ( Old Shatterhand , 1964) and as "Bond-Girl" ( Casino Royale , 1967) appeared, she didn’t make her breakthrough as an actress. Her last feature film was the British Western Catlow in 1971 - Life for a Dead With Yul Brynner . Lavi herself said of her film career in an interview in the 1970s that she only made one good film. It was about the Italian-French co-production Il Demonio (Eng. The Devil ) from 1963, which was unpublished in Germany . Directed by Brunello Rondi , who had previously worked as a screenwriter for Federico Fellini , Lavi played an obsessive role in the lead role young woman being chased by the residents of a small Italian village.

From the mid-1960s Lavi lived in London, where she remarried.

Music career 1968–1973

In honor of the 20th Israeli Independence Day , the London Festival Orchestra released the LP Israel 20 in England in 1968 under the direction of British Stanley Black . On this LP, Lavi, accompanied by the Emmanuel Fisher Choir , sings the popular Hebrew song Yeruschalajim schel sahav ( ירושלי של זהב, Jerusalem made of gold ), probably her first record.

In 1969 Lavi was a guest on a BBC television show by the Israeli musical star Chaim Topol ( Anatevka ) and sang some Hebrew songs there. Then she got her first record deal with the English label Festival Records . But it wasn't until the Hamburg producer Jimmy Bowien signed her with the German Polydor that her success as a singer began. Her first single, released in 1970 (love song of that summer night) , was a hit in Germany. With the French version (Prends l'amour) she took 13th place for Belgium at the International Song Festival in Tokyo that same year ; the song was also translated into English (Love's Song) and also released as a single in this version. From then on Lavi sang in German, French, English, Hebrew, Italian and Spanish. Her trademarks were her distinctive smoky, somewhat hoarse voice and her exotic look, which went well with contemporary tastes.

Daliah Lavi (1966)

She particularly impressed audiences in German-speaking countries with interpretations of sophisticated pop songs that set themselves apart from the “hit and run” of the time. A large part of Lavi's musical successes were German-language cover versions of English songs, which stood out with the help of new arrangements and especially lyrically, mostly from the pens of writers like Miriam Frances and Michael Kunze . These versions, specially tailored to Lavi, were often more successful in Germany than the original versions in connection with their dark timbre .

The song Oh, wann kommst Du made it to number 4 in the German single charts in 1970/1971 and was her biggest commercial success. Other single hits in 1971 were Jerusalem , originally an instrumental by Herb Alpert , and Who destroyed my song like that, Ma? , in the original What Have They Done To My Song, Ma? from Melanie . At the end of the same year she had her second and last top 10 success in Germany with Willst du mit mir geht'n (9th place). In contrast to many other pop stars, she was also able to place high in the album charts: The LPs Liebeslied eines Sommernacht (1970, No. 19), Daliah Lavi (No. 2) and Willst du mit mir (1971, No. 7) are among their most successful records. In the following years she was with the songs I believe in love ("I believe in music"), My way of showing love (1972), Would I be a book ( If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot ) and it is also represented in the German charts. In addition to regular studio LPs, countless compilations have now been released. Her English-language LPs, which were also released regularly until 1973, but hardly earned her international attention, were less commercially successful. Her career in the Romance countries also fell asleep during this time.

The fact that Lavi appeared as a Jew in the country that had done her family a lot of suffering only a few years earlier was not discussed in the German public, even by Lavi herself. In what am I? - Issue of December 21, 1971 in the ARD evening program, the moderator, Robert Lembke , asked at least twice whether she had any problems with her appearances in Germany; In her answer, the singer shows that her experiences have been consistently positive. In addition to Lavi, other Israeli singers also enjoyed success in Germany in the 1960s and 70s, such as Carmela Corren , Esther & Abi Ofarim and Elisa Gabbai . Lavi later said: “For me the concerts in Germany were fantastic. This enabled me to come into contact with the young people. And these young people were not to blame for the Holocaust. ”She had never experienced anti-Semitism in Germany because she did not allow it to happen; she didn't give anyone the feeling that she could be attacked. Lavi lived in London during her singing career before moving to the United States in the late 1970s.

Music career 1974–1978

In the mid-1970s, the success of Lavi's records waned somewhat. Only nothing knocks me out - but you (I Get A Kick Out Of You) was listed in the charts in 1975 (number 38), after which the singer disappeared from the hit lists for two years. Nevertheless, Lavi continued to work on her singing career. In 1974 the LP I'm Israeli - I'm A Sabra was released exclusively with Hebrew songs, including a corresponding version of Jerusalem . The following year she released two LPs: For children big and small, it includes popular children's songs such as Alle Meine Duckchen or Der Mond ist risen ( The Moon Has Risen) , while Café Decadence includes classics from the 1920s and 1930s such as Why should a woman not have a relationship? and I don't know who I belong to includes. In 1976, the programmatically titled album Neuer Wind was another collection of hits and chansons. This became the singles that always remains a secret and words are decoupled like arrows . In 1977 Lavi had another hit in the German single charts: The country- inspired piece Do you know what you are to me? reached number 12. A year later she had a success with Du bist mein Problem on German radio (airplay charts number 5). On the accompanying LP With You I'm still at home Lavi “juggles” a wide variety of genres. So she mixed country and disco titles between the usual hits and chansons.

Music career 1979–1994

After a few years' break, Lavi continued her career in 1981 with the single Whisper… . The declining interest in Schlager in general and its chanson-based variety in particular had significantly reduced the commercial success of Lavi's records. The cover version of the then superhit Words by FR David , with Lavi Mut , did not bring the hit she was hoping for, and the singer left the record company Polydor, where she had celebrated her greatest successes for years. With a new look and a contract with EMI , the success curve was slowly increasing again. The LP ... If so, then intense (1983) was Lavi's first in five years, the released singles Annual Rings and I Just Must Die (and there is no other must) presented a more modern style. With I just wanted to talk to you ( I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder ) Lavi achieved another hit in the German charts in 1985 after eight years (number 59). The accompanying LP Herzblut was their last studio album, which only contains new recordings.

The collaboration with EMI did not last long. In 1985 Lavi recorded the single We are burned children for Ralph Siegel's record company Jupiter Records . Another change followed the following year. Lavi recorded In Dein Armen (1986) and Love (1987) for Hansa , also without much success. In 1990 she released the album Lieder des Lebens with the small label MCS, with new recordings of her great successes and some new titles. The following year, she played a small role at the side of Inge Meysel in the television crime drama Mrs. Harris and the marriage fraud . After a last hit in a duet with Karel Gott (1994, I am there to love you , in the original When You Tell Me That You Love Me by Diana Ross ) Lavi ended her singing career for the time being. From 1992 until her death, she lived in seclusion with her fourth husband, the US industrialist Charles E. Gans, in Asheville , North Carolina .

Daliah Lavi was the mother of four children, one daughter and three sons. Rouven , her son from her second marriage to actor John Sullivan , also aspired to a singing career in the mid-1980s. His single Together (Flying on the Wings of Tenderness) was produced by Jack White in 1986 and reached number 53 in the German charts.

Comeback and farewell in 2008/2009

In October 2008, after a production time of over two years, a new CD was released with the title C'est la vie - This is life . With this album, produced by Dieter Falk , Lavi wanted to say goodbye to her audience, as she said in numerous interviews. In addition to five new songs, the album mainly contains new recordings of their hits, but also personal favorites such as Israel or Mother Earth is crying . On October 25, 2008 Lavi appeared on the show Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel and presented some of her well-known pieces as well as the title track of her new CD and the duet with Karel Gott, first published in 1994. Also at the following appearances it was often claimed that Lavi had not performed in Germany for around 15 years, which was not true. In 1997 she appeared at the Welthungerhilfe gala, in 1999 at Boulevard Bio and in 2000 as a star guest at the SWR Ball in Stuttgart.

In November 2008, C'est la vie reached the German album charts (highest position 22nd). For the first time since 1980 it was listed here again. Lavi promoted this record in Germany beforehand; u. a. she appeared in October 2008 on the TV talk show Beckmann . Until March 2009, C'est la vie stayed in the Top 100 charts of the best-selling albums in Germany for a total of 16 weeks, making it one of Daliah Lavi's most successful releases. In Austria, the CD remained in the sales charts for several weeks and reached number 56. The song C'est ca la vie even landed at number 1 in the German airplay charts / German Schlager .

At the end of February 2009 Lavi started a farewell tour that took her through 12 German cities. In autumn 2009 a live recording of her concert in the Alte Oper in Frankfurt am Main was released on DVD. 28 November 2009 Daliah Lavi got in from Suhl broadcast live television program The Advent Festival of 100,000 Lights for C'est la vie a gold record for selling over 100,000 copies in Germany. On November 12, 2011 Daliah Lavi appeared again on the ZDF program Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel .


Daliah Lavi was married to Charles E. Gans for the fourth time and his full name was Daliah Lavi Gans . Daliah brought two sons (Rouven Sullivan and Alexander Rittmaster) into the marriage, her husband a son and a daughter. Since 1992 she lived in Asheville , North Carolina , where she also died. Her funeral took place in Israel in her hometown of Shavei Zion.



year title Top ranking, total weeks / months, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / monthly data
(Year, title, rankings, weeks / months, awards, notes)
1970 Love song on that summer night DE18 (6 months)
- -
Daliah Lavi DE12 (7 months)
- -
1971 Would you like to go with me DE7 (9 months)
- -
1972 I am your friend DE12 (5 months)
- -
1973 My way of showing love DE23 (7 months)
AT10 (1 month)
First published: 1972
1980 Do you want to go with me - your 20 greatest successes DE13 (2 months)
- -
2008 C'est la vie - That's life DE22nd

(16 weeks)DE
AT56 (5 weeks)

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year

More albums

  • 1971: Would You Follow Me
  • 1971: In love
  • 1971: Sympathy
  • 1972: I believe in love
  • 1972: Jerusalem
  • 1972: I'm going the way
  • 1973: Let the Love Grow
  • 1974: I'm Israeli - I'm a Sabra
  • 1975: Café Decadence
  • 1975: For big and small children
  • 1976: New wind
  • 1977: Do you know what you are to me
  • 1978: I'm still at home with you
  • 1983: ... if so, then intensely
  • 1985: passion
  • 1990: Songs of Life
  • 2009: Live with band - C'est la vie


  • 1971: Star portrait (box with 2 LPs)
  • 1971: Daliah Lavi (box with 2 LPs)
  • 1973: my favorite songs
  • 1974: Daliah Lavi
  • 1976: Love song that summer night
  • 1980: Star Gala
  • 1982: I can never get enough of you - songs from today and yesterday
  • 1984: portrait
  • 1986: I just wanted to talk to you
  • 1994: Selected gold pieces
  • 1997: My way of showing love (2 CDs)
  • 2003: Do you want to go with me
  • 2009: Turn on your radio


year title
Top ranking, total weeks / months, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / monthly data
(Year, title, , Placements, weeks / months, awards, comments)
DE DE AT AT CH CHTemplate: chart table / maintenance / charts non-existent
1970 Love song on that summer night DE19 (2 months)
- -
Oh when are you coming DE4 (23 weeks)
AT5 (4 months)
CH2 (11 weeks)
1971 Who ruined my song like that, ma? DE11 (15 weeks)
AT8 (1 month)
Jerusalem DE26 (18 weeks)
- -
Would you like to go with me DE9 (23 weeks)
- -
1972 I believe in love DE25 (10 weeks)
- -
My way of showing love DE25 (8 weeks)
AT15 (3 months)
1973 I would be a book DE32 (2 weeks)
- -
It works like this too DE36 (4 weeks)
- -
1975 Nothing knocks me out - but you DE38 (4 weeks)
- -
1977 Do you know what you are to me DE12 (22 weeks)
AT18 (4 months)
1984 I just wanted to talk to you DE59 (7 weeks)
- -

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year

More singles

  • 1969: Love's Song (Canción de amor - Adelina) / Best to Forget (Mejor olvidar)
  • 1970: Won't You Join Me? / Black Paper Roses
  • 1970: Prends l'amour / Toi et moi on se ressemble
  • 1971: Schwabadaba Ding Ding
  • 1972: I'm Leaving
  • 1972: The Big Four by Daliah Lavi (2 singles)
  • 1972: The Big Four by Daliah Lavi - Episode 2 (2 singles)
  • 1972: Here's to You
  • 1972: Do you love parties?
  • 1973: Let the Love Grow (In Your Heart)
  • 1973: Fool
  • 1973: Resurrect love
  • 1976: That always remains a secret
  • 1976: words like arrows
  • 1977: Like the Swallows (Snowbird)
  • 1978: You are my problem
  • 1981: Whisper ...
  • 1982: I can never get enough of you (Promises)
  • 1982: courage
  • 1983: annual rings
  • 1983: I just have to die (and otherwise there is no must)
  • 1983: Daliah Lavi (EP)
  • 1984: The first night of eternity
  • 1985: It only hurts when I laugh
  • 1985: We are burned children
  • 1986: In your arms
  • 1987: Love / Thank you (Ola Kala)
  • 1990: Gospodin
  • 1990: Whenever it gets dark
  • 1994: I'm here to love you (with Karel Gott )

Awards for music sales

Note: Awards in countries from the chart tables or chart boxes can be found in these.

Country / Region Gold record icon.svg gold Platinum record icon.svg platinum Sales swell
Awards for music sales
(country / region, awards, sales, sources)
Germany (BVMI) Germany (BVMI) Gold record icon.svg gold1 0! P- 100,000 musikindustrie.de
All in all Gold record icon.svg gold1 -

Awards (selection)

  • 1970: Bronze Lion from Radio Luxemburg , for Oh, when are you coming?
  • 1971: Silver Lion from Radio Luxemburg, for Will you go with me?
  • 1971: Bravo Otto (silver)
  • 1972: Bravo Otto (Gold), spring
  • 1972: Bravo Otto (bronze), winter
  • 1973: Bravo Otto (bronze)
  • 2018: One of the best (life's work)

Filmography (selection)

Web links

Commons : Daliah Lavi  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Daliah Lavi Gans Obituary. In: legacy.com. Asheville Citizen-Times , May 4, 2017, accessed May 4, 2017 .
  2. ^ A b Elmar Kraushaar : "I was not particularly happy"  In: Frankfurter Rundschau , October 11, 2012.
  3. https://www.schlager.de/stars/daliah-lavi/ , accessed on July 20, 2020.
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg7h3kKk1lk , accessed on July 31, 2020.
  5. ^ Christian Schröder: Beautifully melancholy. In: Der Tagesspiegel . Retrieved March 15, 2009 .
  6. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/citizen-times/obituary.aspx?pid=185283592
  7. Barnes, Mike (May 4, 2017). "Daliah Lavi, 'Casino Royale' and 'The Silencers' Star, Dies at 74". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  8. a b Chart sources: Singles albums