Yehuda Barkan (Hebrew: יהודה ברקן‎‎; born March 29, 1945) is an Israeli actor, film producer, film director and screenwriter.


Yehuda Ezekiel Berkowitz (later Barkan) was born in Netanya. He studied at the Bialik and ORT in schools in Netanya. During his military service in the IDF Barkan served in a Combat Engineering Corps unit and the Northern Command Military band.

After his military service, Barkan joined the Dizengoff Command Band (להקת פיקוד דיזנגוף), a band which was based on the characteristics of an Israeli military band, which was composed of veteran members of military bands whom performed songs and skits.

In the early 1970s, Barkan participated in a sketch on the Israeli radio show Hamim VeTaim (חמים וטעים) in which Barkan and his colleagues, Moshe Timor, Shlomo Bar-Aba and others, made live prank calls. This became the inspiration for his later practical joke films.

In 1975 Barkan got married. From his first marriage Barkan had three children. During the 1980s Barkan married again.

In November 2008 Barkan was arrested by the Israeli Tax Authority on suspicion of tax evasion.[1]

At the beginning of the 2000s, Barkan became a Baal Tshuva, got married for the third time and moved to the religious moshav Beit Gamliel with his family. From his first marriage Barkan has four children.[2]

Film career

During the 1970s and 1980s Barkan participated in many Israeli "Bourekas films", among them Lupo!, Lupo in New York, Katz V'Carasso, Charlie Ve'hetzi, Hagiga B'Snuker, Bo Nefotzetz Million and more. Other films he appeared in during that time include among others: Malkat Hakvish (1971) where he played alongside Gila Almagor, in Menachem Golan's film Attack at Dawn (1970) and in the film adaptation of the novel He Walked Through the Fields (1967) where he played alongside Assi Dayan.

During the 1980s Barkan began to direct and produce films, including the candid camera film Hayeh Ahaltah Otah (which he directed together with Yigal Shilon), Nipagesh Bachof, Nipagesh Basivuv, Matzlema Bli Busha and Geveret Tiftehi, Ze Ani). Also during the 1980s, Barkan produced and directed films comic drama films, most notably the Abba Ganuv film series and the film Neshika Bametzach released in 1990 where he played alongside Michal Yanai.

In 1993 Barkan filed for bankruptcy due to the debts he accumulated after the failure of his 1993 film Mehapeset Baal Al Arba.

In 1994, shortly after the start of Israeli commercial television channel Channel 2 began its broadcasting, Barkan started hosting his own practical jokes show called Lo Dofkim Cheshbon. The show was cancelled shortly after.

In 1999 Barkan participated in two last films: Look into my eyes and Volcano Junction, in which he played small supporting roles.

In 2003 Barkan part in the documentary film Zehirut Matzlema along with Nurit Geffen and Josie Katz.

In 2004 Barkan played in the drama series Ahava BaShalechet along with Leah Koenig.

Selected filmography