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Assi Dayan, 68; filmmaker, scion of noted Israeli family

JERUSALEM — Actor and director Assi Dayan an Israeli cultural icon who was known for both his trailblazing films and troubled personal life, died Thursday in his Tel Aviv home.

No cause of death was given but Mr. Dayan had suffered from illnesses in recent years.

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A scion to one of Israel’s most prominent families, Mr. Dayan was the youngest son of military chief and defense minister Moshe Dayan. His sister Yael was also a politician.

‘‘My baby is gone and this is not the age when you expect the anchor to fall,’’ his 97-year-old mother, Ruth, said.

Despite his lineage, Mr. Dayan was somewhat of a counterculture hero. He often lashed out at the state and angrily confronted his father over his military views, his marital infidelities, and his reputation for plundering antiquities’ sites.

Mr. Dayan, 68, acted in 50 films and TV shows and directed 16 movies. He played the lead role in the acclaimed TV drama “Betipul,’’ which was adapted into the HBO series ‘‘In Treatment,’’ with Gabriel Byrne playing Mr. Dayan’s role.

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