Natalie Portman Mourns Death of Author Amos Oz Whose Book She Turned Into Her Directorial Debut

Natalie Portman is remembering her good friend and Israeli author Amos Oz

Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Natalie Portman is remembering her good friend and Israeli author Amos Oz.

Oz died of cancer on Friday at the age of 79, according to NPR. The literary giant inspired Portman, 37, with his 2002 autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness, which she made into a film in 2015.

The Oscar-winner shared her condolences on Instagram Friday writing, “My heart is broken.”

“Today we lost a soul, a mind, a heart, Amos Oz, who brought so much beauty, so much love, and a vision of peace to our lives,” Portman wrote in the caption. “Please hold him in your hearts and read his gorgeous books. My most loving embrace to his family, who he loved extremely.”

The book focuses on his close relationship with his mother, Fania, who died by suicide when Oz was 12. Portman, who is Jewish and speaks fluent Hebrew, portrayed Oz’s mother in the film, which she also wrote, directed, and produced.

The actress told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 she had met Oz and his wife, Nily, for tea in their apartment in Tel Aviv where she met the author before optioning his book.

“The language was really what [drew me], his obsession with words and the way words are connected in Hebrew, which has this incredible poetry and magic,” she explained at the time. “It’s obviously almost impossible to translate, but there’s just incredible beauty to that.”

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She continued, “[Jews are] a people built of words, people built of books, and it’s quite beautiful to see that, which is a strange thing to start for a movie.”

Oz has published more than 18 books, including Black Box and In the Land of Israel, but he is perhaps best known for A Tale of Love and Darkness.

He is survived by his wife and their three children.

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