6 Internationally Acclaimed Israeli Actors
The world-famous actor, producer and director Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem in 1981. Her original Hebrew name is Neta-Lee. She obtained her first role in 1994, when she was only 13 years old, in Leon: The Professional, opposite Jean Reno. She became mainstream when she was cast as Padmé Amila in the Star Wars Prequel trilogy (1999; 2002; 2005). Since then, she has played leading roles in numerous successful movies such as Closer, Black Swan and V for Vendetta. In 2015, Portman accomplished her directorial debut with the adaptation of Israeli author Amos oZ’s memoir: A Tale of Love and Darkness and insisted it remained in Hebrew.
Ayelet Zurer was born and raised in Tel Aviv. After her military service, she decided to move to the US to pursue an acting career in Hollywood. In 1992, she came back to Israel where she worked as an actress for television and cinema. In 2003, she won the Israeli Academy award for Best Actress for her role as Nina in Nina’s tragedies. Later, she was cast in numerous big productions such as Munich, Man of Steel and Angels & Demon where she played the female lead, opposite Tom Hanks. In 2015, Zurer stars in the Netflix series Marvel’s Dardevil. These days you if you walk in Tel Aviv, you can run into her on a giant advertisement, as she is the face of the Israeli clothing company, Golbary.
Lior Ashkenazi, born in Ramat Gan in 1969, is famous for starring in many plays at the Beit Lessin Theater and for his roles in Israeli cinema. Ashkenazi was awarded Best Actor by the Israeli Film Academy for Late Marriage in 2001, and for Walk on Water in 2004. There is a chance that you might have discovered him in Hello Goodbye (2008), a French language dramedy staring Gerard Depardieu and Fanny Ardent.
Noa Tishby is an Israeli actress, producer, model and singer. Born and raised in Ramat Aviv, Tishby got her first big role at 16 in the musical King David. In 1995, she was cast in the highly rated prime time drama Ramat Aviv Gimel. She appears in the film Ghost of Girlfriends Past (2009)and in The Island (2005) directed by Michael Bay with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. Some of her television credits include: NCIS, CSI: Miami, Nip/Tuck, The 4400.
Alona Tal, born in Herzliya in 1983, obtained her first lead role in the Israeli film Lihiyot Kochav (To Be A Star) in 2003. She worked as an actress and appeared in two Israeli TV shows (Tzimerim and Hapijamot) previous to her move to New York. She missed out on the lead role in Veronica Mars (2004) to Kristen Bell. However, the author Rob Thomas admired Alona Tal so much he created the recurring role of Meg Manning specifically for her. Since then, Tal obtained roles in television series such as Supernatural, The Mentalist, Lie to Me or Pretty Little Liars. When Tal moved to New York, she met singer Wyclef Jean and recorded a song with him and sung the chorus in Hebrew.
Oded Fehr was born in Tel Aviv in 1970, but is now based in the US. He appeared in TV series such as Law & Order: Los Angeles, Covert Affairs or NCIS, where he portrayed the Deputy Director of the Mossad. Fehr was also cast in many successful movies, such as Resident Evil and The Mummy. After his military service, he worked in Germany as a security agent for the Israeli airline El Al.
By Elsa Mané