5 Israelis in Hollywood

5 Israeli Actors Working in Hollywood

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  • As Israeli movies have been met with critical acclaim in recent years, so, too, have Israeli actors succeeded in getting in on some of the action in American movies. Here are 5 Israeli actors working in Hollywood:
    Natalie Portman
    Born in Jerusalem in 1981, Natalie Portman became a household name following her role as Padmé Amidala in the 1999 film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.  She has since starred in such blockbusters as V for Vendetta and Black Swan, for which she won an Oscar for Best Performance.​
    Ayelet Zurer
    A Tel Aviv native born in 1969, Ayelet Zurer has been a staple of Israeli cinema since playing the lead in the 1998 film Ahava Asura (aka The Dybbuk of the Holy Apple Field). Zurer starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 2009 movie Angels and Demons, as well as in Spielberg's Munich in 2005.  She has won the Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Actress in 2003 for Nina's Tragedies. Zurer will play Superman's mother in the reboot of the superman franchise, Man of Steel, planned for release in 2013.

    Ayelet Zurer and Tom Hanks in the official Angels and Demons Poster
    Mili Avital
    Born in Jerusalem in 1972, Mili Avital won the Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1992 film Me'ever Layam (Over the Ocean). In 1994, Avital starred in Stargate, for which she received a Sci-Fi Universe award Avital also starred along Johnny Depp in Dead Man (1995). Today, Avital stars in Prisoners of War (aka Chatufim), the Israeli original TV show on which the hit series "Homeland" is based.
    ​Lior Ashkenazi
    Lior Ashkenazi was born in Ramat Gan in 1968. His first major role in Israeli cinema was in Late Marriage in 2001. He won the Israeli Academy Award for his appearance in this movie. In 2004, Ashkenazi played a Mossad agent in the film "Walk on Water." Ashkenazi also starred in the 2011 film Footnote, which was nominated for Oscar in the Best Foreign Film Category. Ashkenazi served as a paratrooper in the IDF.
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Alon Abutbul
Born in Kiryat Ata in 1965, Alon Abutbul won the Israeli Film Academy Best Supporting Actor Award for the 2004 film Nina's Tragedies and the Jerusalem Film Festival Best Actor Award for the 2008 film Out of the Blue. In 2008, Abutbul played in "Body of Lies" directed by Ridley Scott alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.  In 2012, he appeared The Dark Night Rises as Dr. Leonid Pavel.