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Israelis You Should Know: Gila Almagor

Gila Almagor (Photo: wikicommons/Yoni S.Hamenachem)

Name: Gila Almagor

Age: 77

About her: Gila Almagor is an actress who is known as queen of Israeli cinema and theater.

Gila Almagor was born in British mandate Palestine in 1939. Four months before Gila's birth, her father, a Haifa policeman and German Jew who had made aliyah (immigrated to the Holy Land) was killed by an Arab sniper. Gila grew up quickly, as she was forced to care for her mother, whose mental state further deteriorated upon learning that her entire family had been murdered by the Nazis. After her mother was institutionalized, Gila first moved to a youth village, and then to Tel Aviv where she studied acting.

Since beginning her acting career in 1956 at the age of 17 at Tel Aviv's Habima Theatre, Gila has played many roles, to widespread acclaim. Some of the roles she has played onstage include Anne Frank, Joan of Arc, and Medea. She has also appeared in more than 40 films, including the mother of the main character in Steven Spielberg's Munich.

Another role Gila played was that of her own mother in two films based on her two autobiographies, Summer of Aviya and Under the Domim Tree.

She has received countless awards throughout her career, including the coveted Israel Prize in 2004, and runs her own charity for sick children, as well as acts as an ambassador for children in the arts. She is married to the Habima Theatre's former director, and the couple has two children.

Tags: Life in Israel

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