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Mili Avital
Over The Ocean two (cropped).jpg
Avital in Beyond the Sea in 1991
Born (1972-03-30) 30 March 1972 (age 49)
Years active1992–present
(m. 2004)

Mili Avital (Hebrew: מילי אביטל; born 30 March 1972) is an Israeli actress, writer and director. Avital built an international career, starting in her native Israel, starring on stage, film and television. She won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1991, moved to New York in 1993 to study theater in English, was discovered by an agent while working in a restaurant, and started acting in Hollywood almost immediately. She has maintained her career in both countries since.

Early life

Avital was born in Jerusalem, Israel, the daughter of graphic designers Noni and Iko Avital. Both her parents are Sephardic Jews; Avital's father was born in Morocco, whereas her mother is Israeli-born and of Turkish-Jewish descent.[1][2] She was raised in Tel Aviv and Ra'anana.[3] She attended the Thelma Yellin High School of Arts in Givatayim.

American career

In 1993 she arrived in New York City to study acting at the Circle in the Square Theatre School. The following year, discovered by an agent while working as a waitress, she was cast as the female lead in the 1994 science fiction film Stargate,[4] for which she received a Sci-fi Universe award. She has appeared in films such as Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man opposite Johnny Depp, Doug Ellin's Kissing a Fool opposite David Schwimmer, Polish Wedding opposite Claire Danes, and Robert Benton's The Human Stain opposite Anthony Hopkins. In 1999, she portrayed a Bosnian rape victim in the pilot episode of the long-running NBC legal drama, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Avital appeared in three other episodes of the series: "Parasites", "Manhattan Vigil", and "Depravity Standard". She also appeared in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Palimpsest". Her television work includes Scheherazade in the Emmy-nominated ABC miniseries Arabian Nights to rave reviews, Jon Avnet's Uprising, and After the Storm . In 2009–2010 Avital appeared in the FX TV show Damages, in a recurring role as the mistress to the husband of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close). She recently appeared in the 2012 ABC television series 666 Park Avenue.[5]

In theater, Avital played Cordelia in King Lear at the Electric Lodge (Venice, California) in a 2006 production directed by Patsy Rodenburg.

Her directorial debut, the short documentary I Think Myself I am All the Time Younger, received its world premiere at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Israeli career

Avital began her professional career on stage during her senior year in high school, in Dangerous Liaisons at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv.

She was first introduced to Israeli audiences in the title role of Yael's Friends, a television film. She won the 1992 Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her first feature film role, in Me'ever Layam. Her work in Israel includes the cult comedy Ahava Colombianit (Colombian Love), as well as Noodle, for which she received the 2007 Israel's Critics' Circle Award for Best Actress, the Israeli Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, and Israel's Person of the Year nomination for 2006. Avital stars in Prisoners of War, a Keshet prime-time Israeli TV series, on which the American television series Homeland is based. Avital was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series (first season) for her work. The show won Best Drama Series in the Israeli TV Awards.

Avital took part in a comedy series, Landing on Their Feet, for Keshet, alongside Shani Cohen (Eretz Nehederet).

Personal life

She moved to New York in 1994, and continues to reside there with her husband, screenwriter Charles Randolph, and their two children, Benjamin and Fanny.

Avital served as a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Haifa from 2009 to 2013.



Year Title Role Notes
1991 Me'ever Layam Miri Goldfarb
1993 Groupie
1994 Stargate Sha'uri
1995 Dead Man Thel Russell
1996 Invasion of Privacy Theresa Barnes
1997 The End of Violence Featured Performer
1998 Polish Wedding Sofie
1998 Animals with the Tollkeeper Fatima
1998 Kissing a Fool Samantha Andrews
1999 The Young Girl and the Monsoon Erin
1999 Minotaur Thea
2000 Bad Seed Emily Tylk
2003 The Human Stain Young Iris
2004 Ahava Colombianit Tali Shalev
2005 When Do We Eat? Vanessa
2007 Noodle Miri Calderone


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Marta Stevens Episode: "Payback"
2000 Arabian Nights Scheherezade TV miniseries
2001 After the Storm Coquina TV film
2001 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Ava Parulis / Irina Parulis Episode: "Parasites"
2001 Uprising Deworah Baron TV film
2002 Shabatot VeHagim Noa Episodes: "El Ha-Ma'ayan", "Air Guitar"
2009 Damages Anna Mercado Episodes: "I Agree, It Wasn't Funny", "London. Of Course"
2009-2012 Prisoners of War Nurit Halevi-Zach Recurring role (11 episodes)
2010 Damages Anna Mercado Episode: "The Dog Is Happier Without Her"
2010 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Lenore Abrigaille Episode: "Palimpsest"
2012 666 Park Avenue Danielle Tyler Episode: "Murmurations"
2012 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Laurie Colfax Episode: "Manhattan Vigil"
2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Laurie Colfax Episode: "Depravity Standard"
2017 Landing on Their Feet Dana Berger Fine Leading role


  1. ^ "Israeli actress Mili Avital is back on Hollywood's radar".
  2. ^ "Noodle: Mili Avital interview: A strong connection". SBS Movies. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  3. ^ Kaplan, Don (25 April 2000). "SCHWIMMER'S ALI BABE; HER STARRING ROLE IN 'ARABIAN NIGHTS' WILL TEST THE FRIENDSHIP". New York Post. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Hollywood Now: Oscar Winners & New Show Bride and Prejudice". 18Doors. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  5. ^ Keck, William (8 August 2012). "Keck's Exclusives: New Bodies Check in to ABC's 666 Park Avenue". TV Guide. Retrieved 13 August 2012.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 January 2022, at 03:38
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