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Mili Avital

Mili Avital

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: March 30, 1972 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Jerusalem, , IL Profession: actor, waitress

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A beautiful Israeli import with dark hair and flashing eyes, Mili Avital was a celebrated performer in her native land, winning an Israeli Academy Award at age eighteen before moving to New York to study acting and try her hand in the United States market. With a demo reel in Hebrew and somewhat tentative English skills, Avital nonetheless quickly landed her first starring role after being discovered while waitressing on Manhattan's West Side. She was cast as the female lead in Roland Emmerich's sci-fi epic "Stargate" (1994), a role that would win the young actress much attention from the start. Working steadily throughout the mid- to late-1990s, Avital was featured alongside Johnny Depp in Jim Jarmusch's stylized Western "Dead Man" (1995) and took a starring role opposite Johnathon Schaech as a woman wishing to terminate her pregnancy who is stalked by the mentally unstable would-be father in the HBO-premiered disturbing thriller "Invasion of Privacy" (1996). In 1997 she had a smaller role in the Wim Wenders-directed drama "The End of Violence" and finally followed up with some lighter fare, starring as a woman dating one man (David Schwimmer) but possibly in love with his friend (Jason Lee) in the...

A beautiful Israeli import with dark hair and flashing eyes, Mili Avital was a celebrated performer in her native land, winning an Israeli Academy Award at age eighteen before moving to New York to study acting and try her hand in the United States market. With a demo reel in Hebrew and somewhat tentative English skills, Avital nonetheless quickly landed her first starring role after being discovered while waitressing on Manhattan's West Side. She was cast as the female lead in Roland Emmerich's sci-fi epic "Stargate" (1994), a role that would win the young actress much attention from the start. Working steadily throughout the mid- to late-1990s, Avital was featured alongside Johnny Depp in Jim Jarmusch's stylized Western "Dead Man" (1995) and took a starring role opposite Johnathon Schaech as a woman wishing to terminate her pregnancy who is stalked by the mentally unstable would-be father in the HBO-premiered disturbing thriller "Invasion of Privacy" (1996). In 1997 she had a smaller role in the Wim Wenders-directed drama "The End of Violence" and finally followed up with some lighter fare, starring as a woman dating one man (David Schwimmer) but possibly in love with his friend (Jason Lee) in the romantic comedy "Kissing a Fool" (1998), jump-starting her off screen romance with Schwimmer. A role in the independent drama "Animals" cast the actress as an American from the deep South, an accent she tackled with gusto. She was next featured in the independent romance "The Young Girl and the Monsoon" (1999).

In 1999, Avital began working in impressive television projects, beginning with a guest role on the debut episode of the critically-acclaimed spin-off series "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC), which she would revisit in 2001, playing Romanian twins embroiled in a murder. The actress' exotic good looks and compelling presence made her a clear choice to play Scheherezade in the ABC miniseries "Arabian Nights" (2000), a role to which she brought a solid combination of engaging sweetness and alluring mystery. She co-starred in "After the Storm", a dramatic adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story for the USA Network in 2001, and was featured in the romantic thriller "Minotaur" (premiered on Cinemax) that same year. Playing a Jewish freedom fighter in "Uprising", the 2001 NBC miniseries chronicling the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto, offered Avital a chance to dig into her roots, returning to her homeland to research her significant role in this powerful historic drama.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Noodle (2007)
2.
 When Do We Eat? (2006)
3.
 The Human Stain (2003) Young Iris
4.
 After the Storm (2001) Coquina
5.
 Bad Seed (2000) Emily
7.
 Animals (1998) Fatima
8.
 Kissing a Fool (1998) Samantha Andrews
9.
 Polish Wedding (1997)
10.
 End of Violence, The (1997) Featured Background Performer
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born and raised in Israel
1989:
Made stage debut in an Israeli production of "Dangerous Liaisons"
1991:
Won an Israeli Academy Award at age eighteen for her performance in "Over the Ocean"
1992:
Moved to NYC to study acting
1994:
Made American feature acting debut in Roland Emmerich's "Stargate"
1995:
Featured in the Jim Jarmusch Western "Dead Man"
1996:
Played a florist who finds herself unhappily carrying the child of her psychotic former lover in the drama "Invasion of Privacy" (aired on HBO)
1997:
Had a small role in Wim Wenders' "The End of Violence"
1998:
Played the woman pursued by bachelor pals David Schwimmer and Jason Lee in in the romantic comedy "Kissing a Fool"
1998:
Featured in the independent drama "Animals"
1999:
Acted in "The Young Girl and the Monsoon"
1999:
Guest starred on the premiere episode of the NBC crime drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
2000:
Had a featured acting role in the independent drama "Bad Seed"
2000:
Played beautiful storyteller Scheherezade in the ABC miniseries "Arabian Nights"
2001:
Co-starred in the USA Network presentation "After the Storm", based on the Ernest Hemingway short story
2001:
Starred in the suspenseful romance "Minotaur" (aired on Cinemax)
2001:
Guested again on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", playing twins
2001:
Starred in "Uprising", an NBC miniseries chronicling the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising
2006:
Starred in the Jewish comedy "When Do We Eat?"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Talma Yalin: -
Circle in the Square Professional Theater School: New York , New York -

Notes

Mili Avital on her first English-speaking acting role in "Stargate", quoted in GQ (April 1998): "I didn't understand the plot. I had no idea what people were saying to me half the time. I was doing one scene where I'm supposed to react to this guy who's morphing. How the hell do you explain morphing to someone who doesn't speak English?"

"Everybody knows Scheherezade. It's like playing Alice in Wonderland. You have your own take on it. It's a period movie that takes place in another time with all these special effects, but at the end of the day it's about how our imaginations can save our lives. It's a testament to the power of storytelling." --Avital to USA Today, April 28, 2000.

Avital on her acting beginnings: "My mother forbade me to go professional as a child. I would take books and make them into plays with girls from school." --quoted in US Weekly, May 8, 2000.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
David Schwimmer. Actor. Met during the filming of "Kissing a Fool"; no longer together.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Iko Avital. Graphic designer.
mother:
Noni Avital. Toymaker.
sibling:
Yoni Avital. Younger.

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