Mili Avital was born on 30 March 1972 in Jerusalem, Israel, is an Israeli actress. Avital built a successful stage and film career in Israel, winning the Israeli Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1992 and nominated for Best Actress in 1994.
Avital was born in Jerusalem, the daughter of graphic designers Noni and Iko Avital She was raised in Tel Aviv and Ra’anana. She attended the Thelma Yellin High School of Arts in Giv’atayim. She moved to New York in 1994, and later dated David Schwimmer in the early 2000s. Avital continues to reside in New York City with her husband, screenwriter Charles Randolph (The Life of David Gale), and their son.
As one of the most highly regarded actresses in her native Israel, Avital has created international success with her diverse starring roles in film, television and theater. She began her professional career during her senior year in high school, in the play Dangerous Liaisons at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv.
In 1993 she arrived in New York City to study acting at the “Circle in the Square Theater School”. The following year, discovered by an agent while working as a waitress, she was immediately cast as the female lead in Stargate, 1994, 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, Polish Wedding, Robert Benton’s The Human Stain and When Do We Eat? Her television work includes portraying Scheherazade in the Emmy-nominated ABC miniseries Arabian Nights to rave reviews, Jon Avnet’s Uprising and After the Storm. In 2009-2010 Avital has appeared in the FX TV show Damages, in a recurring role as the mistress to the husband of Patty Hewes (Glenn Close).
In theater, Avital played Cordelia in King Lear at the Electric Lodge (Venice, California), 2006, directed by Patsy Rodenburg.
Her directorial debut, a short documentary I Think Myself I am All the Time Younger, received its world premiere at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Avital was first introduced to Israeli audience in the title role of Yael’s Friends, a highly popular television film, to rave reviews. She won the 1992 Israeli Film Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her first feature film role, in Me’ever Layam (Over the Ocean). Her recent 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. 2006. In 2010 Avital is starring in Prisoners of War (aka Chatufim), a Channel 2 prime-time Israeli TV series. Avital was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series, and Prisoners of War won Best Drama Series at the 2010 Israeli TV awards.