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Ronit Elkabetz (1964 - 2016)

Getty Images / Gamma-Rapho / Thomas Samson

Ronit Elkabetz (1964 - 2016)

Ronit Elkabetz, an award-winning Israeli actress, screenwriter, and director, died April 19 of cancer in Tel Aviv, Israel, according to Variety and multiple other news sources. She was 51.

Elkabetz won special acclaim for the 2014 film "Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem." She not only starred in the divorce drama, but also wrote and directed it.

Her other film credits include "Ve'Lakhta Lehe Isha," "Hatuna Meuheret," "Mabul, Or," and "Bikur Ha-Tizmoret."

In 1994, she starred in "Sh'Chur," for which she won the Israeli Film Academy (Ophir) Award. She won a second Ophir Award for the 2001 film "Late Marriage."

In 2007, she starred in "The Band's Visit," winning a third Ophir Award.


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Elkabetz was born Nov. 27, 1964, in Beersheba, Israel. She never studied acting, instead beginning her career as a model in both France and Israel.

She married architect Avner Yasharon in June of 2010. That same year, she received a lifetime achievement award from the Israeli Film Academy.

Israeli film critic Uri Klein wrote in Haaretz that movie fans "can admire Ronit Elkabetz or recoil from her, or admire and recoil at the same time. Ignoring her is not an option."

When boycotts of Israeli films were called for, she told writer Nick Johnstone in the Jewish Chronicle: "A cultural boycott means death. It’s identical in any form, to any dictatorship regime. I hope that this tendency does not become radicalised and that we can do what really needs to be done, which is to talk to each other like humans, to listen out of mutual respect. To talk, because that’s the only way to make progress. We don’t have to agree, we don’t have to love, but it’s possible to have a civilised discussion between people, between filmmakers, between countries. We have to."

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