Embeth Davidtz is a Hollywood actress best known for playing Helen Hirsch in the 1993 epic historical period drama film Schindler’s List and as Miss Jennifer Honey in the 1996 fantasy comedy film Matilda.
Davidtz was born in Indiana, raised in South Africa and had to learn Afrikaans as a child to be able to study in the Southern African country. Her other notable movies include Army of Darkness, Fracture, Bicentennial Man, Mansfield Park, and Junebug.
Who is Embeth Davidtz? Biography, Age
Davidtz was born in Lafayette, Indiana on the 11th of August 1965 as Embeth Jean Davidtz. At the time of her birth, her father John Davidtz was studying chemical engineering at Purdue University. After his study, the family moved over to Trenton, New Jersey, before moving back to their adoptive home in South Africa when Embeth Davidtz was only nine years old.
Her family is of English, Dutch, and French heritage. She is not an only child, she has a younger sister who works as a psychologist at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Back in South Africa, her father began teaching at Potchefstroom University and little Davidtz had to learn Afrikaans in order to be able to attend school. In 1983, she graduated from The Glen high school Pretoria and would later further her studies at Rhodes University, Grahamstown.
Embeth kicked off her career in 1986 at the age of 21 with Artscape in Cape Town, which is now known as the Cape Performing Arts Board, (CAPAB). Her first role was as Juliet in the stage production of the play Romeo and Juliet performed at the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre.
Davidtz ability to both perform in Afrikaans and English soon earned her roles in other stage plays including A Chain of Voices and Nag (Silent Night). Her performances in the two plays earned her nominations for a South African play Award which is an equivalent of the Tony Award.
In 1988, Embeth Davidtz made her film debut in a minor role in an American horror movie Mutator which was filmed in South Africa. Shortly afterward, she earned a bigger role playing the daughter of an interracial couple in a South African short telemovie entitled A Private Life. In 1990, she starred in the play Houd-den-bek and won a DALRO Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. The play also earned her a 1991 nomination for the Esther Roos Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in an Afrikaans film.
In 1992, Embeth starred in a South African film Nag van die Negentiende and was noticed by U.S filmmaker Steven Spielberg who offered her a role in Schindler’s List as Helen Hirsch. Her appearance in the movie marked the beginning of her Hollywood career.
Embeth Davidtz then played a central role in the movie Murder in the First, followed by Feast of July both in 1995. In 1996, she landed the role of Miss Jennifer Honey (Matilda’s grade one teacher) in the children’s fantasy comedy film Matilda. The year 1998 saw her star as a theologian in the mystery drama Fallen alongside Denzel Washington, later that year, she also starred in Robert Altman’s The Gingerbread Man. The next year, Davidtz played the role of a nineteenth-century woman in Mansfield Park – a British romantic comedy-drama film which is based on a novel by Jane Austen of the same name. This was followed by her dual role in the science fiction comedy-drama film Bicentennial Man, which also starred Robin William.
In the beginning of the new millennium, Davidtz played a supporting role in the movie adaptation of Bridget Jones’ Diary; that same year, she began playing the daughter of James Cromwell in the CBS series Citizen Baines. Her other work that year was Thir13en Ghosts. In 2002, she starred in The Emperor’s Club, alongside Emile Hirsch and Kevin Kline. Her other movies till date include Junebug, Fracture, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Amazing Spider-Man. Embeth Davidtz has also appeared in a couple of TV series including Grey’s Anatomy, In Treatment, Mad Men, and Californication.
The beautiful actress is currently worth $5 million which is her earning both as stage and film actor for over three decades.
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Her Spouse and Children
Embeth Davidtz has been married to entertainment attorney Jason Sloane since June 2002; the couple dated for two years before walking down the aisle. They have two children together – a daughter named Charlotte Emily who was born in 2002 and a son Asher Sloane born October 2005.
Before her marriage to Jason in 2002, Embeth dated Harvey Keitel from 1994 to 1995 and Ben Chaplin for five years (1995-2000).