in Jerusalem and raised in Ra'anana (nice city, about 20 minutes drive
north to Tel Aviv), Mili has been performing since she was six years old.
But she got her first big break at age 15, nabbing the role of the young
virgin, Cecille in the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv production
of Dangerous Liaisons.
Mili had already made a name for herself in the Israeli film industry before she left for America. In 1991, she won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the feature Over the Ocean and later received a nomination for Best Actress for her role in Groupie. But Israeli films have limited appeal, and though Mili was highly regarded in her native country, she relocated to New York, found work as a waitress, and took acting lessons.
It sounds like the Cinderella story. A young actress, barely able to make ends meet, is working as a waitress in a New York restaurant. Along comes a talent agent who is instantly charmed by the actress's good looks. Quick, off she goes to Hollywood and lands a part in a major motion picture, starring with Kurt Russell and James Spader. A star is born.
But the story of Israeli film star, Mili Avital, is far from being a tale of "rags to riches". Instead, the young actress, who could barely speak a passable English when she first came to the United States in 1993, has been struggling, searching for the picture that will bring her Hollywood recognition, and working hard to make a successful career in Tinsel Town. As Israel's number one export to the American film industry, Mili might just make it.
Mili really was discovered by a talent agent one day in the restaurant, and she landed the female lead in Stargate. Everyone was sure that Mili's career was guaranteed, but in fact she went for quite some time before finding another suitable role. The main thing holding her back was her accent not too many roles were available to foreign actresses. Mili went to work on learning to speak English like an American, and her efforts were rewarded.
Mili starred alongside Johnny Depp in the independent western, Dead Man, but her entire part lasted maybe ten minutes and ended with Avital's character getting shot through the chest. 1997 was a busy one for the actress, as she worked on three different pictures. Mili's most recent Israeli film role was in Minotaur, where she starred alongside Israeli actor and director, Dan Turgeman.
After her role in Kissing A Fool Vanity Fair described Mili as one of the five most promising actresses in Hollywood today. Michael Medved wrote in the New York Post Online Movie Review of Kissing A Fool that the film "should make her a significant star, allowing smitten moviegoers to forget all about the likes of Gwyneth and Julia." The E! Online Movie Review: Kissing A Fool said that "Avital is a sensual delight."
Following positive notices and strong buzz from its market screening at the IFFM in September, The Young Girl and the Monsoon made its world premiere at the 1999 AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival.
Miniseries Arabian Nights was aired around the world on March (Europe) May (US) 2000. Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe, write about Sheherazade: "... like the sultan, you may find yourself hooked... Mili's balance of intelligence and mysticism holds the movie together..."
English version of biography was written