Worked With:

Andrew Garfield


Sharlto Copley


Liam Hemsworth


Jon Hamm


Edie Falco


Daniel Craig


David Duchovny


Forest Whitaker


Gabriel Byrne


Anthony Hopkins


Amy Adams

Embeth Davidtz Biography


Home > Actresses > D > Davidtz, Embeth > Biography


Birth Name: Embeth Davidtz
Born: 08/11/1965
Birth Place: Lafayette, Indiana, USA


Born on January 1, 1966 in Indiana, Davidtz spent a brief portion of her childhood in Trenton, NJ before her father accepted a position to teach chemical engineering at the University of Potchesstroom near Johannesburg, South Africa. After her training at the National Theatre Company, Davidtz moved to Los Angeles in 1991 and promptly landed major roles in TV projects, including the movie "Til Death Us Do Part" (NBC, 1992) with Arliss Howard and Treat Williams, and the crime drama miniseries "Deadly Matrimony" (NBC, 1992) with Williams and Brian Dennehy. Her first released American film was Sam Raimi's third "Evil Dead" movie, "Army of Darkness" (1993), in which she played the female lead as the lovely maiden Sheila and her demonic alter ego. Davidtz generated a lot of favorable press with her poignant portrayal of Helen Hirsch, the brutalized Jewish maid, in Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" (1993), winning the role after the director serendipitously caught her performance in a TV-movie.

Though she would later admit to being unhappy with the project, Davidtz had a high-profile leading role in the fact-based film "Murder in the First" (1995) but better displayed her versatility in the Merchant/Ivory production "Feast of July" (also 1995); she garnered glowing critical praise for her deft portrayal of a young woman who, in searching for the lover who abandoned her, ultimately brings tragedy to the family that offered her refuge.

He more redeeming character was in "Matilda" (1996), a feature based on Roald Dahl's children's fantasy-she essayed the role of the aptly-named Miss Honey, a sweet, warm-hearted teacher who brings out the best in the titular neglected girl genius. In 1998, Davidtz played a theologian helping Denzel Washington crack a supernatural wave of crimes in the mystery drama "Fallen" and played a femme fatale linked to Kenneth Branagh in Robert Altman's take on the John Grisham novel "The Gingerbread Man." The following year, Davidtz brought a witty charm to her portrayal a 19th-century woman of the world in Patricia Rozema's reworking of the Jane Austen comedy "Mansfield Park" and played a dual role in the futuristic fable "Bicentennial Man."

A supporting role in the film adaptation of "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001) saw Davidtz play a haughty villain for a change, while she proved even greater adaptability that year as she began her run on the CBS drama "Citizen Baines," playing the daughter of a defeated United States Senate incumbent (James Cromwell) who is herself leaning towards a career in politics. Mixing up period dramas (1999's "Wayward Son" and the 2001-lensed "Secret Passage") with horror thrillers like 2001's "Thir13en Ghosts," Davidtz emerged as a skilled performer with varied and versatile strengths. In 2002, he was then cast in the Michael Hoffman drama, "The Emperor's Club," a movie which co-starred Kevin Kline as a professor and Emile Hirsch as a headstrong student.

In "Junebug" (2005), an entrancing and beautifully acted drama, Davidtz played an outsider art dealer from Chicago brought to North Carolina by her husband (Alessandro Nivola) to meet his family for the first time. His eccentric family-which boasts of his knotty mother (Celia Weston), laconic father (Scott Wilson), cranky brother (Benjamin McKenzie) and awe-struck sister-in-law (Amy Adams)-becomes easily fractured from his wife's presence, exposing long-dormant frustrations and anxieties. In the satisfying courtroom thriller "Fracture" (2007), Davidtz was the wife of a wealthy aeronautical engineer (Anthony Hopkins) who was shot and killed by her husband for having an affair with a police hostage negotiator (Billy Burke). Despite her husband confessing to the crime, the prosecution starts falling apart on an ambitious Deputy D.A. (Ryan Gosling), who struggles when evidence that at first appeared to be a lock starts to suddenly erode his case.