Famous Israeli Film & Theater Personalities

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Find out more about the greatest Israeli Film & Theater Personalities, including Natalie Portman, Gal Gadot, Yael Grobglas, Ayelet Zurer and Yigal Amir
Vote for Your Favourite Israeli Film & Theater Personalities
 1 
Bar Refaeli
(Israeli Model, Businesswoman and Actress Who Hosted ‘The X Factor Israel’)
Bar Refaeli
4
Birthdate: June 4, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hod Hasharon, Israel
One of the highest-paid Israeli models, Bar Refaeli topped Maxim’s Hot 100 in 2012 and has worked for GQ and Elle. She has also hosted Germany's Next Top Model, The X Factor Israel, and the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. She faced criticism for avoiding Israel’s mandatory military service recruitment.
 2 
Inbar Lavi
(Actress)
Inbar Lavi
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ramat Gan, Israel

Inbar Lavi is an Israeli actress best known for her performance in the American comedy-drama TV series Underemployed. Lavi is also credited with playing important roles on other American TV series like Gang Related, Prison Break, and Lucifer. Her popularity increased when she landed the lead role in the dark comedy television series Imposters where she played Maddie.

 3 
Gal Gadot
(Israeli Actress and Model Who is Known for Her Role in the Film ‘Wonder Woman’)
Gal Gadot
39
Birthdate: April 30, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rosh Haayin, Israel

From Miss Israel to Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot has made heads turn and take notice of her. Serving two years in Israeli Army as a combat trainer surely helped Gadot in her movie career, where she is known for playing strong, action-oriented roles. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2018.

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 4 
Odeya Rush
(Actress & Model)
Odeya Rush
4
Birthdate: May 12, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel

Odeya Rush is an Israeli model and actress best known for playing lead roles in American films like The Giver, The Bachelors, and Let It Snow. In 2016, Rush was honored at the Young Artist Awards with the Best Performance in a Feature Film award. In 2017, she received the Awards Circuit Community Award for her performance in Lady Bird.

 5 
Keren Peles
(Singer)
Keren Peles
4
Birthdate: March 11, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yavne'el, Israel

Keren Peles is an Israeli pianist, singer-songwriter, and poet. Over the course of her songwriting career, Peles has contributed immensely to the success of other popular singers like Shiri Maimon and Miri Mesika by writing the lyrics of some of their hit songs. She has also found success as a singer as many of her albums have been certified gold.  

 6 
Yael Grobglas
(French-Israeli Actress Best Known for Her Roles as 'Petra Solano' in the TV Seies 'Jane the Virgin')
Yael Grobglas
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France

Yael Grobglas is an Israeli actress known for her performance in the popular American satirical telenovela Jane the Virgin. After appearing in a couple of Israeli films, Grobglas achieved international recognition when she played Shir in a horror film titled Rabies. She then established herself in the American TV and film industry by appearing in projects like Jane the Virgin.

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 7 
Oded Fehr
(Stage actor, Film actor)
Oded Fehr
3
Birthdate: November 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Venezuela

Oded Fehr is an Israeli actor best known for playing Ardeth Bay in the 1999 film The Mummy. Fehr went on to reprise his role in the 2001 sequel The Mummy Returns. His portrayal of Ardeth earned him similar roles in films like Resident Evil: Apocalypse. Over the years, he has also established himself as a TV actor in America.

 8 
Ayelet Zurer
(Actor, Model, Stage actor)
Ayelet Zurer
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tel Aviv

Ayelet Zurer is an Israeli actress best known for playing the female lead in the American mystery thriller film Angels & Demons. A celebrated actress in Israel, Zurer has won many prestigious awards, such as the Israeli Film Academy Award and Israeli Television Academy Awards. In 2003, she was honored with the Best Actress award at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

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 9 
Chaim Topol
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1935
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tel Aviv
Israeli actor Chaim Topol is best known for his Golden Globe-winning titular role in Sallah Shabati. He began his career with Israeli theater and later co-founded Haifa Theatre. He also earned an Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe for playing Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof.
 10 
Alona Tal
(Israeli Actress and Singer)
Alona Tal
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Herzliya, Israel

Alona Tal is an Israeli actress known for playing supporting roles in popular American TV series like Veronica Mars and Supernatural. Tal is also known for her singing skills; she has recorded a song with popular Haitian rapper and musician Wyclef Jean. She has also appeared in several American films like Half Past Dead 2, Broken City, and Opening Night.

 11 
Ralph Bakshi
(Director of Animated Films)
Ralph Bakshi
3
Birthdate: October 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haifa
Animation filmmaker Ralph Bakshi revolutionized the domain of animation through adult-oriented projects. He started his career with Terrytoons and eventually launched his own studio. Some of his features include Fritz the Cat, the 1978 version of The Lord of the Rings, and the series Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures.
 12 
Ronen Rubinstein
(best known for his roles as Nathan in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black)
Ronen Rubinstein
0
Birthdate: November 7, 1993
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rehovot, Israel
 13 
Avi Arad
(CEO and founder of Marvel Studios)
Avi Arad
3
Birthdate: April 18, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ramat Gan, Israelr

Avi Arad is an Israeli-American businessman and film producer. He became a prominent business figure as the CEO of the company Toy Biz in the 1990s. He then proceeded to become the chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment and founded Marvel Studios. In 2006, he resigned from his Marvel positions and formed his own production company, Arad Productions. 

 14 
Yossi Ghinsberg
3
Birthdate: April 25, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Ghinsberg is an Israeli adventurer, entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and humanitarian. He is best known for his survival story which happened in 1981 when he was stranded in the Amazon jungle for three weeks. The story inspired the 2017 Australian biographical film Jungle and was featured in Discovery Channel's popular documentary series I Shouldn't Be Alive.

 15 
Jeff Wilbusch
3
Birthdate: November 14, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel

Jeff Wilbusch is an Israeli-German actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Moishe Lefkovitch in a drama television miniseries titled Unorthodox for which he was honored at the 25th Satellite Awards with the Best Supporting Actor award under the Series, Miniseries or Television Film category.

 16 
Bar Paly
(Actor, Film actor, Model)
Bar Paly
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1985
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ural

Bar Paly is an actress and model best known for her role in the crime drama TV series NCIS: Los Angeles. She was born in the Soviet Union and moved to Israel as a child. She later immigrated to USA, where she entered the entertainment industry. She started out as a model and then began acting as well.   

 17 
Lior Raz
(Known for His Role ‘Doron Kabilio’ in TV Series ’Fauda’ and ‘Segev Azulai’ in Series ‘Hit & Run')
Lior Raz
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

Lior Raz is an Israeli actor and screenwriter best known for playing the role of Doron Kavilio in the political thriller TV series Fauda. As a young man, he served in the Israel Defense Forces as a commando. He later pursued an acting career on TV, eventually branching out into films as well. He often appears in thrillers. 

 18 
Ofra Haza
(Singer, Voice actor, Actor, Composer, Journalist, Pianist, Songwriter)
Ofra Haza
3
Birthdate: November 19, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tel Aviv
Died: February 23, 2000

Ofra Haza was an Israeli actress and singer who achieved great popularity in the Western world where she came to be known as the Madonna of the East. An influential cultural figure in Israel, Ofra Haza played a major role in popularizing the Mizrahi culture. During her illustrious singing career, Haza earned several gold and platinum discs.

 19 
Iddo Goldberg
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Haifa

Iddo Goldberg is an Israeli-British actor best known for his roles in the drama TV series  Secret Diary of a Call Girl and horror TV series Salem. Born in Israel, he moved to London as a child. He began his acting career in the 1990s with small roles in TV shows. As of today, he appears in films as well. 

 20 
Neil Druckmann
(Best known for his work on the Uncharted and The Last of Us video game franchises)
Neil Druckmann
0
Birthdate: December 5, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Israel
 21 
Nehemiah Persoff
2
Birthdate: August 2, 1919
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

Nehemiah Persoff is a retired actor and painter. In an extensive career spanning over half a century, he appeared in more than 200 films, TV shows, and stage productions. As a young man, he served in the US Army. He then began his acting career in the New York theater and started acting in films and TV shows as well. 

 22 
Mili Avital
(Actress)
Mili Avital
2
Birthdate: March 30, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

Mili Avital is an Israeli actress, writer, and director who has been active in the entertainment industry for three decades. She studied acting at the Circle in the Square Theatre School and soon made her film debut. She began her career in Israel and now appears in international projects as well. She is the recipient of one Israeli Academy Award. 

 23 
Yair Lapid
(Journalist, Writer, Politician, Actor, Television presenter)
Yair Lapid
2
Birthdate: November 5, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tel Aviv

Yair Lapid is an Israeli politician who has been serving as the prime minister of Israel since June 2021. He is also the current Minister of Foreign Affairs in Israel. He is credited with founding the centrist Yesh Atid party. A former journalist, Lapid was also known for his skills as a writer before entering politics in 2012.

 24 
Haim Saban
(Investor and Founder of Saban Entertainment Which Produced the X-Men and Power Rangers)
Haim Saban
0
Birthdate: October 15, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt

Haim Saban is an Israeli-American investor, media proprietor, and film producer. He is credited with founding Saban Entertainment which produces children's television programs like Power Rangers. For his achievements in the TV industry, Saban was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also a philanthropist, Haim Saban donated $14 million for the completion of a children's hospital.

 25 
Raviv Ullman
(Best Known for Playing Phil Diffy in the Disney Channel Series 'Phil of the Future')
Raviv Ullman
2
Birthdate: January 24, 1986
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Eilat, Israel

The Phil of the Future star Raviv Ullman irked netizens when, in 2017, he posted an old picture of him kissing Kim Kardashian, from an unsold pilot, adding the hashtag #kanyegotmysloppyseconds. Ullman is also a skilled musician, has been part of several bands, and hosts a podcast, too.

 26 
Mark Ivanir
2
Birthdate: September 6, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Mark Ivanir is a Ukrainian-Israeli actor best known for playing supporting roles in popular American films like Schindler's List, The Good Shepherd, What Just Happened, and A Late Quartet. Mark Ivanir’s portrayal of Valentin Mironov in the 2006 spy film The Good Shepherd was honored at the Berlin Film Festival with the prestigious Silver Bear Award.

 27 
Haya Harareet
(Former Actress, Screenwriter whose major film roles was playing Esther, Ben Hur's love interest in the 1959 Hollywood-made film Ben-Hur)
Haya Harareet
2
Birthdate: September 20, 1931
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel
Died: February 3, 2021

Haya Harareet was an Israeli screenwriter and actress best remembered for her portrayal of Esther in the 1959 religious epic film Ben-Hur. Among her works as a screenwriter is the 1967 British drama film Our Mother's House, which was directed by Jack Clayton. She was an international star; she appeared in Israeli, Italian, British, and American films.

 28 
Arnon Milchan
(Film producer, Entrepreneur, Screenwriter, Businessperson)
Arnon Milchan
2
Birthdate: December 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rehovot

Arnon Milchan is an Israeli film producer and businessman. He is credited with founding a production company named Regency Enterprises, which was produced popular films like The Revenant and Fight Club. He has received two Academy Award nominations for producing The Revenant and L.A. Confidential. A former spy, Milchan served as an Israeli intelligence operative between the 1960s and '80s.

 29 
Jonah Lotan
2
Birthdate: July 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jerusalem

Jonah Lotan is an Israeli actor known for playing important roles in popular TV series like 24, Foyle's War, and Hostages. Lotan is also known for his contribution to the theater; he played the role of Joel Singer in J. T. Rogers' Tony award-winning play Oslo at the Royal National Theatre's Lyttelton Stage in September 2017.

 30 
Mordechai Vanunu
(Technician)
Mordechai Vanunu
2
Birthdate: October 14, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marrakech

Mordechai Vanunu is an Israeli peace activist and former nuclear technician. In 1986, he revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press and was subsequently imprisoned for 18 years. Internationally, he is known as a whistle-blower, while in Israel, he is considered a traitor. He was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1987.   

 31 
Daliah Lavi
(Israeli Actress, Singer and Model)
Daliah Lavi
2
Birthdate: October 12, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shavei Tzion, Israel
Died: May 3, 2017

Daliah Lavi was an Israeli actress, model, and singer. Throughout her career, Lavi played important roles in several European and American productions. As she was fluent in many languages, she acted in English, Italian, Spanish, German, and French-language films. Thanks to her impressive physique, she was also popular for playing a femme fatale in many films.

 32 
Amir Blumenfeld
(American-Israeli Comedian)
Amir Blumenfeld
2
Birthdate: January 18, 1983
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Afula, Israel

Amir Blumenfeld is an Israeli-American actor, television host, comedian, and writer. He is one half of the popular comedy duo, Jake and Amir. His performance in a web series titled Jake and Amir earned him a Webby Award in 2010. Blumenfeld has also appeared in a couple of TV shows and films.

 33 
Esti Ginzburg
(Actor, Model, Television presenter)
Esti Ginzburg
2
Birthdate: March 6, 1990
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tel Aviv

Esti Ginzburg is an Israeli model, television host, and actress. One of the most popular faces in Israel, Ginzburg has taken part in international campaigns, modeling for fashion brands like Tommy Hilfiger and FCUK. Ginzburg was also featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for three consecutive years starting from 2009. Also a philanthropist, Ginzburg works with the Hayim Association.

 34 
Yigal Amir
(Criminal)
Yigal Amir
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Herzliya

Yigal Amir is an Israeli murderer and right-wing extremist. He assassinated Yitzhak Rabin who was serving as the prime minister of Israel at the time of his murder. He is currently serving his life sentence at a prison in Israel. Yigal Amir’s life inspired a documentary film titled Beyond the Fear which was premiered on July 8, 2015, in Jerusalem.

 35 
Rula Jebreal
(Palestinian Foreign Policy Analyst, Journalist, Novelist and Screenwriter)
Rula Jebreal
2
Birthdate: April 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Haifa, Israel

Rula Jebreal is a Palestinian journalist, foreign policy analyst, novelist, and screenwriter. Her first novel Miral was adapted into a film of the same name. Directed by Julian Schnabel, Miral had Freida Pinto playing the title role.

 36 
Noa Tishby
(actor, singer, model, television presenter)
Noa Tishby
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ramat Aviv

Noa Tishby is an Israeli actress, producer, writer, and activist. She achieved popularity after appearing in the 2005 science fiction film, The Island, which starred Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. As a producer, Tishby is credited with co-producing the Peabody Award-winning series In Treatment. A popular activist, Tishby was named among the 50 Most Influential Jews by the Jerusalem Post.

 37 
Oren Peli
(film director, film producer, screenwriter, film editor, writer, engineer, actor)
Oren Peli
2
Birthdate: March 23, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ramat Gan

Oren Peli is an Israeli-American film producer, director, and screenwriter. He is best known for directing the 2007 American supernatural horror film Paranormal Activity. He is also credited with co-creating a supernatural adventure horror TV series titled The River. A former computer software programmer, Oren Peli was one of the developers of a bitmap graphics editor called Photon Paint.

 38 
Tzachi Halevy
(TV Actor, Singer)
Tzachi Halevy
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Petah Tikva, Israel

Tzachi Halevy is an Israeli actor and singer best known for his portrayal of Ephraim in the 2018 biblical drama film, Mary Magdalene. He has also played important roles in popular TV series, such as Fauda and Mossad 101. As a singer, Halevy is known for his association with Mayumana troupe, a dance troupe that combines song, percussion, and dance.

 39 
Ashraf Barhom
(actor, actor)
Ashraf Barhom
2
Birthdate: January 8, 1979
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ma'alot-Tarshiha

Ashraf Barhom is an Israeli-Arab actor who has played prominent roles in popular films like Paradise Now, The Kingdom, and The Syrian Bride. After achieving international recognition for his portrayal of Col. Faris Al-Ghazi in the American action thriller film The Kingdom, Ashraf Barhom landed roles in such films as Clash of the Titans (2010) and Coriolanus (2011).

 40 
Alon Abutbul
(Israeli Actor)
Alon Abutbul
2
Birthdate: May 28, 1965
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kiryat Ata, Israel

Alon Abutbul is an Israeli actor. He attended the Thelma Yellin High School of Arts and started acting soon after his graduation. After appearing in minor roles in many films, he finally bagged a major role in the film Shtei Etzbaot Mi'Tzidon. He acted in several hit films in the ensuing years and is the recipient of many awards. 

 41 
Gideon Raff
(Film director, screenwriter best known for his creation of the Channel 2 thriller drama series Prisoners of War)
Gideon Raff
2
Birthdate: September 10, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jerusalem

Gideon Raff is an Israeli film director, writer, and screenwriter. He is credited with creating the popular Israeli television drama series Prisoners of War. He then went on to co-develop the American version of the thriller TV series Homeland. Over the course of his illustrious career, Gideon Raff has won several prestigious awards like Primetime Emmy Award and Edgar Award.

 42 
Menahem Golan
(Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter)
Menahem Golan
2
Birthdate: May 31, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tiberias
Died: August 8, 2014

Menahem Golan was an Israeli screenwriter, film producer, and director best remembered for co-owning The Cannon Group, which comprised many companies including the popular film production company Cannon Films. By the time of his death, Golan had produced more than 200 films featuring popular actors like Sean Connery. He had also won eight Kinor David awards and the Israel Prize.

 43 
Ninet Tayeb
(Actor, Singer, Songwriter, Stage actor)
Ninet Tayeb
2
Birthdate: October 21, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kiryat Gat

Ninet Tayeb is an Israeli musician, composer, singer-songwriter, DJ, actress, and model. Regarded as one of the most famous people in the entertainment industry in Israel, Tayeb is also renowned for her International collaborations; in 2015, she was named among the hottest new artists to enter the American entertainment industry. She has won a couple of MTV Europe Music Awards.

 44 
Michael Lucas
(Adult Film Star, Director)
Michael Lucas
2
Birthdate: March 10, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Michael Lucas is a Russian-Israeli-American film director, businessman, journalist, and gay pornographic film actor. He is credited with founding Manhattan's largest gay-adult-film company Lucas Entertainment where he also serves as the CEO. Lucas has also contributed as a columnist for publications like HuffPost and The Advocate. Michael Lucas was made an inductee of the GayVN Hall of Fame in 2009.

 45 
Avi Lerner
(Film producer)
Avi Lerner
1
Birthdate: October 13, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Haifa

Avi Lerner is an Israeli-American film producer known for producing popular action films like The Expendables, Rambo, and The Expendables 3. He has also executive produced successful movies like Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mechanic. Lerner is credited with founding Millennium Films where he also serves as the CEO.

 46 
Ronit Elkabetz
(Israeli Actress, Screenwriter and Film Director)
Ronit Elkabetz
1
Birthdate: November 27, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beersheba, Israel
Died: April 19, 2016

Ronit Elkabetz was an Israeli actress, film director, and screenwriter. A critically acclaimed actress and director, Elkabetz received several prestigious awards during her lifetime. She received three Ophir Awards as well as the Cannes Film Festival's France Culture Award. In 2010, she received a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to Israeli cinema from the Israeli Film Academy.

 47 
Angel Bonanni
2
Birthdate: February 7, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay

Angel Bonanni is an Israeli model and actor. He is known for playing important roles in popular American TV series like Absentia and Condor. One of the most popular models in Israel, Bonanni has appeared in fashion campaigns for major designers like Donna Karan and Jean Paul Gaultier. He has also appeared in magazines like Harper’s Bazaar.

 48 
Linor Abargil
(Actress, Model and Beauty queen who won the Miss World beauty pageant in 1998)
Linor Abargil
2
Birthdate: February 17, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Netanya, Israel

Linor Abargil is an Israeli lawyer, model, actress, and beauty queen. In 1998, Abargil won the Miss World pageant. She won the contest shortly after being raped and has since become a global advocate against sexual violence. Linor Abargil is also credited with launching a fashion label named LYA, which aims at serving the needs of religious women.

 49 
Hany Abu-Assad
(Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer)
Hany Abu-Assad
1
Birthdate: October 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nazareth

Hany Abu-Assad is a Palestinian film director who has been nominated for the Academy Award twice. Born in Israel, he immigrated to the Netherlands, where he studied aerodynamics. He worked as an airplane engineer for several years before beginning his film career. He joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2014. 

 50 
Michaela Bercu
(Model who is first Israeli woman to be featured on the cover of American Vogue)
Michaela Bercu
2
Birthdate: February 28, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel

Michaela Bercu is an Israeli actress and model. In 1988, Bercu became the first Israeli woman to appear on the cover page of American Vogue. She then went on to be featured on several other publications like Swedish Elle, Australian Vogue, L'Officiel, and Cosmopolitan. Michaela Bercu has also appeared in advertising campaigns for brands like L'Oreal, Bloomingdales, and Revlon.