Childhood & Early Life
Embeth Jean Davidtz was born on August 11, 1965, in Lafayette, Indiana, USA, to Jean and John Davidtz. Embeth Davidtz and her family moved to South Africa when she was nine years old. She learned Afrikaans before attending a school in South Africa. In 1983, she graduated from ‘The Glen High School’ and then attended ‘Rhodes University’ in Grahamstown.
She became part of a South African theatre organization called ‘Cape Performing Arts Board’ (CAPAB) in Cape Town. She made her acting debut at the age of 21 when she was cast to play Juliet in the stage production of William Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ The play was staged at the ‘Maynardville Open-Air Theatre’ in Maynardville Park, Wynberg, Cape Town.
She made her television debut in 1989 when she played a minor role in a TV series titled ‘Screen Two.’ In 1991, she was cast to play the lead role of Tessa van Dyk in a South African film titled ‘Nag van die Negentiende.’ After watching her performance in the film, Steven Spielberg offered her a role in his 1993 American historical period drama film ‘Schindler's List.’ Before playing Helen Hirsch in ‘Schindler's List,’ she was cast to play an important role in the 1992 dark fantasy comedy film ‘Army of Darkness’ which marked her American film debut.
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Embeth Davidtz’s performance in ‘Army of Darkness’ earned her the ‘Fangoria Chainsaw Award’ for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in 1992. In the same year, she was also seen in a couple of TV films, namely ‘Till Death Us Do Part’ and ‘Deadly Matrimony.’ Her popularity increased after appearing in ‘Schindler's List’ as the film became a critical and commercial success. It won numerous awards including seven ‘Academy Awards.’
In 1996, she played Miss Honey in the Danny DeVito-directed film ‘Matilda.’ The following year, she played Adriana in a television movie titled ‘The Garden of Redemption.’ In 1999, she was cast to play Amanda Martin and Portia Charney in ‘Bicentennial Man.’ Her performance in the film earned her a nomination at the ‘Blockbuster Entertainment Award’ for ‘Favorite Actress, Comedy.’
In 2001, she played prominent roles in three films, namely ‘Bridget Jones's Diary,’ ‘The Hole,’ and ‘Thir13en Ghosts.’ In the same year, she also played the main role of Ellen Baines Croland in ‘CBS’ network’s drama series ‘Citizen Baines.’
Davidtz played Rosalind Chetwynd in the 2001 British television film ‘Shackleton.’ The film became a critical success and was nominated for a ‘Golden Globe Award,’ six ‘BAFTA Awards,’ and seven ‘Emmy Awards.’ It also won many awards including two ‘Primetime Emmy Awards.’ The following year, she played Elizabeth in the American drama film ‘The Emperor's Club.’
In 2005, she played the lead role of Madeleine Johnsten in the Phil Morrison-directed comedy-drama film ‘Junebug.’ The film received favorable reviews from critics and won many prestigious awards. In 2007, she was cast to play Jennifer Crawford in the American-German legal drama film ‘Fracture.’ The following year, she played Amy in eight episodes of American television series ‘In Treatment.’
In 2009, she landed the recurring role of Felicia Koons in the comedy-drama television series ‘Californication.’ In the same year, she also played Joan Laraby in the Rowan Woods-directed crime film ‘Winged Creatures.’ Although ‘Winged Creatures’ was showcased at the 2008 ‘Los Angeles Film Festival,’ it was not released in the United States until July 31, 2009.
In 2009, she was also cast to play Rebecca Pryce in the American period drama television series ‘Mad Men.’ She played the role from 2009 to 2012, appearing in eight episodes. In 2012, she played Mary Parker in the Marc Webb-directed superhero film ‘The Amazing Spider-Man.’ In 2013, Davidtz was seen in two films, namely ‘Paranoia’ and ‘Europa Report.’ The following year, she reprised her role as Mary Parker in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2.’
She played Natasha Lytess in the Laurie Collyer-directed television mini-series ‘The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.’ The mini-series was nominated for several awards including three ‘Creative Arts Emmy Awards.’ In 2016, she landed another recurring role in the popular crime drama TV series ‘Ray Donovan.’ In 2018, she was cast to play Paige Kessler in the American drama web television series ‘Top of the Morning.’
Davidtz has also appeared in many documentary films, such as ‘The Making of Army of Darkness,’ ‘Bridget Jones's Diary: Behind the Scenes - Resolutions of a Tragic Spinster,’ ‘Miracle Rising: South Africa,’ ‘Nelson Mandela Redrawn,’ ‘Afternoon Tea, a Matilda Reunion,’ and ‘Schindler's List: 25 Years Later.’
Family & Personal Life
Embeth Davidtz’s parents were of mixed origin. Her father John studied chemical engineering at ‘Purdue University’ in West Lafayette, Indiana. After moving to South Africa, he started working as a teacher at ‘Potchefstroom University.’ Davidtz has a younger sister who works at the ‘Nova Southeastern University’ as a psychologist. She also has a brother.
Davidtz dated actor Ben Chaplin whom she met on the sets of the 1995 romantic-drama film ‘Feast of July.’ After breaking up with Chaplin, she started dating an entertainment attorney named Jason Sloane. Davidtz married Jason Sloane on June 22, 2002. In the same year, she gave birth to a daughter named Charlotte Emily. On October 7, 2005, Davidtz and Sloane were blessed with their second child, a son named Asher Sloane.