Haya Harareet Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trivia (4)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Haifa, Palestine
Died in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England, UK  (natural causes)
Birth NameHaya Neuberg

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Palestine before the inception of the Israeli state in the city of Haifa, she first distinguished herself by winning one of the first beauty contests in the nascent Israel. Haya Harareet (also spelled Hararit) made her debut in Thorold Dickinson's film Hill 24 Doesn't Answer (1955) ("Hill 24 Doesn't Answer"). The landmark Israeli film, mostly in English, is also the first feature-length production to be shot and processed entirely in Israel, and made for international distribution. The film was an official selection at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival and Harareet won an award for her role in the film. She plays Miriam Mizrahi, a fourth generation, dark-eyed and beautiful Sabra, working for the underground.

Best-known for her role as Esther, opposite Charlton Heston in William Wyler's film classic Ben-Hur (1959), she also played in Francesco Maselli's The Doll That Took the Town (1957) ("The Doll that Took the Town") with Virna Lisi, _Edgar G. Ulmer''s Journey Beneath the Desert (1961) ("Journey Beneath The Desert", AKA "The Lost Kingdom")with Jean-Louis Trintignant, and Basil Dearden's The Secret Partner (1961) with Stewart Granger. She cowrote the screenplay for Our Mother's House (1967) which starred Dirk Bogarde.

Ms. Harareet was also credited as a presenter for 'Best Special Effects' at the 32nd Annual Academy Awards in 1960.

She was married to the British film director Jack Clayton until his death in 1995.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Danny Yarhi

Family (1)

Spouse Jack Clayton (1984 - 26 February 1995)  (his death)
Nachman Zerwanitzer (? - ?)  (divorced)

Trivia (4)

Was the last surviving star of Ben-Hur (1959).
Was fluent in Hebrew, English, French, and Italian.
Was the eldest of three children born to Reuben and Yocheved Neuberg, Polish Jewish immigrants who arrived in Israel when they were teenagers.
Her first husband, Nachman Zerwanitzer, was an Israeli irrigation engineer. They owned an apartment in Tel Aviv.

Personal Quotes (6)

It was quite a triumph to return to London four years later as the star of Ben-Hur (1959). My bathroom at the Claridges Hotel was much larger than my old bedroom in the boarding house.
[on success] Of course there is always fate, but I think there is more hard work and good judgment in good luck than most people realize.
[1961] I finished my contract with MGM on Nov. 11 and this picture [The Interns (1962)] came up immediately. That is a good sign.
[on being typecast] I am not Esther of Ben-Hur (1959). I am an actress who played the part of Esther. But that doesn't mean I have to go on playing Esther for the rest of my life.
MGM treated me as a father would have treated me. I was well taken care of. But I was not allowed to grow up. They could think of me only in terms of Biblical pictures. Other studios did not know me as a person, so they thought of me in the same way.
[1962] I would like to make a picture with a very good director. Films are really a director's medium. But good directors seem to be rare these days.

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