Raz in 2017
24 November 1971
|Residence||Ramat HaSharon, Israel|
|Occupation||Actor and screenwriter|
|Known for||Fauda television series|
Raz was born in Ma'ale Adumim, a city of 40,000 residents, seven kilometers from Jerusalem. He was raised in the city, and in Jerusalem. He is Jewish, the son of immigrants. His father was born in Iraq, and worked for the Israeli Ministry of Defense in the Israeli equivalent of the Navy SEALs and in the Shin Bet, and later ran a plant nursery. His mother was born in Algeria, and is a teacher. Raz grew up speaking Arabic with his father and grandmother in the home, and with Arab workers in his father's plant nursery who were his playmates.
After Raz graduated from high school, he enlisted at age 18 in the Israel Defense Forces and joined the elite undercover special operations anti-terrorism Duvdevan Unit. He also served in the Duvdevan Unit in the reserves for 20 years.
For the three years, until Raz was 19, he had a girlfriend named Iris Azulai. In October 1990 an Arab Palestinian terrorist yelling "Allahu Akbar" stabbed her to death with a 15-inch knife in Jerusalem. The terrorist was later released from prison in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in which 1,027 prisoners was released in order to obtain the release from captivity of the kidnapped Israeli Shalit, who had been held prisoner by Hamas for five years.
In 1993, after his military service, Raz moved to the United States, and was hired by an security contracting firm as Arnold Schwarzenegger's bodyguard. In an interview with Israel Hayom he said the company: "turned to me since they knew my military background, for me it wasn't a glamorous thing, to be the watch dog of Schwarzenegger and his wife".
Acting and tv-writing career
In his early acting years, Raz acted in different plays, such as Don Juan at Gesher Theater, Macbeth and The Teenagers. He also played small roles on Israeli TV series. In 2004, he played a police investigator in Michaela, and 'referee Ben Shabat' in Adumot. In 2005 he appeared as Shimi in his first feature film Gotta Be Happy. In 2008 he appeared in television drama Srugim as Yisrael, and a year later in comedy-drama Mesudarim as a Shin Bet agent, and as Maor in Noah's Ark. In 2011 he played a police unit commander in Nadav Lapid's drama film Policeman, and as Asa'el in the political drama Prime Minister's Children alongside Rami Heuberger.
In 2012, Raz portrayed Nissan Title in yes psychological thriller spying-drama The Gordin Cell, and appeared in the film The World is Funny as Barak. In 2013, he played the role of the police commander in the fourth season of the crime drama series The Arbitrator, and in 2014 appeared in the film The Kindergarten Teacher.
In 2014, he created with Haaretz journalist Avi Issacharoff, the critically acclaimed political thriller television series Fauda, in which Raz stars as Doron Kavillio, the commander of an undercover counter-terrorism Mista'arvim unit. In 2016, the show won six awards, including Best Drama Series, at the Israeli Academy Awards. In December 2017, The New York Times voted Fauda the best international show of 2017. In 2018, the show won 11 Israeli TV Academy Awards, including best TV drama, best actor for Raz, and best screenplay, casting, cinematography, recording, and special effects.
Raz's latest film is Operation Finale, a historical drama thriller about Israel’s secret mission to capture Nazi Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann and bring him to trial in Israel. In the film, which was released August 29, 2018, Raz plays Isser Harel, the Director of Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad. He stars alongside Ben Kingsley, Mélanie Laurent, and Oscar Isaac.
- Everything Starts at the Sea (2008)
- Policeman (2011)
- The Kindergarten Teacher (2014)
- Mary Magdalene (2018)
- Operation Finale (2018)
- Six Underground (2019)
- "'Fauda' co-creator and star, Lior Raz, brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Netflix". CBC Radio. 4 January 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- Megan Harrison (24 February 2017). "Q & A: Lior Raz, creator and lead actor of Fauda, appears in Ottawa, Sunday". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
- "How Do You Make a TV Show Set in the West Bank?", The New Yorker.
- "Lior Raz Archives", Jewish Journal.
- "Transcript: Inside Fauda"
- מבוקש (Wanted) Yehuda Schlesinger, Israel Hayom, March 23, 2017
- Next season's Fauda to reflect real news, says creator
- Poniewozik, James; Hale, Mike; Lyons, Margaret (2017-12-04). "The Best TV Shows of 2017". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
- Stern, Itay (2018-03-12). "Israeli Emmys: 'Fauda' Wins Best TV Drama, 'Shababnikim' Best TV Comedy". Haaretz. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
- "Lior Raz On ‘Fauda’s’ Return," Jewish Journal.
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