Gorgeous Israeli actress Haya Harareet may have only stayed in the acting game for a handful of years, but during that brief time, she made a lasting impression. With her striking eyes and fair features, Harareet made her first steps into the spotlight by winning one of the first national Israeli beauty contests. But in 1955, she moved into feature film work, first appearing as Miriam Miszrahi in the romantic adventure "Giv'a 24 Eina Ona" (appearing State-side under the translation "Hill 24 Doesn't Answer"), which was the first film project to be shot and produced entirely in her home country. But Harareet's one true brush with cinema greatness came with a role as Esther in the 1959 historical epic "Ben-Hur", in which she co-starred opposite the revered Charlton Heston. While Harareet herself didn't earn any Oscar awards for her performance, virtually everyone else who worked on the project did (including her co-stars Heston and Hugh Griffith), and the film itself was cemented as an instant all-time classic. As it would be for any actor of any caliber, following her role in "Ben-Hur" wasn't particularly easy, and while the actress continued to find quality roles throughout the early '60s (including co-starring parts in the crime-mystery "The Secret Partner" and the adventure-fantasy "Journey Beneath the Desert"), none were ultimately as memorable. Her last major film role came in the 1964 historical adventure "L'ultima carica", and in 1967, she branched out by co-writing the screenplay for the BAFTA-nominated 1967 drama "Our Mother's House". Haya Harareet died on February 3, 2021 in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom at the age of 89.
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