Sasson Gabai

Active - 1988 - 2019  |   Born - Nov 24, 1947 in Baghdad, Iraq  |   Genres - Drama, Action, Comedy

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Biography by Nathan Southern

A Middle Eastern actor whose occasional excursions into Hollywood material relegated him to run-of-the-mill ethnic stereotypes in action pictures (such as the 1988 Rambo III and the 1997 Human Cargo), Sasson Gabai fared far better with offbeat, sensitively handled projects in his native Israel. These included Haim Bouzaglo's war drama Time for Cherries (1991), Shemi Zarhin's gentle, slice-of-life drama Aviva My Love (2006), and -- most memorably -- Eran Kolirin's crossover arthouse comedy The Band's Visit (2007). The latter brought Gabai his first lead; in it, he played the conductor of an Egyptian police band who gets stuck in an Israeli town and winds up in the middle of a most unanticipated cross-cultural romance with a Hebrew woman.

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  • Born to an Iraqi Jewish family.
  • During his childhood, immigrated with his family to Israel.
  • Served in the Israeli Defense Forces.
  • Performed with Michael Alfreds' group at the Khan Theater.
  • Has been a staff member at the Beit Lessin Theater in Tel Aviv, Israel.