Ronit Elkabetz is an Israeli actress and filmmaker. She was born in Beersheba in 1964 to a religious Moroccan, Jewish family. She grew up in Kiryat Yam.
Her first film appearance was in The Intended (1990) next to Shuli Rand, who later became her partner. They both starred in Gidi Dar's, Eddie King in 1992. In 1994 she starred in Sh'Chur, for which she won the Israeli Film Academy (Ophir) Award. In 1995 she wrote with her partner, Haim Buzaglo, the script for Scar, in which she also starred, and for which she learned French.
In 1996 she starred in Amos Gitai's Milim. In 1997 she moved to Paris, France, to study in Ariane Mnouchkine's Théâtre du Soleil. During that period, she supported herself as a waitress. She did a one-woman show on the life of the choreographer Martha Graham at the Avignon Festival. In 2001 she starred in the French film Origine contrôlée, and won her second Ophir Award for Late Marriage. In 2003 she teamed again with Gitai on Alila. In 2004 she was nominated for an Ophir Award for Or (My Treasure), and starred in the Israeli legal drama series Franco and Spector.
In 2005 she wrote, directed (with her brother, Shlomi Elkabetz) and starred in the semi-autobiographic film Prendre Femme, for which she was again nominated for an Ophir Award. In 2006 she also starred in the Israeli drama series Parashat HaShavua. In 2007 she starred in Eran Kolirin's The Band's Visit, for which she won her third Ophir Award. In 2008 she and Shlomi finished their second film, Shiva ("Seven Days"), which won the Wolgin Award for Best Feature Film at the 2008 Jerusalem Film Festival.