Orna Porat

  • Orna_PoratOrna_Porat

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  • She was born Irene Klein in Cologne, Germany, in 1924. Her father, Willi, was Catholic, and her mother, Elise, Protestant, but she chose atheism and socialism in her youth. In 1934 her family moved to Porz, where she attended high school.

    She attended drama school and began her stage career at a repertory theater in Schleswig. She met her husband, Joseph Proter, in Schleswig. He was an officer from the British Mandate of Palestine in the Jewish Brigade of the British Army. In 1946, she moved to Palestine with Proter, and married him (in a civil ceremony). She converted to Judaism later, in 1957, and they held a Jewish ceremony before adopting two children.

    After being refused by the HaBima and Ohel theaters, she was accepted by the Cameri Theater. When she joined the Cameri, Yemima Millo suggested she change her name to a Hebrew-sounding one, Orna Porat. The suggestion was accepted. Yemima Millo also worked with Porat on her diction, aiming to soften her German accent. After the major financial and artistic crisis in the Cameri in 1958, Porat was appointed to the theater’s administrative board. She retired from the Cameri in 1984.

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