November 22, 1923
Hannele Meierzak, who as Hanna Maron becomes known as “the first lady of Israeli theater,” is born in Berlin.
As a child, she appears in many plays and films, including an uncredited role in the Fritz Lang classic “M.” After the Nazis win power in 1933, her Polish/Hungarian parents move the family to Mandatory Palestine. In 1940, Maron joins Habima, one of the first Hebrew-language theaters and Israel’s national theater. Also during World War II, she volunteers for service with the British army and with the entertainment division of the Jewish Brigade. She joins Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theater in 1945 and helps shape the company’s repertoire. She builds a reputation as one of Israel’s leading actresses over the next several decades.
Maron is preparing to fly to London to play Golda in “Fiddler on the Roof” when she is caught in a terrorist attack at the Munich airport Feb. 10, 1970. Three members of the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine open fire on a bus carrying passengers to the El Al flight, killing one person. Maron is one of 23 other passengers who are wounded, and she must have her leg amputated. She is able to resume her acting career within a year.
Even after being a victim of terrorism, Maron remains a peace activist. She attends the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and offers strong support for the Geneva Initiative in 2003.
She wins the Israel Prize for theater in 1973. In 2011, Guinness World Records recognizes her as the actor with the world’s longest career in the theater.
Maron is married twice, first to Yossi Yadin, then to Yaakov Rechter. She and Rechter have three children. Maron dies in Tel Aviv at age 90 in May 2014.