April 14, 1961
Illana Shoshan, who wins the 1980 Miss Israel title after finishing second in the 1978 teen pageant, is born in Kfar Saba, Israel. In a public vote held in 2010 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Miss Israel, Shoshan is elected the Miss Israel of All Time.
Shoshan becomes an international fashion model, then studies acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and at UCLA. She builds a film career in front of and behind the camera. Her first acting role is in the 1989 Israeli film “Leave My Wife Alone,” and she makes her Hollywood screen debut in 1990’s “The Ambulance.” After acting in four more movies, she produces 1993’s “Joshua Tree,” also known as “Army of One,” a Dolph Lundgren action film. She remains off-camera as a producer or casting director for films such as “Imaginary Heroes,” “Funky Monkey” and “Until Death” through 2009, when she returns to acting in the movie “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.” Her most recent credits are roles in TV series.
Early in her time in Hollywood, she marries producer Moshe Diamant and forms Signature Entertainment with him. She sometimes is credited as Illana Diamant or Illana Shoshan Diamant.
Her work extends outside media to activism, especially women’s empowerment. She is a strong supporter of the nonprofit organization Economic Empowerment for Women in Israel and co-founds the Women’s Empowerment Foundation in Los Angeles, whose mission is to provide women with opportunities and to promote liberty, equality and safety. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities and delivers a TEDxHolyLand talk. In 2012 she is selected as one of the 10 most influential Jewish women in culture and entertainment by AbbaNibbi.com.