Hannah Laslo, born on June 14, 1953, is a prominent Israeli actress known for her versatility in cinema, television, and theater. She is also recognized as a comedian, stand-up artist, television host, voice actress, and singer. Laslo has made a significant impact on the Israeli entertainment industry and has received accolades for her outstanding performances, including the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 for her role in the film "Free Zone."
Hannah Laslo was born and raised in Jaffa to parents who were Holocaust survivors from Poland, with her father being a survivor of the Lodz Ghetto. She grew up in a family of four siblings and her childhood was dominated by Yiddish as the primary language of communication with her parents.
In 1972-1973, during her service in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Laslo was a part of the Southern Command ensemble. She participated in various military programs such as "From the South, Taphat Hatovah" and "Sand in Coffee."
In 1974, Hannah Laslo made her television debut on the children's program "Rosh Karov," where she hosted, sang, and danced. In 1976, she was part of the theater ensemble "The Four Daughters" (alongside Galia Yishai, Miki Kam, and Shuli Lav), and in the same year, she appeared on the children's show "Mah Pit'om?" (Kishkashta) where she introduced her comedic character and performed the song "Kulchem Shakhu Na Iti."
During the 1970s, Laslo took on comedic roles in Israeli films, including "Giv'at Halfon Doesn't Answer" (1976), "The Honey Connection" (1977), "Save the Lifeguard" (1977), "Millionaire in Trouble" (1978), and "Belifur" (1978).
In 1978, alongside Gadi Yagil, she performed the comedy show "Life Isn't a Honeymoon."
In 1980, Laslo appeared as both a singer and actress in a program based on texts and songs by Nathan Alterman, alongside Sandra Sade and Devora Dagan. The show was well-received and broadcast on educational television. She also acted in Assi Dayan's film "With Israel, Live" (1981) and the movie "Koni Lemel in Cairo" (1983).
In 1981, she participated in the comedy show "Barnashim Ve'Halomot." Throughout the 1980s, she engaged in various projects for children, including recording albums such as "Meha Shirim Rishonim - All Our Childhood Songs" (1981), "Children's Songs from Aleph to Tav" (1985), and "Happy Children's Holiday." She also appeared in productions like "Elif B'Tzelot U'Elif Shum" and children's shows.
In 1985, she represented Israel at the children's song festival alongside Eyal Golan and competed with the song "Korim Li Savta Zefta," which earned her a second-place finish. In the 1989 festival, she shared the stage with Shlomo Artzi and Tzipi Shavit, competing with the song "Abaleh Amaleh," which finished in fourth place.
In the mid-1980s, Laslo gained widespread recognition when she appeared on the entertainment program "Siba LaMasiba" on Channel 1. It was there that she first portrayed the character "Savta Zefta," which gained immense popularity and led to a recurring segment every week. In one of the segments, she sang a parody of the hit song "Marioma Yoma," which was a chart-topping sensation at the time, reaching ninth place in the annual Hebrew song chart. Additionally, she hosted several episodes of "Zehu Ze!".
In 1986, she starred in the entertainment show "B'Chayim Yashir," where she first played the character of Cleaner Clara (in a sketch where she searches for her husband, Moshe), as well as other comedic characters such as Esther the Yemenite from Sha'araim.
During the late 1980s, Laslo hosted the comedy shows "Sex, Lies, and Hannah Laslo" and "Life According to Laslo," with the latter being considered her most successful program. She became a trailblazer for other comedians, solidifying her position in the Israeli entertainment landscape. She also appeared in a series of short commercials titled "I Won the Lottery," where she portrayed various characters.
In the 1990s, Laslo participated in comedy shows "Hallelujah Hollywood" and "When Zvika Met Hannah" alongside Tzvika Hadar, although these shows did not achieve significant success.
The 21st Century
After taking a break from the entertainment industry for several years, Hannah Laslo made a comeback in 2001 with the comedy show "Congress of Funny Women," written by Dodo Dotan. In 2003, she presented the show "More Hannah Than Laslo," in which she portrayed her life story as a second-generation Holocaust survivor alongside humorous anecdotes. This program earned her the Israeli Theater Award in 2005 for Best Comedy Show of the Year.
Laslo also appeared in the musical "Barnashim Ve'Chatichot" and the plays "Tzimukim Ve'Shakedim" at the Yiddishpiel Theater and "Mevaker HaMedina 2005" at the Bima Theater. In 2008, she took on the role of a prostitute in Hanoch Levin's play "Yakish Ve'Pupcha" at the Geshar Theater and played the role of a maid in the play "Tartuffe" by Molière, also at the Geshar Theater.
Subsequently, she starred in comedy shows like "The Mom of the Single" and "There's Nothing Like Family," as well as children's productions including "Aladdin," "Bilby," "Atzilenu BaChatzer," and "Cinderella."
From 2004 to 2005, she hosted the TV comedy show "The Weak Link" and participated in the first two seasons of the telenovela "Our Song," playing the lead role of Naomi Shachar. In the third season, she made guest appearances as herself. In 2005, Laslo released a children's video titled "Cooking Is Fun."
In 2003, she appeared in Amos Gitai's film "Alila," and in 2005, she played a leading role in another Gitai film, "Free Zone," which achieved international success. For her dramatic role as a Holocaust survivor in "Free Zone," Laslo received the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival and was also named Woman of the Year in Film at the "People of the Year 2005" ceremony in Israel. This role showcased her versatility as an actress, and she continued to excel in dramatic roles on the big screen, including the Israeli film "Seven" by the Alkabetz siblings and the Hollywood film "Adam Resurrected."
In 2008, she won third place at the "OSKARIADA" festival with the student film "Mazal," directed by Roy Shar.
On television, Laslo provided the voices for both main characters in the animated show "Hipushiyot" on Channel 24, which focused on contemporary music in a format inspired by "Beavis and Butt-Head." She also hosted a season of the entertainment show "Make Room for Hannah Laslo" on Channel 2, appeared in the first three seasons of the reality series "Once in a Lifetime" on YES, where she lived in a Bedouin village in the southern part of Israel with Rana Raslan, and made several guest appearances on the show "Shulz," playing herself as a multi-talented and assertive woman. She also had a guest role in the series "Emaleh" alongside Orna Banai and starred in the comedy series "Billy," which aired on the Jetix channel.
Hannah Laslo's enduring talent and charismatic presence have made her a beloved figure in Israeli entertainment, with a career spanning decades that continues to captivate audiences in the 21st century.
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