Embeth Davidtz was born in Lafayette in Indiana, USA. She obtained a master's degree from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. Davidtz has appeared in numerous films, including Matilda, Schindler's List, Mansfield Park, Bicentennial Man and Bridget Jones's Diary, and in television programmes that include Californication, Mad Men and Ray Donovan. She was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer in 2013 and underwent chemotherapy, immunological treatment, lymph-node removal surgery and a mastectomy. Davidtz has been in remission since 2013.