Embeth Jean Davidtz is an AmericanSouth African actress. Her screen roles include movies such as Matilda, Junebug, Mansfield Park, Bicentennial Man, and Fracture, and the television series Californication and Mad Men. Davidtz spent much of her early life in South Africa.
Davidtz was born in Lafayette, Indiana, while her father was studying chemical engineering at Purdue University. Her parents, John and Jean, later moved to Trenton, New Jersey, and then back to their native South Africa, when Davidtz was nine years old. Davidtz has Dutch, English, and French ancestry. She had to learn Afrikaans before attending school classes in South Africa, where her father took up a teaching post at Potchefstroom University. She graduated from The Glen High School in Pretoria in 1983, and studied at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.