Gal Gadot: A Journey from Miss Israel to Hollywood Icon

Gal Gadot

Gal Gadot born 30 April 1985 is an Israeli actress and model. She portrayed Gisele Yashar in Fast & Furious (2009), a part she reprised in five sequels. Gadot achieved global stardom for her portrayal of Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe films (2016–2023), including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Wonder Woman, Justice League (both 2017), and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020). She has since starred in the Netflix action-comedy film Red Notice (2021) and the mystery film Death on the Nile (2022). Gadot was included on the list of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2018, and has placed twice in annual rankings of the world’s highest-paid actresses.

Gal Gadot in Early life

Gadot was born on 30 April 1985 in Petah Tikva, where she first lived; she was later raised in the city of Rosh HaAyin. In Hebrew, her given name means “wave” and her surname means “riverbanks”. Prior to her birth, her parents had Hebraized their surname from “Greenstein” to “Gadot”. Her father is Michael Gadot, an engineer, and her mother is Irit, a physical education teacher. Gadot has a younger sister named Dana. Gadot’s father is a sixth-generation Sabra. Her maternal grandparents were born in 20th-century Europe; her grandfather survived the Holocaust following his imprisonment at the Auschwitz concentration camp during Nazi Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia, while her grandmother managed to escape the continent before the outbreak of World War II.

Gal Gadot has stated that she was brought up in a “very Jewish, Israeli family environment”. Growing up in Israel, she learned and danced jazz and hip-hop for 12 years, and her first jobs were working at a local Burger King as well as babysitting. She graduated from Begin High School in Rosh HaAyin, majoring in biology. As Jewish high schools in Israel often take their sophomores on trips to Holocaust memorial sites, Gadot went to Poland to gain a first-hand understanding of two Nazi concentration camps: Auschwitz and Majdanek. About the experience, she reminisced: “I stood there on top of a mountain of ashes. I, an entitled child, felt the suffering the Muselmann experienced back then. When it was time to give my speech at the memorial ceremony, my eyes filled up with tears, and I could not control the shivering. I returned home more mature and cried with my grandfather about that, coming a full circle from his childhood to mine.”

At 20, Gal Gadot was conscripted to the Israel Defense Forces as a combat fitness instructor as part of her mandatory two years of military service. She has said that her military background helped her to win the role of Gisele Yashar in the 2009 film Fast & Furious, stating: “I think the main reason was that the director Justin Lin really liked that I was in the military, and he wanted to use my knowledge of weapons.” After her military service, Gadot studied law at IDC Herzliya college in Israel (now Reichman University).

Modeling and beauty pageant career
Modeling and beauty pageant career


Modeling and beauty pageant career
Gal Gadot entered the Miss Israel national beauty pageant at 18, under the impression that it would be a “fun” experience, and stated in a Glamour interview: “I never thought I would win.” She subsequently won and went on to compete for Israel in the Miss Universe 2004 pageant that took place that year in Ecuador.

She has led international campaigns as a model for Miss Sixty, Huawei smartphones, Captain Morgan rum, Gucci fragrances, Vine Vera skincare and Jaguar Cars. In 2015, she became the face of Gucci’s Bamboo perfume brand. She has been featured as the covergirl on Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Bride Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, UMM, Cleo, Fashion, Lucire, FHM. Gadot was the main model for fashion brand Castro from 2008 to 2016. In 2013, her combined annual modeling and acting salary was estimated at NIS 2.4 million.

In 2007, a then 21-year-old Gadot was in the Maxim photo shoot “Women of the Israel Defense Forces” and was then featured on the cover of the New York Post.

In 2017, Gal Gadot was placed at number one on FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World” list.

In 2018, Gadot became a brand ambassador for Revlon and Reebok. She appeared in advertisements for Revlon’s “Live Boldly” campaign and Reebok’s “Be More Human” campaign.

gal-gadot Acting
gal-gadot Acting


After Gadot had completed her first year of college, a casting director contacted her agent to have Gadot audition for the part of Camille Montes in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Although she lost the part to Olga Kurylenko, a few months later, Gadot starred in the 2008 Israeli drama Bubot. Three months later, the casting director from her Quantum of Solace audition chose Gadot over six other actresses for the role of Gisele Yashar in the action film Fast & Furious, the fourth film in the Fast & Furious franchise. Gadot performed some of her own stunt work in those films.

In 2010, she had small roles in the action comedy Date Night and the action-adventure comedy Knight and Day. 2011 brought her back to the Fast & Furious franchise, reprising her role as Gisele in Fast Five; she reprised the character in 2013’s Fast & Furious 6.

In 2016, Gal Gadot portrayed Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Gadot received swordsmanship, Kung Fu, kickboxing, capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training in preparation for the role. She was almost cast as Faora-Ul in Man of Steel, but she rejected the part for her pregnancy. Antje Traue was cast instead. Gadot’s performance as the superhero, which was the character’s first appearance in film, was singled out as one of the best parts of the film.

Gal Gadot, fellow Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and U.N. Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach appeared at the United Nations on 21 October 2016, the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Wonder Woman, to mark the character’s designation by the United Nations as its “Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls”. The gesture was intended to raise awareness of UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. The decision was met with protests from UN staff members who stated in their petition to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the character is “not culturally encompassing or sensitive” and served to objectify women. As a result, the character was stripped of the designation, and the project ended on 16 December. She then had a small role in John Hillcoat’s crime-thriller Triple 9, where she starred along with Kate Winslet and Aaron Paul. Later that year, she co-starred in the action crime thriller film Criminal, as the wife of Ryan Reynolds’ character, alongside Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, and Tommy Lee Jones. Her final film of the year was the action comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses, in which she played a secret agent, alongside Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, and Isla Fisher. Critic Alex Welch wrote on IGN about Gadot’s performance: “the script unfortunately banks mostly on her looks and deadly skills as a spy for her jokes, but Gadot manages to make it work.”

In 2017, Gal Gadot starred in a solo film for her character, Wonder Woman. She reprised the role in the ensemble film Justice League, which was released in November 2017, and was her third DC Extended Universe installment. That same year, Gadot was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 2018, Time magazine named Gal Gadot one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Forbes ranked her as the tenth highest-paid actress in the world, with annual earnings of $10 million. In the same year, Gal Gadot voiced Shank in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Ralph Breaks the Internet. Gadot appeared in the music video for Maroon 5’s song “Girls Like You” (2018) featuring Cardi B.

In 2020, Forbes ranked Gadot as the third highest-paid actress in the world, with annual earnings of $31.5 million. On 11 October 2020, Gadot was confirmed to be reuniting with Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins on Cleopatra, an epic film centered on Cleopatra, which was originally going to be distributed by Paramount Pictures. Later, Jenkins moved to produce the project with Kari Skogland set to direct.

In 2021, Gal Gadot starred alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds in the Netflix action comedy film Red Notice, written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. It was a commercial success, but was panned by the critics. Benjamin Lee, writing for The Guardian, opined that she was “sleepwalking through the motions” and was “adept only when fighting”. The following year, she co-starred with Kenneth Branagh, Armie Hammer, Ali Fazal, Tom Bateman, and Annette Bening in the 2022 mystery film Death on the Nile, which was also directed by Branagh. Los Angeles Times’ chief film critic Justin Chang deemed her “underwhelming” in the film. In 2023, Gadot made uncredited cameo appearances as Wonder Woman in Shazam! Fury of the Gods and The Flash. She also returned to the Fast & Furious franchise with a cameo appearance in Fast X. Later that year, she played the lead role of a double agent in Netflix’s action film Heart of Stone. The film received mostly negative reviews, with Owen Gleiberman stating: “Gadot is game, but there’s a slightly downbeat earnestness about her that doesn’t mesh with the reflexive quippiness of the dialogue.

Gal Gadot will star as the Evil Queen in a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1937 animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and also produce and star in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film To Catch a Thief.


In October 2019, Gal Gadot formed a film and television production company, Pilot Wave, with her husband Jaron “Yaron” Varsano, and said she will star in and co-produce an Apple TV limited series about actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr, as well as the Warner Bros. historical thriller film Irena Sendler, following the life of WWII humanitarian Irena Sendler.

In 2020, Gal Gadot co-produced, as well as starred, in the film Wonder Woman 1984.

Personal life

Gadot married Israeli real estate developer Jaron “Yaron” Varsano in 2008. They have four daughters, born in 2011, 2017, 2021, and 2024. The two formed their own film and television production company, Pilot Wave, in 2019. Gal Gadot and Varsano owned a boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, Israel, which she helped run, that eventually was sold to Roman Abramovich in 2015 for $26 million.

Gal Gadot is an avid martial arts enthusiast. She possesses a black belt in both karate and Krav Maga. She has served as a trainer and combat instructor for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Her extensive background knowledge in martial arts played a key part in helping her land the role of Wonder Woman.

Public image

On 26 June 2023, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced that Gal Gadot would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, class 2024, making her the first person of Israeli descent to receive the honor. In 2023, Gadot was awarded the LifeSaver Award by ELEM/Youth in Distress in Israel.

During the 2014 Gaza War, Gal Gadot posted on Facebook a picture of herself and her daughter praying in front of Shabbat candles in support of the IDF, accompanied by a comment that quickly accumulated over 200,000 likes as well as more than 15,000 comments of both support and criticism:

I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children … We shall overcome!!! #weareright #freegazafromhamas #stopterror #coexistance #loveidf

During the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis, Gal Gadot called for peace between the two territories in a statement that drew backlash for expressing support for Israel and referring to the Palestinians as her “neighbours”, instead of calling them by name.

In October 2023, Gal Gadot, along with more than 700 other Hollywood professionals, signed an open letter condemning the Palestinian militant group Hamas, demanding the release of hostages held in Gaza, and expressing support for Israel in the 2023 Israel–Hamas war.

Due to her former involvement in the Israel Defense Forces, her films Wonder Woman (2017) and Death on the Nile (2022) have been banned in Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, and in several other Middle Eastern countries.


Gal Gadot’s Early Career and Personal Life

  1. At what age did Gal Gadot become Miss Israel? Gal Gadot was 18 years old when she decided to enter the Miss Israel beauty pageant. She participated in the competition for fun and without any expectations of winning, as she revealed in an interview with Glamour magazine.
  2. Is Gal Gadot currently married? Yes, Gal Gadot is still happily married. She tied the knot with Jaron Varsano, who is ten years her senior. The couple celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary in 2021, marking over a decade of their strong relationship. Gadot commemorated the occasion by sharing a wedding photo and a heartfelt message to her husband on Instagram.
  3. How old was Gal Gadot when she first met her husband? Gal Gadot met her future husband, Jaron Varsano, in 2006 when she was just 21 years old. The couple got married in 2008 and have been together ever since.



2009Fast & FuriousGisele Yashar
2010Date NightNatanya
Knight and DayNaomi
2011Fast FiveGisele Yashar
2013Fast & Furious 6
2014Kicking Out ShoshanaMirit Ben Hatush
2015Furious 7Gisele Yashar
2016Triple 9Elena Vlaslov
Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeDiana Prince / Wonder Woman
CriminalJill Pope
Keeping Up with the JonesesNatalie Jones
2017Wonder WomanDiana
Justice LeagueDiana Prince / Wonder Woman
2018Ralph Breaks the InternetShank
2019Between Two Ferns: The MovieHerself
2020Wonder Woman 1984Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
2021Zack Snyder’s Justice League
Red NoticeThe Bishop
2022Death on the NileLinnet Ridgeway
2023Shazam! Fury of the GodsDiana Prince / Wonder Woman
Fast XGisele Yashar
The FlashDiana Prince / Wonder Woman
Heart of StoneRachel Stone
2025Snow White †Evil Queen
TBAIn the Hand of Dante †


2007BubotMiriam “Merry” Elkayam
2009The Beautiful LifeOlivia3 episodes
EntourageLisaEpisode: “Amongst Friends
2011AsfurKika17 episodes
2012KathmanduYamit BareliMiniseries
2017Saturday Night LiveHerself (host)Episode: “Gal Gadot/Sam Smith
Saturday Night Live: Cut for TimeGirl Who Ate The Last FryHost, Episode: “The Last Fry”
2018The SimpsonsHerselfVoice; episode: “Bart’s Not Dead

Music videos

2018Girls Like You” (Original, Volume 2 and Vertical Video versions)Maroon 5 featuring Cardi BHerself
2020ImagineGal Gadot & Friends
2023“Quiet”Noga ErezRachel Stone


2013Vine VeraCosmeticsUnited States
2015HuaweiSmartphone: Huawei P9
GucciFragrance: BambooUnited States
WixIsraeli software and websiteUnited States
GTArcadeVideo game: League of Angels: Paradise IslandChina
HuaweiSmartphone: Huawei P20United States
2019–presentHotTelecommunications providerIsrael
2020SmartwaterBeveragesUnited States

Beauty pageants

2004Miss Israel 2004HerselfWinner
Miss Universe 2004Miss IsraelParticipant

Awards and nominations

YearAwardCategoryNominated workResult
2016Chinese American Film FestivalMost Popular US Actress in ChinaBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeWon
Critics’ Choice AwardsBest Actress in an Action MovieNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie: Breakout Star
Choice Movie: Scene Stealer
Women Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Female Action Hero
2017Detroit Film Critics SocietyBreakthroughWonder Woman
National Board of Review AwardsSpotlight AwardWon
North Texas Film Critics Association AwardsBest ActressNominated
Digital Spy Reader AwardsWon
IGN AwardsBest Lead Performer in a MovieNominated
Women Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Female Action HeroWon
Golden Issue AwardsBest Actress
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Liplock (shared with Chris Pine)Nominated
Choice Movie: Action ActressWon
Choice Movie: Actress SummerNominated
Choice Movie: Comedy ActressKeeping Up with the Joneses
Choice Movie: Ship (shared with Chris Pine)Wonder Woman
2018Critics’ Choice Awards#SeeHer AwardWon
Jupiter AwardBest International ActressWonder Woman
MTV Movie & TV AwardsBest Fight (Wonder Woman vs German soldiers)
Best HeroNominated
Palm Springs International Film FestivalRising Star Award – ActressWon
Santa Barbara Film FestivalVirtuosos Award
Saturn AwardsBest Actress
Shorty AwardsBest ActorNominated
Teen Choice AwardsChoice Movie Actress: ActionJustice League
Kids’ Choice AwardsFavorite Movie ActressWonder Woman & Justice League
2019Kids’ Choice AwardsFavorite Female Voice from an Animated MovieRalph Breaks the Internet
2021Jay Entertainment Critics AwardsBest ActressWonder Woman 1984Won
Golden Tomato AwardsFan Favorite ActressNominated
Jupiter AwardBest International ActressWon
Kids’ Choice AwardsFavorite Movie ActressNominated
Favorite SuperheroWon
MTV Movie & TV AwardsBest HeroNominated
Digital Spy Reader AwardsBest ActressWon
Best Hero
MTV Movie & TV AwardsBest Fight (Final fight between Justice League and Steppenwolf)Zack Snyder’s Justice LeagueNominated
2022Critics’ Choice Super AwardsBest Actress in a Superhero Movie
People Choice AwardsThe Female Movie Star of 2022Death on the Nile
The Drama Movie Star of 2022

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