Emet Prize Laureates

Lia Koenig-Stolper

2012 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Culture and Art
In Field: Acting and Directing in the Theater


Lia Koenig-Stolper

Jury Statement

“For 50 years on the stage of the National Theatre Habima, playing a variety of comic and tragic roles from the best of the classical, modern and original repertoire, and for preserving the heritage of the Yiddish theatre and culture.”


Was born in Lodz, Poland. Both her parents were actors. Her father, Joseph Kamen, was a member of the Vilna Troupe, and her mother, Dina Koenig, was an acclaimed actress in Poland and Rumania and one of the great stars of the national theatre in Bucharest. At the end of the Second World War she moved with her family to Rumania.

She was only 17 years old when she followed the advice of her future husband, Zvi Stolper, and with the encouragement of her mother, and began studying acting at the National Academy of Arts in Bucharest.

Her talent was soon apparent to all and she appeared in leading roles at the theatre, among them the role of Anne Frank, for which she won official praise from the state.

She married Zvi Stolper in 1950, and immigrated to Israel in 1961.

Within less than a year - after finishing her Hebrew studies in the Ulpan - the actor Shimon Finkel accepted her for work at the Habima Theatre.

In 1962 she performed for the first time on the Hebrew stage in the play Mr. Puntila and His Man Matti by Bertolt Brecht. Soon afterwards she played Eve in the play Genesis by Aharon Megged. For this role she was awarded the Klausner Prize for best actress.

Over the years she appeared in more than a hundred plays in Habima and other theatres. With her husband, Zvi Stolper, she performed in Yiddish shows which he wrote and directed, among them Stars Without a Sky, which Stolper dedicated to Yiddish writers.

She continues with these performances as a tribute to her parents, her husband and the rich Yiddish culture, which is slowly dying out. Her stage performances in Israel – in classical plays, translated and original – won her various prizes, including the Israel Prize for Theatre (1987), the Rosenblum Actor's Award (1997), The Theatre Lifetime Achievement Award (1998) as well as the Moshe Halevi Theatre Prize, the Kinor David Prize and awards by the Tel Aviv municipality for the plays Chairs (1978) and Mama Courage (1975). In 2008 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Tel Aviv University, and two