Date of birth : 1978-06-19
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New Jersey, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-06-17
Zoe Saldana (born June 19, 1978; also known as Zoë Saldana, Zoe Saldaña, and Zoë Saldaña) is an American actress. She had her breakthrough role in the 2002 film Drumline, and later gained prominence for her roles as Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Uhura in the 2009 film Star Trek, and Neytiri in James Cameron's Avatar. In 2010 she appeared in the film The Losers.
Zoe Saldana was born Zoe Yadira Zaldaña Nazario or Zoe Yadira Zaldana Nazario in New Jersey, United States, to a Dominican father and a Puerto Rican mother, Asalia Nazario. Her first languages are English and Spanish. When she was ten years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic, where they lived for the next seven years. Saldana enlisted in a ballet class at one of the most prestigious dancing schools in the Dominican Republic. After returning to New York at age seventeen, she began performing with the Faces theater troupe, which put on plays geared to providing positive messages for teens, via themes dealing with issues such as substance abuse and sex. These performances not only gave her valuable experience but also a source of great pride, as she knew that she was making a difference in the lives of young people like herself. While performing with the Faces troupe and also the New York Youth Theater Zoe was recruited for a talent agency. Her dance training years before, coupled with her acting experience, greatly helped her land her first big screen role as Eva, the talented and headstrong ballet dancer in the 2000 film Center Stage.
Rarely do beauty and talent combine in a form so complimentary to each other than in the case of actress Zoe Saldana. Whether gracefully gliding across the stage in dance, pounding the boards in a play, or lighting up the screen in such popular films as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the multi-faceted Saldana seems capable of achieving anything she puts her mind to. The New Jersey native was raised in Queens until the age of ten, when her family relocated to the Dominican Republic. The move proved a fateful blessing when young Saldana discovered her love of dance and enrolled in the ECOS Espacio de Danza Academy shortly thereafter, where she would study ballet, jazz, and modern Latin dance.
Following her sophomore year in high school, Saldana and her family returned to the U.S. It was while completing her primary studies stateside that Saldana became involved with the Faces theater troupe, whose aim was to make a positive impact on teenage audiences by performing improvisational skits on such issues as substance abuse and sexuality. Involvement with another troupe, the New York Youth Theater, provided more traditional stage experience through such productions as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, and it was while performing with that troupe that a talent agent recognized great potential in the burgeoning actress.
In 1999, Saldana received what seemed to be the ideal first film role when she was cast as a talented but snippy dancer vying for a spot at the fictional American Ballet Company in the dance drama Center Stage. Other film roles followed, including Get Over It, Snipes, and a featured part in the Britney Spears teen drama Crossroads, which offered Saldana's first major theatrical release. Widely panned by critics but performing moderately at the box office thanks to legions of Spears fans, Crossroads proved just the fuel needed to get Saldana's struggling feature career running. The following year, she was back on the big screen in Drumline, which found her once again utilizing her dance skills as a college dance major and love interest of the talented but conflicted protagonist. Though her subsequent role as the sole female pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean offered little screen time, her performance as the only woman able to cast a spell over Johnny Depp's charismatic Jack Sparrow offered one of the film's most memorable comic scenes. Back on the indie circuit, Saldana headlined the 2003 rock musical Temptation as a talented singer facing hard times. A brief turn as a by-the-books customs officer in Steven Spielberg's The Terminal found the charming Saldana slowly warming to an immigrant stuck in bureaucratic limbo (played by Tom Hanks), and with six major roles scheduled through 2005, audiences could rest assured that they would be seeing plenty more of the talented young actress in the very near future.
2000- Center Stage
2001- Get Over It
2003- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
2004- The Terminal
2005-La maldición del padre Cardona
2006-Ways of the Flesh
2007- After Sex
2008- Vantage Point
2009- Star Trek
2009- The Skeptic
2010 -The Losers
2010-Death at a Funeral
2014- Avatar 2
View the full website biography of Zoe Saldana .