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Fátima Ptacek

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Fátima Ptacek
Actress Fatima Ptacek.jpg
Ptacek at the 2014 Alma Awards
Born Fátima Ptacek
(2000-08-20) August 20, 2000 (age 14)
United States
Occupation Actress/Model
Years active 2007 – present

Fátima Ptacek (born August 20, 2000) is an American child actress and model. She is best known as the current voice of Dora in Nickelodeon animated television series Dora the Explorer (2011–present) and Dora and Friends: Into the City! (2014–present), and a lead in the Academy Award winning 2012 short film Curfew.

Personal life[edit]

Ptacek resides with her parents in New York City. Her mother is Ecuadorian. Her father is of Norwegian, Czechoslovakian, Irish, and Colombian descent.[1] While her parents work closely with her management, they are not traditional stage parents.

She is a gymnast,[2][3] competing at United States of America Gymastics Level 7,[4] and takes part in English equestrian riding;[4] as of 2010, she noted that she was aiming to qualify for the Olympic Games.[3] In 2010, she noted that she was aiming for a scholarship to Harvard or Yale,[3][4] and was enrolled in a school for gifted children;[3][4] that year, she suggested she may be too old to act by that point.[5] In 2013, she made the National Junior Honor Society.[6] She has expressed interest in quiting acting for law school. She has aimed to be elected President of the United States;[3][5] and has watched New York State Assembly debate in person.[6] She has been acknowledged by Assemblyman Francisco Moya on the floor.[6] She is studying the Mandarin language.[3][4]


Ptacek has appeared in more than 70 television commercials,[7][note 1] and on the covers of numerous national magazines. She is also one of the few child models who has had the privilege of walking the runway at Bryant Park during the annual Fall Fashion Week in New York City. Discovered by Wilhelmina Models,[2][4] but currently represented by New York's Abrams Artists Agency for both acting and modelling,[1][8] Ptacek is considered one of the highest-paid child models in the world, as of 2010, making approximately $200,000 annually.[3] As of 2010, she had appeared in ads for Ralph Lauren, The Gap, Benetton, and on the cover of Newsweek.[3] Her parents told her that they were paying for people to photograph her, as opposed to vice versa.[5]

In 2009, she was cast in the comedy film The Rebound with Catherine Zeta-Jones. After landing small roles in several other films, she was cast in lead roles in several feature films expected to be released in 2013, including A Little Game, Anything's Possible, Tio Papi,[9][10][11] and A Miracle in Spanish Harlem.[12][13] Ptacek has appeared in television shows including Saturday Night Live, A Gifted Man, Royal Pains, The Beautiful Life, Body of Proof, and appeared with First Lady Michelle Obama on Sesame Street.[3][4][14]

"In addition to being a terrific actress, Fatima captures the confidence and warmth that we always look for to play Dora. She sounds like a true leader, but at the same time you know she is a true friend, who will always stop and help."

Teri Weiss, senior vice president of Nickelodeon Preschool, 2012[4]

Ptacek was given a three-year contract[15] as Dora in Dora the Explorer, in November 2010,[16] with the first new TV episodes with her voice in January 2012.[15] She replaces previous voices Kathleen Herles and Caitlin Sanchez.[15] She notes she was a fan of the character before being cast,[17] amongst 200 girls auditioning.[18] The role earned her a "Best Young Actress - Television" at the 2012 Imagen Awards,[18][19] which she attended.[20] She is nominated in the 2014 awards for "Outstanding Performance in a Children's TV Series". Specials voiced by Ptacek include Dora Rocks!, Dora in Mermaid Kingdom, Dora's Butterfly Ball, Dora's Royal Rescue,[21] Dora's Easter Adventure,[22] and Dora's Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure (2012).[16]

Ptacek starred in the Shawn Christensen short film Curfew (2012), about a depressed man asked to take care of his niece.[23] Christensen had auditioned a handful of actresses for the role, but saw Ptacek on a morning show appearance. He admits that he hoped she would nail the audition, and describes her as "phenomenal".[24] Receiving extensive critical acclaim, Ptacek's performance was deemed "a breakthrough",[25] "memorable",[26] "charming",[27] an "eerie, mature confidence for someone so young",[28] and "delightfully annoying".[29] The film was nominated for "Best Live Action Short Film" at the 85th Academy Awards,[2][23] the first time the category was open to all members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voting.[23] The film won, with Ptacek in attendance.[7][30][31] She attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party with Christensen.[32] Ptacek has personally won Best Young Actress at the 2012 Sapporo Short Fest (the film screening there the year after with an appearance by Ptacek),[33][34] A feature film of the story has been announced, with Ptacek announced to return.[35] Best Actress at the 2013 Rincon International Film Festival, and Best Actress at the 2013 Vaughan Film Festival.[33]

Screenwriter of the film Tio Papi, in which Ptacek stars, commented in an interview that "we hit the jackpot with that one. She’s a class act, as are her parents."[36] Ptacek was nominated for a "Best Actress/Supporting Actress - Feature Film" Imagen Award, alongside nominees including Elizabeth Rodriguez from the same film;[37] Miriam Colon (Bless Me, Ultima) won the category.[38]

Dora and Friends: Into the City (2014–present), also has Ptacek as the voice of Dora. While Ptacek speaks in a higher pitch for Dora the Explorer, the new series allows her a more natural voice, as the character is 10 to Ptacek's real life age at the start of production, 12. Production continues on the original series. Producers have allowed Ptacek to modify lines, when she feels she can provide a more accurate version of how youth speak.[39] Ptacek won "Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s TV Series" at the 2015 NAACP Image Awards.[40]

Charity work[edit]

Fátima volunteers as a "Celebrity Ambassador" for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation,[41][42] and has done work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in conjunction with the Macy's Believe Campaign, and the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.[43] Given her joy of reading,[22] Ptacek has done work with SAG Foundation's BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools),[44] and Reading is Fundamental. The Latino Commission on AIDS named Ptacek their 2013 Youth Ambassador at its Cielo Latino benefit gala.[45]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Film Role
2007-2010 Busytown Mysteries Sally
2008 One Last Beat Little Girl
2009 Speed Grieving Lucy
Sweet Flame Amber's friend
2010 The Rebound Mozambique Girl
2011 Body of Proof "Buried Secrets" - Becky Salerno
2011 Anything is Possible: The Movie Jesse
2011–present Dora the Explorer Dora
2012 Curfew Sophia
2013 Tio Papi Angela
2014 Before I Disappear Sophia
2014–present Dora and Friends Dora


Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2014 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Tio Papi Won [46]


  1. ^ One ad she starred in received a Association of Independent Commercial Producers nomination. (nomination page)


  1. ^ a b Nine-Year-Old Reaches Supermodel Status CBS News, May 11, 2010
  2. ^ a b c McLean, Linda (18 January 2013). "Young actress Fátima Ptacek modelling Lamantine, her movie Curfew is nominated at the Oscars.". smudgetikka. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Fatima Ptacek: Child prodigy, role model and Michelle Obama’s pen-pal". METRO (London). 17 May 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Scileppi, Tammy (23 March 2012). "The Homegrown Voice of Dora". Times Ledger (New York NY). Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Nine-year-old supermodel Fatima Ptacek". Xinhua. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Lovett, Ken (5 June 2013). "Dora Explores Albany". NY Daily News (New York City). Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Fatima Ptacek Espinoza, Ecuadorian descent actress shines at the Oscars". Ecuador Times ([United States]). 27 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Little 'it' girl is big NY Post, May 9, 2010
  9. ^ Rivas, Jessica (9 November 2012). "Miami Native & Latino: Fro Rojas directs feature film "Tio Papi"". The 305 (Miami FL). Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  10. ^ Herrero, Rebeca (11 November 2011). "Joey Dedio: La nueva fuerza del cine latino". impreMEDIA (in Spanish) (Los Angeles CA). Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Meet The Newest Voice Of "Dora The Explorer" – Fátima Ptacek". nickutopia. 28 January 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Knickerbocker Film Series winter lineup includes independent, foreign films". Holland Sentinel (Holland MI). 8 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Listings". 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  15. ^ a b c "Fatima the New Yorker becomes Dora the Explorer". 31 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  16. ^ a b McNamara, Maggie (1 August 2012). "She Did It!". New York Family (New York NY). Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  17. ^ AOL. "You've Got Fatima Ptacek". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  18. ^ a b "Fatima Ptacek, Voice of Dora the Explorer, on 200 Girls Fighting For the Role". StarCam. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  19. ^ "27th Annual Imagen Awards - Nominees". Imagen Awards. Encino CA: The Imagen Foundation. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Imagen Awards 2012: Sundance Breakout 'Filly Brown' Nabs Top Acting Awards". The Hollywood Reporter (Los Angeles CA). 11 August 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "The voice of Dora the Explorer, Fatima Ptacek". American Latino. New York NY: American Latino Syndication. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  22. ^ a b Phineas Lover (2012-04-03). "Say "hola" to the new voice of Dora, Fátima Ptacek!". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  23. ^ a b c Olsen, Mark (24 February 2013). "Oscars 2013: 'Curfew' wins best live-action short film". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles CA). Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  24. ^ Bibbiani, William (14 February 2013). "Thank My Mom: Shawn Christensen on Curfew". Crave Online (Los Angeles CA). Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  25. ^ "My reflection on the 85th Academy Awards". Ahwatukee Foothills News (Phoenix AZ). 26 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  26. ^ Eisner, Ken (7 February 2013). "Oscar-nominated live-action short films mix comedy and pathos". Vancouver Straight (Vancouver BC). Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  27. ^ "Live Action Shorts – Size Matters Not". Awards Daily (Valley Village CA). 6 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  28. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (18 February 2013). "2013 Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts Review". 411mania. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  29. ^ Moore, Roger (5 February 2013). "Movie review: Oscar-nominated live-action shorts". The Record (Hackensack NJ). McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  30. ^ Dennis, Alicia Diaz (24 February 2013). "'Dora the Explorer' Star Fátima Ptacek Makes Her Oscars Debut!". Zimbio. San Carlos CA: Livingly. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  31. ^ Abraham, Tamara (25 February 2013). "Oscars 2013: Go big or go home! Fashion trend for full-skirted princess ballgowns reigns supreme on the Oscars red carpet". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  32. ^ "Fatima Ptacek & Shawn Christensen greet fans at 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in WeHo". PopCandies TV. Los Angeles CA. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  33. ^ a b "Awards | Curfew (Short Film)". Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  34. ^ "Fátima Ptacek - Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  35. ^ Clint, Caffeinated (July 16, 2013). "TV stars under Curfew". Moviehole. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  36. ^ Madeleine Marr (2013-09-03). "Local actor Joey Dedio a family guy in ‘Tio Papi’ - People". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  37. ^ "Nominees for the 28th Annual Imagen Awards Announced". The Imagen Foundation. 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  38. ^ "Winners of 28th Annual Imagen Awards Announced Honoring Latinos in Entertainment". The Imagen Foundation. 2013-08-16. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  39. ^ Starr, Michael (11–12 June 2013). "Queens native and ‘Dora the Explorer’ voice adds spinoff". New York Post (New York City). Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  41. ^ "The Elizabeth Glaser Global Champions Of A Mothers Fight Awards Dinner". Guest of a Guest. New York NY. n.d. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  42. ^ Bailey, Lee (27 February 2013). "Audrey’s Society Whirl: Elizabeth Glaser AIDS Foundation Gala Honors J&J, Cookie Johnson and Amy Towers". Lee Bailey's EurWeb: Electronic Urban Report. Los Angeles CA. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  43. ^ García, Sandra E. (22 February 2012). "¡Vamonos! Dora and Boots come uptown to visit on Valentine’s Day". Manhattan Times (Washington Heights/Inwood, New York NY). Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  44. ^ Austin, Josh (28 February 2013). "SAG Foundation’s BookPALS Celebrates 20 Years". (New York NY). Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  45. ^ "Panky Saviñón se une con otros famosos en la lucha contra el sida; asiste a Cielo Latino 2013". Hoy digital (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). 28 May 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013. 
  46. ^ "35th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 

External links[edit]