Saldana at the Guardians of the Galaxy premiere in July 2014
|Born||Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario
June 19, 1978
Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Marco Perego (m. 2013)|
Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario (born June 19, 1978), known as Zoë Saldana or Zoe Saldana (// sal-DAN-ə), is an American actress and dancer. She had her breakthrough roles in the films Center Stage (2000) and Crossroads (2002). She later gained prominence for her roles as Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Nyota Uhura in Star Trek (2009) and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), Neytiri in James Cameron's Avatar (2009) and its upcoming sequels, and Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
Saldana was born Zoe Yadira Saldaña Nazario in Passaic, New Jersey. Her father, Aridio Saldaña, was from the Dominican Republic, while her mother, Asalia Nazario, is from Puerto Rico. Saldana has said that she also has Haitian and Lebanese roots. She has often spoken of her pride in her ethnicity and is quoted as saying, "It doesn't matter how much backlash I will get for it; I will honor and respect my black community because that's who I am." The majority of her early childhood she spent growing up in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, and her native languages are both English and Spanish. She has two sisters, named Cisely and Mariel, and a half-brother named Nipo, known as "Nipo 809", who is a Dominican artist and producer.
Her father died in a car crash when she was nine years old, and Saldaña and her mother subsequently moved to the Dominican Republic. There, Saldaña discovered her love of dance and soon enrolled in the ECOS Espacio de Danza Academy; she studied various forms of dance  but describes ballet as her first passion. She told Vanity Fair that she quit ballet because she did not have the feet and had too much pride and ambition to just be in the corps de ballet. The family returned to New York after her sophomore year in high school. In 1995, she began performing with the FACES theater group in Brooklyn, which put on plays geared toward providing positive messages for teens via themes dealing with issues such as substance abuse and adolescent sexuality. Concurrently, she performed with the New York Youth Theater; her appearance in their production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat led a talent agency to recruit her. Her previous dance training, and her acting experience, helped her land her first film role, playing Eva Rodriguez, the talented and headstrong ballet student in the film Center Stage (2000).
Saldana was still a member of FACES when she gained exposure in an episode of Law & Order (titled "Merger") which first aired in 1999. Saldana's first film role was in Center Stage (2000), directed by Nicholas Hytner, about a group of young dancers from various backgrounds who enroll at the fictitious American Ballet Academy in New York City. She left school after Center Stage, subsequently appearing in the Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads (2002), the film was met with negative reviews from critics, but became some what of a box office success. The same year Saldana started in the comedy-drama Drumline (2002), alongside Nick Cannon, which was met with generally favourable reviews.
In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), she played Anamaria, a female pirate who signs up to join Will Turner and Mr. Gibbs for a chance to confront Jack Sparrow for stealing her ship. Saldana revealed why she never appeared in any further films in the franchise and revealed that she almost quit acting following "disrespectful treatment" on set of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Saldana appeared in The Terminal, in which she played Dolores Torres, an immigration officer and Star Trek fan, this would go on the help Saldana when she came to appear in the Star Trek film in 2009. In 2004 she also made appearances in Haven and Temptation.
She appeared in Constellation, Guess Who with Ashton Kutcher and Dirty Deeds in 2005 and in Premium in 2006. In 2007 Saldana starred in After Sex a comedy-drama film about several couples having conversations after sex. The same year Zoe played the lead role in Blackout an television film that takes place in New York City during the Northeast Blackout of 2003. The film premiered at the 2007 Zurich Film Festival and debuted on BET on February 1, 2008. It was released to DVD on February 4, 2008. In 2008 Saldana had a small role as Angie Jones in the box office smash, Vantage Point (2008), in which Saldana's character dies in the early scenes.
Breakthrough and success
Saldana appeared in two high-profile roles in 2009. First she played Nyota Uhura in the film reboot Star Trek, The films director J. J. Abrams asked Saldana to play the role because he had seen her previous work and liked it. Saldana had never seen the original series, though she had played a Trekkie in The Terminal (2004), but agreed to play the role after Abrams complimented her. She met with Nichelle Nichols, who explained to her how she had created Uhura's background and had named the character. Saldana's mother was a Star Trek fan and sent her voice mails during filming, giving advice on the part. Coincidentally, it was Steven Spielberg who taught her the Vulcan salute five years earlier when he directed her in The Terminal, in which her character was a Trekkie.
Saldana's second high profile film on 2009 was James Cameron's Avatar, in which she starred as the alien huntress Neytiri. The film was premiered by 20th Century Fox in London, England on December 10, and was released in the United States and Canada on December 18, grossing $27 million on its opening day and $77 million during its opening weekend in 3,461 theaters, ranking number one at the box office. Avatar grossed $2.7 billion worldwide, to become the highest-grossing film of all time, as well as in the United States and Canada. It also became the first film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide. Avatar was also well received and accumulated an approval rating of 83% on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The film was nominated for ten Saturn Awards and it went on to win all ten at the 36th Saturn Awards ceremony, Saldana's win for the Saturn Award for Best Actress marked a rare occurrence for an all-CG character. Both films went on to raise her profile considerably.
In 2010, Saldana starred in The Losers as Aisha al-Fadhil, a native Bolivian woman, for the role Saldana was required to gain a weight, as she was expected to carry weapons around for eight hours a day. She also appeared in Takers, Death at a Funeral and Burning Palms. In August 2010, her television ad for Calvin Klein's "Envy" line debuted. In 2011, Saldana starred in the romantic comedy The Heart Specialist and she also starred in the crime drama film Colombiana as Cataleya Restrepo, a professional assassin, the film was met with negative reviews from critics, however Saldana's performance was praised. In 2012, she starred in the romantic drama film The Words, the film was met with negative reviews from critics and saw little success at the box office.
Saldana reprised her role in Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to the 2009 reboot which was released in May 2013. Like the previous film, Star Trek Into Darkness was a box office success ending its North American theatrical run, with a box office total of $228,778,661, which places it as the 11th highest-grossing film for 2013. It also earned $467,365,246 worldwide, ranking it in 14th place for 2013, and making it the highest-grossing film of the franchise. Saldana also leant her voice the 2013 release of the Star Trek video game, in which she voiced her original character Nyota Uhura.
Saldana played Gamora in the film Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Saldana said that she became Gamora through make-up rather than computer generated imagery (CGI) or performance capture. On taking the role, Saldana said, "I was just excited to be asked to join by James Gunn and to also play someone green. I've been blue before [in Avatar]." The film became the third highest-grossing film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, behind The Avengers and Iron Man 3. It was the third highest-grossing 2014 film (behind Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies) and the highest-grossing superhero film of 2014. In May 2014, she starred in Rosemary's Baby a television miniseries adaptation of Ira Levin's best-selling horror novel of the same name, the miniseries was a four-hour, two-part show, that Saldana also co-produced.
In June 2010, Saldana became engaged to her longtime boyfriend Keith Britton, an actor and CEO of My Fashion Database. Saldana and Britton announced in November 2011 that they had ended their relationship after 11 years together. Saldana subsequently dated actor Bradley Cooper from December 2011 to January 2013.
In March 2013, Saldana began dating Italian artist Marco Perego. They secretly married in June 2013 in London. Saldana and Perego have twin sons, Bowie Ezio and Cy Aridio, born in November 2014. During her pregnancy, Saldana stated that her children will be bilingual as she and her husband plan to speak both Spanish and English around them.
In 2009, Saldana said she would avoid plastic surgery, telling Women's Health magazine "God as my witness, I am going to try to do everything I can to keep this ass together for as long as I possibly can—without going against nature." She watches what she eats but does not diet and does Pilates regularly saying "It's the closest thing to dance."
|2000||Center Stage||Eva Rodriguez|
|2001||Get Over It||Maggie|
|2003||Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl||Anamaria|
|2004||Terminal, TheThe Terminal||Dolores Torres|
|2005||Guess Who||Theresa Jones|
|2005||Dirty Deeds||Rachel Buff|
|2005||The Curse of Father Cardona||Flor|
|2006||Heart Specialist, TheThe Heart Specialist||Donna|
|2008||Vantage Point||Angie Jones|
|2009||Star Trek||Nyota Uhura|
|2009||Skeptic, TheThe Skeptic||Cassie|
|2010||Losers, TheThe Losers||Aisha|
|2010||Death at a Funeral||Elaine|
|2010||Burning Palms||Sara Cotton|
|2012||Words, TheThe Words||Dora Jansen|
|2013||Star Trek Into Darkness||Nyota Uhura|
|2013||Out of the Furnace||Lena Warren|
|2014||Infinitely Polar Bear||Maggie Stuart|
|2014||Guardians of the Galaxy||Gamora|
|2014||The Book of Life||Maria (voice)|
|2015||Nina||Nina Simone||In post-production|
|2017||Guardians of the Galaxy 2||Gamora|
|1999||Law & Order||Belinca||2 episodes|
|2004||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Gabrielle Vega||Episode: "Criminal"|
|2006–2007||Six Degrees||Regina||5 episodes|
|2013||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Herself||Episode: "Zoe Saldana Wears A Tan Blouse & Glasses"|
|2014||Rosemary's Baby||Rosemary Woodhouse||2 episodes; Also producer|
|2013||Star Trek||Nyota Uhura|
Awards and nominations
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (January 2015)|
|2003||MTV Movie Awards||Best Kiss (with Nick Cannon)||Drumline||Nominated|
|2005||Black Movie Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role||Guess Who||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Breakout Performance – Female||Nominated|
|2006||Black Reel Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|2009||ALMA Awards||Actress in Film||Star Trek||Nominated|
|Boston Society of Film Critics Awards||Best Ensemble Cast||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress – Action/Adventure||Nominated|
|Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards||Best Ensemble||Nominated|
|People's Choice Award||Favorite Breakout Movie Actress||Nominated|
|Scream Award||Best Science Fiction Actress||Nominated|
|Breakout Performance – Female||Nominated|
|2010||Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films||Best Actress||Avatar||Won|
|BET Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards||Best Acting Ensemble||Star Trek||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||Best Actress||Avatar||Won|
|Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Cutest Couple (with Sam Worthington)||Nominated|
|Favorite Movie Actress||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Female Performance||Nominated|
|Best Kiss (with Sam Worthington)||Nominated|
|Scream Award||Best Science Fiction Actress||Nominated|
|Saturn Award||Best Actress||Won|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress – Sci-Fi||Won|
|Choice Movie Actress – Action/Adventure||The Losers||Nominated|
|Choice Movie Actress – Comedy||Death at a Funeral||Nominated|
|Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture||Avatar||Won|
|2011||ALMA Awards||Favorite Movie Actress – Drama/Adventure||Takers||Nominated|
|BET Awards||Best Actress||The Losers||Nominated|
|Death at a Funeral||Nominated|
|Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||The Losers||Nominated|
|SFX Awards||Best Actress||Avatar||Nominated|
|2012||BET Awards||Best Actress||Colombiana||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Image Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actress – Action||Won|
|ALMA Awards||Favorite Movie Actress Drama/Adventure||Won|
|2013||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie Star: Female||Star Trek Into Darkness||Nominated|
|2015||Black Reel Award||Outstanding Actress, TV Movie or Mini-Series||Rosemary's Baby||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress||Guardians of the Galaxy||Nominated|
|Outstanding Voice Performance||The Book of Life||Nominated|
|Image Award||Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance||The Book of Life||Nominated|
|People's Choice Award||Favorite Action Movie Actress||Nominated|
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- "The Official Website of Zoe Saldana – Biography". Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- Buchanan, Jason (2008). "Zoe Saldana – Overview". MSN. Retrieved July 29, 2008.
- Zoe Saldana (2014). Zoe Saldana Finds a True Match for her Skin Tone. USA: L'Oréal Paris. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
- Eggenberger, Nicole (May 14, 2013). "Zoe Saldana Poses Topless for Allure, Says She Might "End Up" Raising Kids With a Woman". Allure Magazine. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
It doesn't matter how much backlash I will get for it," "I will honor and respect my black community because that's who I am."
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- "Merger". Law & Order. Season 10. Episode 4. 1999-10-13. NBC.
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- Powell, Ahna. Mila Kunis: A Woman of Talent, Beauty and Passion: the Multifaceted Actress.
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- "Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- Kit, Borys (April 3, 2013). "Zoe Saldana in Talks to Star in Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
- White, Brett (May 3, 2013). "'Guardians Of The Galaxy': Zoe Saldana Confirms She's Going Green". mtv.com. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- Inzaurralde, Bastien (April 28, 2014). "'Rosemary's Baby' Remake Shifts Horror to Paris". Daily Herald. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Sam Worthington & Zoë Saldana To Return For ‘Avatar’ Sequels; Fox Eyeing End Of Year Start". Deadline. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
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- "Zoe Saldana, Fiance Split After 11 Years Together". Us Weekly. November 12, 2011.
- "Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana Dating Again!". USMagazine.com. September 25, 2012.
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- Webber, Stephanie (September 10, 2013). "Zoe Saldana Marries Marco Perego in Secret Wedding Ceremony!". US Weekly. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- "Zoë Saldana Marries Marco Perego". People Magazine. September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2013.
- Leon, Anya; Garcia, Jennifer (January 2, 2015). "Zoë Saldana Welcomes Twin Sons Cy Aridio and Bowie Ezio". People Magazine. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
- Johnson, Zach. "Zoe Saldana Says Her Twins Will Be Bilingual".
- Zoe Saldana Supports FINCA's Hand Up for Haiti Campaign "FINCA International website," March 20, 2011.
- King, Susan (March 1, 2010). "Visual effects, sound and cinematography awards". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
- "VES Awards-Nominees-2010" (PDF). Visual Effects Society. January 19, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
- "Pariah’s Nine Noms Lead the Black Reel Awards Field". The Black Reel Awards. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zoe Saldana.|
- "Zoe Saldana". (Official site). Archived from the original on July 5, 2011.
- Zoe Saldana at the Internet Movie Database
- Zoe Saldana at the TCM Movie Database
- Zoe Saldana at AllMovie
- Zoe Saldana, IDI Diamond Celebrity of the Week
- Zoe Saldana, at Future Movies
- "Zoe Saldana Shines on ESSENCE's April Cover". Essence. March 9, 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
- Sandell, Laurie (March 1, 2010). "Zoë Saldana: The Most Elegant Member of the Glam New Guard". Glamour (Condé Nast). Retrieved 2011-10-09.