Zoë Saldana turns 36 today! Born Zoë Yadira Saldaña Nazario in New Jersey on June 19, 1978 and raised in Queens, New York, Saldana discovered her love for performing in the Dominican Republic, when her family moved there when she was 10. She studied dance at Espacio de Danza Academy, honing her love of ballet. Back to New York at age 17, she joined a teen theater group as well as the New York Youth Theater.
After appearing on the TV drama, Law and Order in 2001, Saldana made her movie debut in the dance drama Center Stage. She appeared in small roles throughout the early 2000s, including Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Six Degrees, Drumline, Get Over It!, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
In 2009, Saldana starred as Communications Officer Uhura in the remake of Star Trek, directed by J.J. Abrams, and Neytiri in James Cameron’s epic sci-fi flick, Avatar; 2011 brought the lead role in the action film, Columbiana. She would reprise her role as Uhura in the 2013 follow-up Star Trek: Into Darkness, acting alongside Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, and Benedict Cumberbatch. She landed a starring role in the NBC miniseries Rosemary’s Baby as the title character, Rosemary, and is slated to star in Marvel’s newest superhero movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, as the green-skinned Gamora. Her IMDB page also lists her for the next three Avatar movies.
Aside from being one of the forerunning actresses of the 2000s, Saldana has a flourishing modeling career, appearing in Calvin Klein campaigns, Gap ads, and as a spokesperson for Avon.
We wish Zoe Saldana a happy birthday from all of us at SCIFI.radio!
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