BiographySharp and flirty, Zoe Yadira Zaldaa Nazario was born June 19, 1978, in New Jersey. She was raised in Queens until the age of 10, when her family moved to the Dominican Republic.
The nimble and bouncy Zoe was a natural at dancing, and won a scholarship to the Ritmos Espacio de Danza Academy, where she studied ballet, jazz, and modern and Latin dance.
zoe saldana gets her start in theater
After her sophomore year of high school, Saldana returned to the U.S. to finish her studies. In New York she joined the educational improv theater group FACES Theater Company, whose skits about drug abuse, domestic violence and sexuality were aimed at teenagers.
Her other theater troupe, the New York Youth Theater, put on a hit rendition of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. An agent saw promise in Zoe and signed her on. She premiered to wide audiences in a 1999 episode of Law & Order.
zoe appears on center stage
It was a massive leap to the big screen after that. Zoe Saldana made her Hollywood debut as Eva Rodriguez, an angry, foul-mouthed ballet student in the dance drama, Center Stage (2000). The following year she had a supporting role in the forgettable teen comedy, Get Over It, starring Kirsten Dunst and Mila Kunis.
She tried her luck at the indie circuit, starring alongside rapper Nelly in the hip-hop action drama Snipes (2001), which was featured at the Toronto Film Festival.
zoe saldana in crossroads
Having proven herself successful with young audiences, she was cast as Britney's best buddy, Kit, in the pop star's film debut, Crossroads (2002). Zoe regrets that a hotel scene in which the three girls lift their tops was deleted from the movie. As do we, Zoe, as do we.
Returning to independent film, her next project was Drumline (2002), a movie about a marching band. For that movie, she was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss, shared with Nick Cannon.
zoe saldana in pirates of the caribbean
Though her next role wasn't her biggest, it was definitely one of the most memorable. She appeared as Anamaria in 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; you might remember her as the fierce female pirate who could make Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow bend to her will.
zoe saldana works in the terminal
After starring in 2003's Temptation, a rock musical version of Faust, Zoe Saldana worked on no less than seven movies. One of these is 2004's The Terminal, Steven Spielberg's story of an Eastern European immigrant (played by Tom Hanks) who is denied entry to the United States. Zoe stars as a tough INS agent.
Zoe also reunites with Orlando Bloom (her Pirates of the Caribbean costar) in 2004's Haven. She can also be seen in 2004's Constellation, as well as 2005's Dirty Deeds.
zoe saldana in star trekAfter roles in 2006's Premium and Ways of the Flesh, and 2007's After Sex, Zoe Saldana had a busy yea in '08, appearing in two flicks -- Vantage Point with Forest Whitaker and Dennis Quaid, and The Skeptic with Tom Arnold.
Look for Zoe in 2009 on the big screen in Burning Palms with Paz Vega, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek with Simon Pegg and Winona Ryder, as well as the sci-fi thriller Avatar.