Zoë Saldana: Snapshot

Zoë Saldana
Date of Birth
June 19, 1978
Birth Place
Passaic, N.J.
Zoë Saldana became the dream girl for geeks everywhere when she filled out Lt. Uhura's U.S.S. Enterprise minidress in J.J. Abrams's 2009 Star Trek reboot. The actress further solidified her otherworldly appeal by starring in James Cameron's imaginative blockbuster Avatar.

But long before going into space and painting the world blue, the Dominican beauty got a foothold in Hollywood starring in the 2000 cult dance flick Center Stage. Saldana went on to appear opposite Britney Spears in Crossroads and shipped out with Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. Yet it was Avatar's kick-ass warrior princess Neytiri that brought her international acclaim.

Off-screen, the red carpet standout, who's been a spokesmodel for Avon and Calvin Klein, dated Sexiest Man Alive Bradley Cooper prior to tying the knot with artist Marco Perego in a secret ceremony. The two welcomed twin boys in December 2014.

Zoë Saldana: Five Fun Facts

  1. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, Zoë Saldana took to the rugged country life. "We were learning how to climb coconut trees – let me tell you, they are f–ing dangerous," she told Nylon magazine. "I would do my homework in guava and mango trees."
  2. Zoë Saldana may look like a red carpet fashionista, but she's a nerd at heart. "I loved stories that helped me escape, and those happened to be the stories that fall into the category of geekiness," she told PEOPLE. "So, therefore, I am a proud geek!"
  3. To prepare for her role in Avatar, Zoë Saldana trained for seven months in archery and wushu martial arts. "Wushu is the s–!" she told Details magazine. "It's very artistic – it's what Jet Li does."
  4. When she was younger, Zoë Saldana experimented with homemade beauty treatments. "One time I colored the ends of my hair with rum. It turned them flaming red," she told InStyle. "My mom had to cut them off. I smelled like liquor for weeks!"
  5. After playing several action heroes on screen, Zoë Saldana played one in real life when she rushed to the aid of an elderly woman in L.A. who was injured in a car accident.

Zoë Saldana: Biography


Zoë Saldana

Acting Out

For her last two years of high school, Saldana moves back to New York City and throws herself into after-school acting classes. "I became an actress to be in great movies, to work with amazing filmmakers," she tells PEOPLE. "And I think that's how I want to leave a mark if I'm ever granted that opportunity." Showing off both her acting and dancing skills, Saldana makes her movie debut as an aspiring ballet dancer in the 2000 film Center Stage.


Zoë Saldana

Sailing Away

Saldana follows up her film debut with the Britney Spears vehicle Crossroads and stars opposite Nick Cannon in Drumline. But it's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, alongside Johnny Depp, where she gets her first taste of box-office success. "You really felt the immensity of it," she says of being part of the 2003 blockbuster.


Zoë Saldana

Funny Girl

Saldana tests her comedy chops in Guess Who, in which her character brings Ashton Kutcher home to her racially charged father, played by the late Bernie Mac. Coming from a multicultural family (Saldana is half-Puerto Rican, half-Dominican), the movie allows the actress to explore issues foreign to her. "My family is very, very diverse and very mixed, and it is not an issue in my house," she explains of interracial dating.

Read More on Zoë Saldana's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: JPI

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Everett; Everett

Edited by Julia Wang

Zoë Saldana

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