Zoe Saldana (born June 19, 1978) is an American actress. She had her breakthrough role in the 2000 film Center Stage and the 2002 film Crossroads. She later gained prominence for her roles as Anamaria in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Uhura in the 2009 film Star Trek, and a starring role as Neytiri in James Cameron's Avatar. She also had a lead role in the action film Colombiana. At age17, she began performing with the Faces theater troupe, which put on plays geared towards providing positive messages for teens, via themes dealing with issues such as substance abuse and sex. 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 big screen role as Eva, the talented and headstrong ballet dancer in the 2000 film Center Stage
Saldana was born Zoe Yadira Saldaa Nazario in Passaic, New Jersey.Her father, Aridio Saldaa, and her mother, Asalia Nazario, are from the Dominican Republic. She also has Haitian and Lebanese roots. She has often spoken of her pride in being from a Latin culture. Her first languages are English and Spanish. She spent the majority of her early childhood growing up in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York. She has two sisters, named Cisely and Mariel.
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) and the comedy-drama Drumline (2002). 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 appeared in three films in 2004, including The Terminal, Haven and Temptation. She appeared in Constellation, Guess Who with Ashton Kutcher and Dirty Deeds in 2005 and in Premium in 2006.
In June 2010, Saldana became engaged to her longtime boyfriend Keith Britton, an actor and CEO of My Fashion Database. In November 2011, Saldana and Britton announced that they had ended their relationship after 11 years together. She was in an "on again, off again" relationship with actor Bradley Cooper from December 2011 to January 2013. In 2013, Zoe started dating Italian artist Marco Perego. Saldana and Perego secretly married in June 2013 in London.It was announced in July 2014 that Saldana is pregnant and expecting twins with Perego. She said that her children will be bilingual as Saldana and her husband plan to speak both Spanish and English around their children.
In 2009, she 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."
Saldana is a celebrity supporter of FINCA International, a microfinance organization.