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KOKOnista Of The Day: Zoë Saldaña Is Super Talented And The Ultimate Body Inspo For Every Discerning Lady

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Zoë Yadira Saldaña Nazario is an American-Dominican actress, whose achievements and body is inspiring young girls.

Saldana was born June 19, 1978, in Passaic, New Jersey. Her father, Aridio Saldaña, was of Dominican while her mother, Asalia Nazario, is Puerto Rican with some Lebanese ancestry. With regard to her racial identity, Saldana stated, “There’s no one way to be black. I’m black the way I know how to be.” The majority of her early childhood was in Jackson Heights, New York. She was raised bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. She has two sisters, Cisely and Mariel.Their father died in a vehicle wreck around her ninth birthday, and their mother moved with the children to the Dominican Republic.
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Saldana discovered her love of dance in the Dominican Republic, then enrolled in the ECOS Espacio de Danza Academy studying forms of dance,nbut describes ballet as her passion. She told Vanity Fair 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 City after her sophomore year at Newtown High School. In 1995, she performed with the Faces theater group in Brooklyn, with plays providing positive messages for teens via themes dealing with issues such as substance abuse and adolescent sex. During these years, she performed with the New York Youth Theater; her appearance in their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat led a talent agency to recruit her. Her dance training and her acting experience helped her land her first film role, playing ballet student Eva Rodriguez in Center Stage (2000).

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Saldana worked in science fiction films, beginning in 2009 with her first of multiple appearances as Nyota Uhura in the Star Trek film series and her first appearance as Neytiri in the Avatar film series. She portrayed Gamora in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, beginning with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). 
Due to her appearances in three of the five highest-grossing films of all time (Avatar, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame) Saldana is the second highest-grossing film actress of all time, as of 2019. Her films grossed more than $11 billion worldwide.

Photo Credit: Getty

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