ZoÃ« SaldaÃ±a was born in New Jersey to immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Her first languages are Spanish and English. She was raised in Queens, New York, but when she was nine, her father died in a car accident, and her mother moved her and her sisters back to the Dominican Republic. While there, she enlisted in a ballet class and gained experience as a dancer, enlisting in one of the most prestigious dancing schools of that country, which benefited her during her later role in Center Stage. SaldaÃ±a returned to the USA after her sophomore year in high school, and enrolled in the Faces Theater Program, an acting course. She also worked in Burger King as a cashier in the mid 90s. She is currently dating actor Keith Britton.
SaldaÃ±a was still a member of the program when she got her first screen experience, on an episode of Law & Order that first aired October 13, 1999. She left the school after her major film debut, in 2000’s Center Stage, which she followed up in 2002 with appearances in the Britney Spears vehicle, Crossroads and the Nick Cannon-starring comedy, Drumline. She played the tough pirate lass Anamaria in the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and has appeared subsequently in television shows like Law & Order and in a number of movies, including The Terminal and Guess Who. SaldaÃ±a has recently secured the role of Uhura in the upcoming Star Trek movie.