Zoë Saldaña, Raised in Queens
Zoë Saldaña may have been born in Passaic, New Jersey, but the Dominican American actress spent her early childhood in New York City, where she performed with the Brooklyn theater group FACES, which put on plays aimed at providing positive messages for teenagers. But it was her appearance in the New York Youth Theater’s production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat that resulted in her recruitment by a talent agency. Saldaña’s previous dance training, and her acting experience, helped her land her first big screen role as Eva, the talented and headstrong ballet dancer in 2000’s Center Stage. She’s since gained prominence for her roles in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Star Trek, Avatar and Colombiana.