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Cote de Pablo

Cote de Pablo

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Cote de Pablo is a Chilean actress best known for playing the role of Ziva David on the CBS crime drama NCIS (2005-2013).


Born on November 12, 1979, in Santiago, Chile, actress Cote de Pablo got her big break in 2005, when she landed a starring role as Mossad Officer Ziva David on the CBS crime drama NCIS. The following year, she was awarded the Imagen Award for best supporting actress—her first major award. In July 2013, just before the show's season 11 premiere, it was announced that de Pablo would be leaving NCIS. Since then de Pablo has starred in the film The 33 and CBS's miniseries The Dovekeepers.

Early Life

Actress Cote de Pablo was born Maria Jose de Pablo Fernandez on November 12, 1979, in Santiago, Chile. When she was 10, Cote de Pablo and her family moved to Miami, Florida, where her mother landed a job on the Spanish-language television channel, Telemundo. Once in the United States, de Pablo began to focus her education on music and theater, including studying at Carnegie Mellon University.

While at Carnegie Mellon, de Pablo appeared in several plays including The House of Bernarda Alba, Cloud Techtonics, Indescretions, The Fantasticks, And The World Goes 'Round and A Little Night Music. De Pablo graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 2000 with a BFA in Acting and Musical Theater.

Big Break

The actress's first big break was when she was the co-host of a Latin-themed television talk show, Control, with co-host Carlos Ponce. De Pablo hosted the show off-and-on from 1994 to 1995 on the Univision network. Then in 2001, de Pablo appeared in the New York City Public Theater production of Measure for Measure. After two years with the theater, she moved into small television roles on such shows as The Education of Max Bickford, All My Children, Fling and The $treet.

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In 2004, de Pablo appeared in a Volkswagen commercial and starred on The Jury, a short-lived television series on FOX. The show only lasted for 10 episodes before it was canceled. The following year, de Pablo almost made her Broadway debut in The Mambo Kings, playing the role of Dolores Fuentes, but the show was canceled after a trial run in San Francisco. Her big break came later that year, however, when she landed a starring role as Mossad Officer Ziva David on the CBS crime drama NCIS.

Career Highlights

Her performance as Officer Ziva David won Cote de Pablo her first major award in 2006, when she was given the Imagen Award for best supporting actress. In 2008, Cote de Pablo was nominated for two more awards: the Alma Award for outstanding actress in a drama television series, (for which she won in 2011), and another Imogen Award for best supporting actress. 

In 2009, de Pablo appeared in the film The Last Rites of Ransom Pride with Jason Priestly and Kris Kristofferson, among others.

In July 2013, just before the show's season 11 premiere, CBS confirmed reports that de Pablo would be leaving NCIS during its upcoming season. "I've had eight great years with NCIS and Ziva David," de Pablo said in a statement. "I have huge respect and affection for Mark, Gary, Michael, David, Rocky, Pauley, Brian, Sean, all of the team and CBS. I look forward to finishing Ziva's story."

In 2015 de Pablo appeared in The 33, the true survival story of the Chilean mining disaster of 2010. That same year she also appeared in the CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers. Despite her attempt at returning to series television with Syfy's Prototype in 2016, the show was dropped by the network.

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