María José de Pablo Fernández, who is better known by her professional name Cote de Pablo, is a popular Chilean-American actress and singer. She became famous after playing the role of Ziva David on the CBS crime drama ‘NCIS’ which aired from 2005. Pablo first gained popularity after she became a co-host along with Carlos Ponce, in a television talk show ‘Control.’ She hosted the show, which aired from 1994 to 1995, on the Univision Network. Later she did small guest appearances in television shows such as ‘The Education of Max Bickford’ and ‘All My Children.’ After appearing in small roles in several television shows, she appeared in a significant role in the CBS television series ‘NCIS,’ an American police investigation TV series, where she played the role of a character named Ziva David. The show was a huge success, becoming one of the most watched programs in the United States. For her excellent performance, she won the ALMA award in the year 2011. Her latest appearance was in the TV series ‘The Dovekeepers’ where she played the lead role. The show was based on a book by the popular American writer Alice Hoffman. She has also done a voice role for a popular video game named ‘TOCA Race Driver’, which was released in 2002.
Childhood & Early Life
Cote de Pablo was born as María José de Pablo Fernández in Santiago, Chile, on 12 November 1979 to Francisco de Pablo and Mario Olga Fernández. She has two siblings.
When Pablo was ten, her mother landed a job in Telemundo, a television channel, for which they family had to move to Miami in the United States.
She started working in the entertainment industry when she was just 15. She co-hosted several episodes of a show ‘Control’ alongside Carlos Ponce. It was aired on Univision.
She attended Arvida Middle School and later New World School of the Arts. There she studied musical theatre. She finally graduated in 2000 from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater.
While studying at Carnegie Mellon, she got the opportunity to appear in several plays such as ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’, Cloud Tectonics,’ and ‘The Fantasticks.’
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After her graduation, Cote de Pablo moved to New York City, where she initially had to support herself by working as a waitress. She started doing minor roles in the New York City Public Theater, in commercials, and small roles in TV shows such as ‘All My Children’ and ‘The Education of Max Bickford.’
She appeared in the significant role of Marguerite Cisneros in ‘The Jury’, an American TV series that started airing from 2004 in Fox Television Network.
Later, in 2005, she started appearing in the American police investigation series ‘NCIS’, a show that was aired on CBS. She played the role of Officer Ziva David, which won Pablo her first major award in 2011.
She appeared in the 2015 American-Chilean biographical drama film named ‘The 33’ where she played a supporting role. The film performed poorly commercially in North America, grossing only $5.8 million in its opening weekend in the region. However, in Chile, it performed well, becoming the second highest-grossing Chilean film.
Her latest appearance was in ‘The Dovekeepers’, which was a television adaptation of a book of the same name by the famous writer Alice Hoffman. The show, which premiered in the US on 31 March 2015 on the CBS network, was mostly reviewed positively by critics. She appeared alongside other popular actors such as Rachel Brosnahan, Diego Boneta, and Mido Hamada.
Her role in ‘The Jury’, an American drama TV series was the first significant work in Cote de Pablo’s career. The show started airing on Fox network in 2004. Pablo played the role of Marguerite Cisneros. The show focused on a new criminal case which is deliberated by a 12 person jury in each episode. The show starred Billy Burke, Adam Busch, and Anna Friel.
Pablo’s work in ‘NCIS’ (2005–13) a popular American police procedural television series aired on CBS network, where she plays the role of special agent Ziva David, can be considered the most important role of her career. It starred popular actors such as Hark Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Michael Weatherly, and Pauley Perrette. The show was a huge hit, and was soon voted as America’s favorite television show. It has received numerous awards and nominations including the ALMA Awards, Emmy Awards and People’s Choice Awards.
Pablo appeared in a supporting role in the 2010 American action film ‘The Last Rites of Ransom Pride.’ The movie also starred Lizzy Caplan, Dwight Yokam, Jon Foster, Jason Priestley, and W. Earl Brown. The story focused on Juliette Flowers, played by Lizzy Catlan, who is on a mission to find the remains of her lover, named Ransom Pride. Whether she succeeds in this mission, and how, formed the rest of the story.
One of her latest and most significant roles was in the 2015 American-Chilean biographical drama film named ‘The 33.’ The film was directed by Patricia Riggen and starred several popular actors such as Antonia Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, and Lou Diamond Phillips. The show was based on a true story about a group of thirty-three miners, who, for more than two months, were trapped inside a mine in Chile.
Awards & Achievements
Cote de Pablo has received nominations for several awards such as the Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2006 and ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Television Series in 2008, both for her role in the TV show ‘NCIS.’
She won the ALMA Awards for Favourite Television Actress—Leading Role in a Drama, for her amazing performance in the ‘NCIS’ in 2011.
Personal Life & Legacy
Cote de Pablo used to be in a relationship with the well-known actor Diego Serrano. However, they broke up in 2015. Currently, she is believed to be single.
She currently lives in Los Angeles.
She was injured multiple times in kickboxing during the scenes while shooting for the TV show ‘NCIS.’