Childhood & Early Life
Zelda Rae Williams was born in New York City, on July 31, 1989, to Robin and Marsha Williams. Her father was a legendary Hollywood actor and was recognized all over the world. She was his second child and his first daughter. She has an older stepbrother named Zachary, from Robin’s first marriage, and a younger brother named Cody.
Robin once stated that he had named his daughter “Zelda” after “Princess Zelda,” the lead character of his favorite video game, ‘The Legend of Zelda.’
Zelda grew up in a high-profile film family. Thus, the world of films was not new to her. She also accompanied her father to many of his film sets. Although she later became confused about her true passion, she kept herself attached with the American entertainment industry.
Although Robin primarily worked in Los Angeles, he wanted his children to be away from the limelight for as long as possible. Thus, Zelda spent most of her childhood in San Francisco.
She developed an interest in acting at a very early age. By 5, she had already started facing the camera. During the first few years of her career, she was not too interested in acting. While in college, she was still in the process of finding her true passion.
However, she ultimately decided to work in the entertainment industry. Apart from acting, she is also fond of directing movies.
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Zelda Williams appeared on screen for the first time at the age of 5, when she played a small role in the 1994 TV film ‘In Search of Dr. Seuss.’ The fantasy–drama film was loved by the audiences. Thus, Zelda started her acting career with significant critical and commercial success.
By 1995, she had also made her big-screen debut with a small role in the film ‘Nine Months.’ The film featured her as a little girl in a ballet class. Over the next decade, she refrained from appearing in films and TV and concentrated on her education instead.
Following a break of nine years, she made her comeback with the film ‘House of D’ in 2004. It was a coming-of-age comedy–drama film that was screened at the well-respected ‘Tribeca Film Festival.’ The film featured her as ‘Melissa.’ However, it could not attain enough critical and commercial response.
She took another break of four years before making another comeback with the film ‘Were the World Mine’ in 2008. The film featured her as ‘Frankie.’ The romantic musical–fantasy film earned significant success at various film festivals and ended up becoming a critical and commercial success upon its theatrical release. However, the independent nature of the film prevented it from receiving a wide release.
Although she could have been part of a number of major projects, she continued to explore her artistic side and chose to be part of a few small-budget experimental films instead. In 2009, she appeared in an independent feature film named ‘Don’t Look Up.’ She then appeared in two short films named ‘See You on the Other Side’ and ‘Jezuz Loves Chaztity’ in 2010.
The same year, she experimented with a low-budget horror film named ‘Detention,’ which was released without any promotion. It could make only $190 at the box office. She then appeared in two more independent films: a short film named ‘Stupid Questions’ and a feature-length film named ‘A Beer Tale.’
She then ventured into commercial cinema with the 2012 coming-of-age American comedy film ‘Noobz,’ which featured her in the small role of ‘Rickie.’ The film received mixed reviews from critics but made decent money at the box office. The same year, she appeared in the first four episodes of the series ‘Checked Out.’
She then appeared in a two-episode guest appearance of ‘Caitlin’ in the series ‘Teen Wolf.’ In 2014, she experimented yet again with a small-budget independent film titled ‘Never.’ This was also the first lead role of her career. The film portrayed her as a lesbian woman developing a bond with a straight man. The film mostly appeared in film festivals and received a limited release in the US.
In 2014, she started voice-acting for the animated series ‘The Legend of Korra.’ The series featured her as the voice of one of the main characters named ‘Kuvira.’ She then appeared in another voice role, in the animated series ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’ The series featured her as ‘Mona Lisa,’ one of the leading characters.
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In 2015, she was offered one of the lead roles in the horror series ‘Dead of Summer.’ The anthology series ran for one season and featured Zelda as ‘Drew Reeves,’ one of the leading characters. The series received mixed reviews from critics, with most of the praises directed toward the last few episodes. Zelda’s performance, too, was appreciated.
In 2016, she played one of the lead characters in the TV film ‘Girl in the Box,’ which was based on a true incident. It was inspired by the horrific kidnapping of a girl named Colleen Stan.
In 2017, she appeared in a guest role in the series ‘Stitchers’ and ‘Criminal Minds.’ She was also offered a recurring role in the series ‘Dark/Web,’ which is slated to release in 2018.
In 2011, she appeared with her father, Robin Williams, in a commercial for the video game ‘The Legend of Zelda.’ She has also appeared in the music videos for the songs ‘You Make Me Feel’ and ‘But My Love.’
She has also been included in ‘People’ magazine’s list of the ‘100 Most Beautiful People.’
Zelda Rae Williams was romantically involved with actor Jackson Heywood from 2013 to 2016. She has also dated actor Colin Donnell in the past.
She has always admitted her love for video games. ‘The Legend of Zelda’ is one of her favorite video games.
Zelda is bisexual, and she openly admits it on public platforms.
Her father, Robin Williams, committed suicide in August 2014, after a long struggle with depression. Following this, Zelda was emotionally devastated and stated that she wanted the world to know him as a good man who had devoted a lot of time to charity.