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From Scratch's Zoe Saldana: Inside star's childhood and father's tragic death 

The star's father died when she was nine

zoe saldana netflix© Photo: Netflix
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
October 31, 2022
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Zoe Saldana is perhaps one of Hollywood's most recognisable faces having starred in a variety of hugely successful movies and TV shows, including Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy, and most recently, Netflix's From Scratch

MORE: Netflix's From Scratch: Viewers saying same thing about new Zoe Saldana series

But how much do you know about the star's life behind the camera? Learn all about her childhood here, including the tragic death of her father….

WATCH: Did you enjoy Netflix's From Scratch?

Zoe Saldana's childhood

Zoe Saldana was born in Passaic, New Jersey on 19 June, 1978 to her Dominican father Aridio Saldaña and Puerto Rican mother Asalia Nazario. 

The actress spent the majority of her childhood in Jackson Heights, New York and was raised bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. She has two sisters, Cisely and Mariel, whom she now co-owns a production company called Cinestar Pictures with. 

Around her ninth birthday in 1987, Zoe's father was tragically killed in a car accident. Speaking to Emmy magazine earlier this year, she revealed how her grandmother broke the heartbreaking news. 

MORE: The devastating true story behind From Scratch

MORE: 20 Netflix shows to watch if you love fashion: From Bridgerton to Emily in Paris & Selling Sunset

"I remember her drinking coffee and saying, 'We're going to get through this,'" she explained. "'Papa wants us to get through this. But please understand this part of life: death came knocking and took one of us.'"

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Zoe with her family

Following her father's death, Zoe and her family moved from New York to the Dominican Republic, where everything was "always new and changing, changing, changing.

"There's no winter, no Santa Claus, no grapes or apples—it's mango and guavas," she said. "These sound like small things, but they add up in a day. It was hard."

Speaking about the impact of her dad's passing, she added: "I've always felt like an alien in my own skin. It's like I'm on the outside looking in, and I really started to feel it after we lost our dad."

from scratch netflix 1© Photo: Netflix

Zoe in Netflix's From Scratch

Zoe revisited this grief during filming for Netflix's new drama, From Scratch. She told USA TODAY: "The thing about grief is that it's ongoing. It will never get better; it just becomes manageable.

"It was a very emotional process to be a part of this project. It wasn't easy to walk in to work every day, knowing you're dealing with this subject matter."

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