Happy birthday, Zoë Saldana! The feisty New Jersey–born, New York City–raised actress turns 36 today.
Utilizing her lifelong dance training, the Latin beauty landed her first breakout out role as the headstrong, rebellious ballerina in Center Stage before turning heads in more high-profile flicks, such as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the Star Trek series.
In 2009, the versatile actress amazed as the Na’vi alien in the visually groundbreaking sci-fi adventure Avatar alongside her dreamy on-screen love interest, portrayed by Sam Worthington. Sci-fi fans rejoiced when the film’s director, James Cameron, confirmed plans to extend the international blockbuster (which holds the record as the highest grossing movie of all time) into three sequels, which are slated to hit theaters in December 2016, 2017, and 2018.
However, before the philanthropic actress again dazzles as the mythological blue beauty, Saldana will surely stun as the green-skinned assassin, Gamora, in Marvel’s highly anticipated release of Guardians of the Galaxy this August.