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New Haven, Connecticut, USA
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Madeline Zima at twenty two is one of the most seasoned and diverse young actresses today. Equally skilled at comedy, improv and drama, she`s worked continuously for the last decade in critically acclaimed projects.
She was born in New Haven, Connecticut, grew up in Pennsylvania and early on had a New York agent that kept her busy modeling and doing commercials.
She and her sister, Vanessa were discovered by Woody Allen for his movie Alice. She actually quit show business, the week when she was urged to come in for her sixth call back for The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. She came back for one more audition and booked the role of Emma. She booked the movie and has never stopped working since that time. It was both Madeline and Juliane Moore`s first film moreover was directed by Academy award-winning director and writer Curtis Hanson. Madeline was getting good critical notice for her first film role.
Madeline followed that dramatic thriller a short film that Daryl Hannah directed that was a favorite at Sundance called the last Supper, where Madeline as a tiny wily child scared away her mother`s abusive boyfriend by convincing him that she and her mother were cannibals. She followed that with the comedies, Mr. Nanny, Our Song,a pilot with George Hamilton, and finally The Nanny. On the Nanny, where writing changed daily, Madeline honed her comic timing on the six year CBS comic hit that is now a linchpin of the Lifetime daily programming. By this time the pilot, the Nanny was picked up and Madeline moved from the East Coast to LA, when the Nanny became a hit show.
She has starred in TV films: The Secret Path (1999) (TV). Her sister, Yvonne played the seven year old counterpart to her characters. She played the daughter of the late John Ritter and Marg Helgenburg on Lethal Vows. The Sandy Bottom Orchestra (2000) (TV) was a starring role where she learned virtuoso violin pieces, which were so impressively played, even the music consultant on the movie, thought Madeline was a professional violinist.
After a worldwide search in all English speaking countries, Madeline was the choice to play Lucille Ball as a teenager, in the CBS mini-series, Redhead. She followed that up playing the wicked stepsister of Hilary Duff in a Cinderella Story. Madeline took up improv and sketch and comedy writing with hopes of one day being on SNL.
Currently, Madeline has a string of independent films to be released or is in preparation for. She stars in Dimples, a horror film. In Looking for Sunday, a coming of age drama, she plays the like able yoga instructor girlfriend of Michael Weston. She recently wrapped the black comedy Legacy about three sorority sister murder suspects, where Madeline is one of the suspects. In the pilot, Three Lbs produced by Peter Ocko, she plays a violinist again, this time with a brain tumor. Reviews in Entertainment weekly said her performance was the only reason to watch the show. Currently, she is in preparation to play the mysterious and interesting character Mia on the new Showtime series, Californication.
When not working on movies, Madeline sings and plays guitar, loves horseback riding, writes songs, screenplays, is rehabbing her house and is working on a novel. She loves to snowboard, paint, dance and swim and spends lots of time with her sisters who are also actresses and writers, Vanessa (Cavedweller Ulee`s Gold) and Yvonne Zima (ER and Long Kiss Goodnight).
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Full Name at Birth
Madeline Rose Zima
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Yvonne Zima, Vanessa Zima
Laurel Springs High School
Madeline Rose Zima (born September 16, 1985) is an American actress. She is best known for portraying Grace Sheffield on the sitcom The Nanny, Mia Lewis on the Showtime comedy drama series Californication, and Gretchen Berg on Heroes.