Cote de Pablo

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Cote de Pablo
Cote de Pablo retouch.jpg
De Pablo at the 2011 ALMA Awards
María José de Pablo Fernández

(1979-11-12) November 12, 1979 (age 39)
Santiago, Chile
Residence Los Angeles, California
Education Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active1994–present
Known for Ziva David on NCIS

María José de Pablo Fernández, [1] known professionally as Cote de Pablo (born November 12, 1979), is a Chilean-American actress and singer. Born in Santiago, Chile, at the age of ten she moved to the United States, where she studied acting.

Santiago Place in Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile

Santiago, also known as Santiago de Chile, is the capital and largest city of Chile as well as one of the largest cities in the Americas. It is the center of Chile's largest and most densely populated conurbation, the Santiago Metropolitan Region, whose total population is 7 million. The city is entirely located in the country's central valley. Most of the city lies between 500 m (1,640 ft) and 650 m (2,133 ft) above mean sea level.


De Pablo co-hosted episodes of the Latin-American talk show Control with former Entertainment Tonight host, Carlos Ponce, at the age of 15 before attending Carnegie Mellon University to study music and theatre. After appearing in a number of television roles, she was cast to portray main character Ziva David in the CBS television series NCIS in 2005 and won an ALMA Award for the role in 2011.

<i>Entertainment Tonight</i> American entertainment television news series from CBS Television Distribution

Entertainment Tonight is an American first-run syndicated entertainment television newsmagazine that is distributed by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States.

Carlos Ponce Puerto Rican actor and musician

Carlos Ponce is a Puerto Rican actor, singer, composer and television personality. Ponce began his acting career by participating in Spanish language soap operas for Televisa and Telemundo. Ponce continued to expand his acting career by participating in various American television series. He did not limit himself solely to a career in television. Ponce, who is also a singer, is also active in the American movie industry as a character actor. In film, he played Salvadore in Couples Retreat, Matthew Wright in Spy and Rodrigo in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. In television, he played Felix Gonzalez in Cristela, Max Duran in Hollywood Heights, as well as voicing Santiago Santos in Maya and Miguel.

Carnegie Mellon University private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University. With its main campus located 3 miles (5 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon has grown into an international university with over a dozen degree-granting locations in six continents, including campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley, and more than 20 research partnerships.

She performed a portion of Tom Waits' song "Temptation" for a 2008 episode of NCIS. Outside the series, she has sung on Roberto Pitre's Vivo En Vida CD. [2]

Tom Waits American singer-songwriter and actor

Thomas Alan Waits is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. His music is characterized by his distinctive deep, gravelly voice and lyrics focusing on the underside of society. During the 1970s, he worked primarily in jazz, but since the 1980s his music has reflected greater influence from blues, vaudeville, and experimental genres.

Early life

De Pablo was born in Santiago, Chile, to Francisco de Pablo and María Olga Fernández. [2] [3] She has a younger sister, [4] Andrea, and a brother, Francisco, who works as a disc jockey. [5] When de Pablo was 10 years old, her mother, María Olga Fernández, took a job in Miami, Florida at a Spanish-language television network. While there, de Pablo attended Arvida Middle School and New World School of the Arts, where she studied musical theatre. In the fifth grade, she found many people could not pronounce her first name of "María José", so she asked them to call her "Coté", a common Chilean nickname for María José. [6] De Pablo attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she studied music and theater and appeared in several plays, including And the World Goes 'Round,The House of Bernarda Alba,Indiscretions, The Fantasticks, and A Little Night Music. She graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater. [7]

Disc jockey Person who plays recorded music for an audience

A disc jockey, more commonly abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title 'DJ' is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk.

A television network is a telecommunications network for distribution of television program content, whereby a central operation provides programming to many television stations or pay television providers. Until the mid-1980s, television programming in most countries of the world was dominated by a small number of terrestrial networks. Many early television networks evolved from earlier radio networks.

Arvida Middle School is a Blue Ribbon middle school in Miami, Florida, United States, founded in 1975, that educates around 1,850 students from grades 6-8. Its principal since August 2019, is Angela Holbrook.

Acting career

Early roles

Cote de Pablo in 2007 Cote de Pablo tixgirl.jpg
Cote de Pablo in 2007

De Pablo began working in the entertainment industry at age 15, when she hosted some episodes of the talk show Control (1994–95) on Univision, alongside former Entertainment Tonight host Carlos Ponce. [8]

Univision US-based Spanish-language TV channel

Univision is an American Spanish-language free-to-air television network that is owned by Univision Communications. It is the country's largest provider of Spanish-language content, followed by American competitor Telemundo. The network's programming is aimed at Mexican Americans and includes telenovelas and other drama series, sports, sitcoms, reality and variety series, news programming, and imported Spanish-language feature films. Univision is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, and has its major studios, production facilities, and business operations based in Doral, Florida.

After graduation, she moved to New York City to find work as an actress, working as a waitress in an Indian restaurant in Manhattan and an Italian eatery in Brooklyn to support herself. She picked up parts in the New York City Public Theater, on the TV show All My Children, and in commercials. De Pablo played the role of Marguerite Cisneros in The Jury (broadcast on the Fox Network). The show was short-lived, screening only 10 one-hour episodes. In 2005, De Pablo was about to make her Broadway debut in The Mambo Kings [9] as Dolores Fuentes, but the show closed after a short trial run in San Francisco. [4]

Indian cuisine regional cuisines native to India

Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion, in particular Hinduism, cultural choices and traditions. The cuisine is also influenced by centuries of Islamic rule, particularly the Mughal rule. Samosas and pilafs can be regarded as examples.

Manhattan Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Manhattan, , is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City, and coextensive with the County of New York, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. Manhattan serves as the city's economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.

Italian cuisine Cuisine originating from Italy

Italian cuisine is food typical of Italy. It has developed through centuries of social and economic changes, with roots stretching to antiquity.


De Pablo is primarily known for her portrayal of Ziva David, an Israeli Mossad officer turned NCIS agent, in the police procedural drama NCIS. She had submitted a videotape audition while waiting for The Mambo Kings to move forward and was asked to fly to Los Angeles for a screen test two days after it was canceled. [4] [10] Network executives arranged for her to act alongside series regular Michael Weatherly to test for chemistry during her second audition; he went off script by brushing her hair back and commenting, "You remind me of Salma Hayek". De Pablo's response to Weatherly was to stay in character and she "dismissed him completely". Afterward, producer Donald Bellisario met with her as she was waiting for a cab to take her back to the airport, telling her she had landed the part. [10] [11]

De Pablo described the character as "someone completely different from anyone else on the show because she's been around men all her life; she's used to men of authority. She's not afraid of men." [12]

In 2006, she won an Imagen Award at the Imagen Foundation Awards for Best Supporting Actress in Television for NCIS. In 2008 and 2009, she was nominated for the same award. Also in 2008 and 2009, she was nominated for an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Television Series. In 2011, de Pablo was nominated once again for an Imagen Award, but this time it was for Best Actress in Television, not Supporting Actress. She won the 2011 ALMA Award for Favorite Television Actress—Leading Role in Drama. [13]

On July 10, 2013, it was reported by CBS that de Pablo would be leaving NCIS for undisclosed reasons, although she remained long enough to conclude her character Ziva David's storyline at the beginning of season 11. [14] De Pablo later told Cindy Elavsky that Ziva could come back because she did not die. [15] However, in the season 13 finale of the series, it was stated that her character had apparently died in an explosion in Israel. [16] Three years later in 2019, season 16 episode 'She', revealed that Ziva is alive and has gone into hiding off-screen. De Pablo made a surprise unannounced return to the show in the last scene of the season 16 finale, which aired on May 21, 2019, in which Ziva arrives at Gibbs’ basement to warn him that his life is in danger. Producers confirmed that de Pablo would appear in the first two episodes of the show’s 17th season as part of her storyline.

After NCIS

In January 2014, de Pablo was announced to have been cast in the film The 33 , about the 2010 Copiapó mining accident, as the wife of one of the miners. [17] She was also cast in the 2015 CBS miniseries, titled The Dovekeepers , based on the Alice Hoffman novel. [18] In March 2016, Deadline Hollywood reported de Pablo is slated to return to series television as Laura Kale in Syfy's thriller-drama, Prototype, pending negotiations. [19] In April 2016, TVLine columnist Matt Mitovich confirmed de Pablo's return to series television. [20] The show was to feature "three unlikely colleagues—two of them played by de Pablo and Jack Davenport—who inadvertently stumble upon an invention that challenges the very nature of quantum physics—a discovery which in turn puts their lives in grave danger." [21] In August 2016, Deadline reported that Syfy passed on the show.

On August 28, 2018 Deadline announced that de Pablo and former NCIS castmate, Michael Weatherly, would be the executive producers of the upcoming CBS detective drama MIA, written by Shepard Boucher. [22]


De Pablo performed a portion of Tom Waits' song "Temptation" on the NCIS episode "Last Man Standing", which first aired in the U.S. on September 23, 2008. Her full performance of the song, including some lyrics in French, appears for the first time on NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack , which was released on February 10, 2009.

She is also the singer in Roberto Pitre's Vivo en vida where she sings "Samba in Prelude" and "Cry Me a River". [23]

De Pablo was also featured on The 33 official soundtrack, singing Gracias a la Vida. [24]

Personal life

De Pablo was in a long-term relationship with actor Diego Serrano, [25] but they were reported to have separated in June 2015. [26]

As of 2011, she resides in Los Angeles, California. [27] [28]


Film and television roles
1994–1995ControlCo-hostLatin-American magazine show
2000 The $treet FionaEpisode: "Hostile Makeover"
2001 The Education of Max Bickford GinaEpisode: "Do It Yourself"
2004 The Jury Marguerite Cisneros10 episodes
NCIS Special Agent Ziva David Guest role (season 3, 16)
Main role (season 3-11)
Recurring role (season 17); 190 episodes
2010 The Last Rites of Ransom Pride Bruja
2015 The 33 Jessica Vega
2015 The Dovekeepers ShirahMiniseries
2016PrototypeLaura KaleTV movie
2019MIAProducer [29] TV Series
    Video game
    YearTitleVoice roleNotes
    2002 TOCA Race Driver Melanie Sanchez

    Awards and nominations

    2006 Imagen Awards Best Supporting Actress in TelevisionNCISNominated [2] [30]
    2008Nominated [31]
    ALMA Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama Television SeriesNominated [2] [32]
    2009Nominated [33] [34]
    Imagen AwardsBest Supporting Actress in TelevisionNominated [35]
    2011Best Actress in TelevisionNominated [36]
    ALMA AwardsFavorite Television Actress—Leading Role in a DramaWon [37]
    2012Favorite TV Actress-DramaNominated [38]

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