Cote de Pablo

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Cote de Pablo

de Pablo at the 2011 ALMA Award
BornMaría José de Pablo Fernández
(1979-11-12) November 12, 1979 (age 32)
Santiago, Chile
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1994–present
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Cote de Pablo

de Pablo at the 2011 ALMA Award
BornMaría José de Pablo Fernández
(1979-11-12) November 12, 1979 (age 32)
Santiago, Chile
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1994–present

María José de Pablo Fernández,[1] better known as Cote de Pablo[p] (born November 12, 1979), is a Chilean-born American stage and TV actress and recording artist. She is best known for her role as Ziva David[p] in the CBS television series NCIS, for which she has won an ALMA Award. She has also embarked on a career as a songwriter and vocalist.[2]


Early life

De Pablo was born in Santiago, Chile,[2] to an upper-class[3] Catholic family. She has a younger sister,[4] Andrea, and a brother who works as a DJ.[5] When de Pablo was 10 years old, her mother, María Olga Fernández, received a job in Miami, Florida, at a Spanish-speaking television network. There, de Pablo attended Arvida Middle School and New World School of the Arts where she studied musical theater. In the 5th grade, she found many people could not properly pronounce her first name of "Maria José" so she asked them to call her Coté (a common Chilean nickname for María José).[6] She then 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.

Cote de Pablo, 2007

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, in the TV show All My Children, and in commercials. In 2005, de Pablo was about to make her Broadway debut in The Mambo Kings in 2005[3] as Dolores Fuentes, but the show closed after a short trial run in San Francisco.[4] Two days after The Mambo Kings closed, de Pablo was asked to audition for NCIS.[4] She was put alongside series star Michael Weatherly to test for chemistry during her second audition; he went offscript by brushing her hair back and commenting, "You remind me of Salma Hayek", to which de Pablo stayed in character and "dismissed him completely". Afterwards, producer Donald Bellisario met with her when she was waiting for a cab to take her back to the airport and told her she got the part.[7][8]


De Pablo hosted some episodes of the show Control from 1994 to 1995 on Univision, alongside former Entertainment Tonight host Carlos Ponce.

De Pablo played the role of Marguerite Cisneros in The Jury (broadcast on the Fox Network). The show was short-lived, screening only ten one-hour episodes.

De Pablo is best known for her role on the CBS nighttime drama NCIS as Ziva David, a former Israeli Mossad Liaison Officer, now a Special Agent for NCIS. De Pablo describes 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 in authority. She's not afraid of men."

Personal life

De Pablo is in a long-term relationship with actor Diego Serrano.[9]

As a consequence of her doing her own stunts on NCIS, de Pablo has been injured several times on the show including injuring her neck.[10][11]


de Pablo in 2008
1994–95ControlCo-hostTV series
2000The $treetFionaEpisode: "Hostile Makeover"
2001The Education of Max BickfordGinaEpisode: "Do It Yourself"
2002TOCA Race DriverMelanie Sanchez (voice)Video game
2004The JuryMarguerite Cisneros10 episodes
NCISZiva David164 episodes
2010The Last Rites of Ransom PrideBruja
2011Late Show with David LettermanHerself1 episode

Awards and nominations


Cote de Pablo performed a portion of Tom Waits's 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" and "Temptation".[17]


[p] ^ Stage name "Cote de Pablo" is pronounced "Coat-ee da Pah-blo".
      ^ Name "Ziva David" is pronounced "Zee-vah da-Veed".
  1. ^ "Cote de Pablo biography". A+E Networks. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "CBS bio". Retrieved October 30, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Tugend, Tom (March 15, 2007). "‘NCIS’ Mossad agent’s cover gets blown—she’s Chilean". Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Ximena Urrejola (October 6, 2009). "Detalle noticia" (in Spanish). Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ Jacqueline Neiss (October 1, 2007). "NCIS's Cote de Pablo visits Israel". OK Magazine. p. 72. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  6. ^ Lee Hernandez (February 10, 2009). "'NCIS' Star Cote de Pablo, on the Pleasures of Kicking Men's Behinds on TV". Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  7. ^ Owen, Rob. "Prime Time - Carnegie Mellon Today". Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  8. ^ Marsi, Steve (October 29, 2009). "Cote de Pablo Dishes on NCIS' Ziva and Tony". tvguide,com. Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  9. ^ Nudd, Tim (November 29, 2010). "NCIS's Cote de Pablo Loves Her Boyfriend for Being a Bad Influence - Cote de Pablo :".,,20445127,00.html. Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ Steely, Jon (April 2011). "Cote De Pablo The “NCIS” Special Agent Sings, Spars, Shoots, and Sleuths". Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  11. ^ Hahn, Kate (2011). "Cote de Pablo: Radiating Inner and Outer Beauty -". Prevention magazine. Retrieved June 26, 2011. 
  12. ^ Imagen Award 2008 Nominations.
  13. ^ Robertson, Willa. Alma Awards Announce Nominations.
  14. ^ Imagen Awards 2009 Nominations & Winners.
  15. ^ Imagen Awards 2011 Nominees.
  16. ^ Cubria, Kaitlin (July 28, 2011). "BIG Competition: Selena, Demi, Victoria and Naya Go Head-to-Head at the ALMA Awards."
  17. ^ Kott, Crispin. "CD Reviews". Roll Publishing, Inc.. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 

External links