Sep. 16th, 1985
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Madeline Zima's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Madeline Rose Zima (born September 16, 1985) is an American actress. She is best known for her six years as Grace Sheffield on the TV series The Nanny (1993–1999) or more recently as Mia Lewis on the Showtime comedy-drama Californication (2007–2011) and as Gretchen Berg on Heroes (2009–2010).
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Marie and Dennis Zima. She has two younger sisters, Vanessa and Yvonne, both of whom are also actresses. Her surname means "winter" in Polish and comes from her maternal grandfather, who was from Poland.
Zima at twenty three 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 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 has never stopped working since that time. It was both Zima and Juliane Moore's first film. It was directed by Academy award-winning director and writer Curtis Hanson. Zima was getting good critical notice for her first film role.
Zima followed that dramatic thriller a short film that 'Daryl Hannah' directed that was a favorite at Sundance called the Last Supper, where Zima 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.
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 Zima was a professional violinist.
After a worldwide search in all English speaking countries, Zima 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. Zima took up improv and sketch and comedy writing with hopes of one day being on SNL.
Zima 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 sisters, murder suspects, where Zima 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.
She stars as Jill in the 2009 release The Collector.
She will co-star on the upcoming ABC drama series Gilded Lillys created and produced by Shonda Rhimes.
In 2012 it was announced Zima will portray Charlotte in an upcoming episode of The Vampire Diaries.
When not working on movies, Zima 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.
- Was considered for the lead role in _The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)_ (qv).
- Played a character named Rachel Green in the movie _The Sandy Bottom Orchestra (2000) (TV)_ (qv) - her little sister Yvonne played the first Rachel Green on the television series, _"ER" (1994)_ (qv).
- Older sister of actresses 'Vanessa Zima' (qv) and 'Yvonne Zima' (qv)
- Voted #64 in FHM's "Sexiest Women in the World" (2009).
- Was cast to play a teen-aged 'Lucille Ball' (qv) in a movie/mini-series for CBS for 2003. This was a period piece were Madeline would play the _"I Love Lucy" (1951)_ (qv) star from ages 13 to 18 and was scripted to film a scene with a teen-aged 'Bette Davis' (qv), with whom Ball attended drama school. For the role, Madeline would have to cut her long hair in a bob. The movie was tentatively titled the "I Love Lucy" movie or "Redhead".
- Parents: Dennis and Maria
- Voted #5 "Sexiest Women in the World" FHM Online (2009).
- She and her sisters have their own website, The ZIMA Sisters' Official Home Page. Fan letters can be sent via email from the site, and Miss Zima answers as many of them as she can.