Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman, born September 1, 1996, is an American actress and singer. She began her career appearing as a child model and backup dancer, before gaining prominence for her role as Rocky Blue on the Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up. Take a look below for 27 more fun and interesting facts about Zendaya.
1. In 2013, Zendaya was a contestant on the sixteenth season of the competition series Dancing with the Stars.
2. From 2015 to 2018, Zendaya produced and starred as K.C. Cooper on the Disney Channel sitcom K.C. Undercover.
3. Zendaya made her film breakthrough in 2017, starring as Michelle “MJ” Jones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero movie Spider-Man: Homecoming and as Anne Wheeler in the musical drama movie The Greatest Showman.
4. She began her career in music by recording songs independently and releasing the singles “Swag It Out” and “Watch Me” in 2011, the latter being a collaboration with Bella Thorne.
5. Zendaya signed with Hollywood Records in 2012 and later released her debut single, “Replay”, which reached number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
6. Her self titled debut studio album debuted at number 51 on the Billboard 200.
7. She was born in Oakland, California, the only child of Claire Marie and Kazembe Ajamu. She has five older half-siblings on her father’s side.
8. Her father is African American with roots in Arkansas, while her mother has German and Scottish ancestry.
9. Zendaya has stated that her name means “to give thanks” in Shona, a Bantu language native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe.
10. She grew up as a performer in part at the nearby California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda, California, where her mother works as the house manage in addition to training at the theater’s student conservatory program.
11. While attending Oakland School for the Arts, Zendaya appeared in many stage productions, such as starring as Little Ti Moune in Once on This Island at the Berkeley Playhouse and the breakout role of the male character Joe in Caroline, or Change at Palo Alto’s Theater Works.
12. She spent three years dancing in a dance group called Future Shock Oakland. The group did hip-hop and hula dances when she was eight years old.
13. She studied at the CalShakes Conservatory Program and at the American Conservatory Theater.
14. Some of Zendaya’s stage credits include William Shakespeare’s Richard III, Twelfth Night and As You Like It.
15. She moved to Los Angeles from Oakland when she got the role of Rocky Blue on Shake It Up.
16. Zendaya is one of the back-up dancers in the Sears Arrive music video, featuring Selena Gomez.
17. She was in the Kidz Bop music video “Hot ‘N’ Cold.”
18. She had a Giant Schnauzer named Midnight, who passed away in October 2015. She now has a Miniature Schnauzer named Noon.
19. Zendaya is a vegetarian.
20. If she didn’t become an actress, she said that she would’ve been a teacher like her parents or a basketball player.
21. She famously wore faux dreads with her Vivienne Westwood gown to the Oscars.
22. A Barbie doll was made of the look she wore to the Oscars, but it wasn’t made for public sale as it was originally reported to be.
23. She wasn’t told what movie she was auditioning for when she tested for a role in Spider-Man: Homecoming until after she got accepted, so during the audition she presumed it was just some random high school comedy movie.
24. Her favorite television show is Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
25. Her favorite singer is Michael Jackson.
26. In 2013, Zendaya started working on a clothing line, inspired by her clothes on Shake It Up. The collection features fun clothes for active girls, such as legwarmers, shorts, jackets, headbands and athletic apparel.
27. Zendaya celebrated her 20th birthday with a campaign to raise $50,000 to support Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative.