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Daniela Ruah

Daniela RuahDaniela Ruah, born December 2nd, 1983 in Boston, Massachusetts is an American and Portuguese actress and director best known for playing NCIS Special Agent Kensi Blye in the CBS police procedural series NCIS: Los Angeles.

Ruah was born in Boston to Jewish parents from Portugal, where her mother, Katharina Lia Azancot Korn is an otologist and her father, Moisés Carlos Bentes Ruah is a surgeon.

When Ruah was only five years old, the family moved back to Portugal, where she attended St Julian's School and when she turned sixteen began acting in telenovelas. There she also won a Portuguese-television dance competition.

She was the winner of the celebrity dancing competition Dança Comigo (the Portuguese version of Dancing with the Stars)

Ruah moved to the U.K at the age of 18 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in performing arts from London Metropolitan University.

She returned to Portugal where she resumed acting, and in 2007 moved to New York City to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

Daniela RuahRuah stated that she grew up in a Jewish household that was both Sephardic and Ashkenazi; her father being of Portuguese-Jewish ancestry, and her mother's Jewish roots are in Russia, Ukraine and Portugal.

She holds both Portuguese and American citizenship.

Ruah started acting in Portuguese soap operas when she was a teenager. She made her acting debut at the age of 16, when she played Sara on the soap opera Jardins Proibidos ("Forbidden Gardens").

Ruah stars as Special Agent Kensi Blye in NCIS: Los Angeles, which first aired on September 22nd, 2009.

In 2011, she portrayed the character in a crossover guest appearance on the series Hawaii Five-0.

In 2013, Ruah appeared in David Auburn's play Proof at Los Angeles' Hayworth Theatre.

On January 8th, 2018, it was confirmed that Ruah would co-host the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal alongside Catarina Furtado, Sílvia Alberto and Filomena Cautela.

Ruah has a distinguishable birthmark in her right eye, called the nevus of Ota.

Daniela RuahRuah married David Olsen, the older brother and stunt double of Ruah's NCIS: Los Angeles co-star Eric Christian Olsen, in an interfaith ceremony in 2014 - Olsen being Lutheran.

They have 2 children, a son, River Isaac Ruah Olsen - born December of 2013, and a daughter, Sierra Esther Ruah Olsen - born September of 2016.

Hosted 'Cinebox' for the Portuguese network TVI and has played the same character (Kensi Blye) in three different series: NCIS (2003), NCIS: Los Angeles (2009) and Hawaii Five-0 (2010).

Daniela Ruah is multilingual and is fluent in Portuguese, English, Italian and Spanish. Portuguese, Italian and Spanish are similar, but have different dialects. This allowed Daneila to play her role easily when she played Sofia, an Italian love interest to Joe 'Lightning' Little.

Daniela Ruah portrayed a local Italian woman named Sofia and Gerald McRaney portrayed Retired Navy Admiral Hollace Kilbride. These two also co-starred in the biopic movie about the Tuskegee Airman, entitled "Red Tails".

Daniela Ruah portrayed a local Italian woman named Sofia & Gerald McRaney portrayed an American Officer in charge named Major General Luntz.

Daniela RuahIn an interview with 'CBS: Watch!' magazine, Ruah spoke about her home country of Portugal. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but lived outside the city of Lisbon, Portugal, from the age of 5 until she moved to attend college. "My parents were born and raised in Lisbon, but I grew up just outside the city in a town called Cascais, which is right up on the water and beautiful."

Ruah occasionally returns to Portugal with her family. "I was there this past summer with my husband and kids for two months, and it’s a perfect place to visit if you’re a tourist. The Portuguese people are very kind."

Ruah suggests visiting Pastéis de Belém if you feel a sweet tooth coming on. She says this has been the home of the original nata pastry since 1837.

"The bakery's interior has pretty blue and white tiles, which feels so typical of the region. And even though they recently expanded, they are full all the time," Ruah said in the winter issue of 'CBS Watch!'

Another suggestion she gives is Darwin's café, which she says is near the water in a trendy area of Lisbon. "There are a ton of great seafood dishes, but my favorite one is simple and traditional; bottleneck clams, olive oil, and cilantro with lots of garlic. They simmer everything in a pan until the clams open up, and it's divine." Ruah said.

Daniela RuahThe 'NCIS: Los Angeles' star began her acting career in Portugal. Ruah made her acting debut in 2000 in a Portuguese daytime drama titled 'Jardins Proibidos' in which she played the character Sara.

After that, Ruah appeared in the 2001 TV movie “Querida Mãe.” Next, she played the character Constança Valadas in the daytime drama “Filha do Mar.”

In 2008, Ruah appeared in her first American acting role when she starred in the short film 'Blind Confession'. She played a blind woman who confesses to her first time. The following year, she played the character GiGi on the daytime drama 'Guiding Light'. Ruah has been playing lead character Kensi Blye on 'NCIS: Los Angeles' since the show’s first episode in 2009.

"I had decided that when I thought I was ready to work in a bigger film market and improve myself as an actress, I would cross the Atlantic Ocean again to live in New York. That is where The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute is located.

"Starting out as an unknown actress is always difficult, but it's all part of the process. There were times when I felt de-motivated, but I never ever thought of giving up."

Daniela RuahChasing after an agent is a must for any actor who wants to succeed in the United States, but Daniela had luck on her side.

And that, along with her talent, brought her to Gersh, a top-notch agency that represented actresses like Kristen Stewart of the Twilight Saga and Emily Deschanel, who plays Temperance Brennan from the series Bones.

It was through Gersh that she got NCIS: Los Angeles, the series that catapulted her to stardom. That and her performing talents and strengths.

It was those strengths that got her cast as Sofia in Red Tails, the film written and produced by George Lucas - producer, director, writer and founder of Lucasfilm, and author of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones classics.

"Red Tails is based on the story of the first African Americans to be accepted and respected by the U.S. Air Force during the Second World War."

"The story is set in Italy and my character is an Italian woman in love with one of these pilots."

Daniela RuahSpeaking of the casting for this production, Daniela told the Expresso newspaper: "When I found out they were looking for an actress to play the role of an Italian woman."

"I told my agent", Rhonda Price: "I will speak any language necessary. I will be whatever they want."

So I went home to rehearse my lines with the help of Italian colleagues. Rhonda was clever, because she told me: "Don't speak English before you speak Italian, that way you will make a bigger impression on the director."

The following day, with her lines thoroughly rehearsed, she confidently said in Italian: 'I should rip your throats out with my bare hands'.

"It was in January they called me to say that I had gotten the part."

Daniela Ruah joined names like Maria de Medeiros and Joaquim de Almeida among the ranks of successful Portuguese actors in Hollywood.

"For me, both Joaquim and Maria are great examples of how to make it internationally, and they are an inspiration to any young actor."

Daniela RuahPart of a very talented new generation of actors in Portugal, Daniela heads the list when it comes to international recognition.

However, she puts things into perspective: "I try not to make too much of it. There are other actors of my generation working outside Portugal, like Benedita Pereira and Leonor Seixas."

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Year Title Role Notes
2012 Red Tails Sofia
Brave Merida European Portuguese Version
Animated Film
Short Films
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Canaviais Margarida Portuguese short film
2008 Blind Confession Woman
2009 Safe Haven Angela Bowery
Midnight Passion Sophie
2011 Tu & Eu Sophie Asians on Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast – Short Film
2016 Excuse Brenda
Year Title Role Notes
2000–2001 Jardins Proibidos Sara Main Cast
Portuguese soap opera broadcast by TVI
2001 Filha do Mar Constança Valadas
Querida Mãe Zezinha Portuguese television film broadcast by SIC
Elsa, Uma Mulher Assim Mónica Portuguese miniseries broadcast by RTP
Season 1, Episode 11
2004 Inspector Max Verónica Botelho Portuguese TV series broadcast by TVI
1 episode, "Marcas do Passado"
2005–2006 Dei-te Quase Tudo Rita Cruz Main Cast
Portuguese soap opera broadcast by TVI
2006 Dança Comigo Herself Portuguese version of Dancing with the Stars broadcast by RTP
Winner of the first season
2006–2007 Tu e Eu Daniela Pinto Main Cast
Portuguese soap opera broadcast by TVI
2008 Casos da Vida Rita Portuguese TV series broadcast by TVI
1 episode, "Passo em Falso"
2009 Guiding Light Gigi Season 1, Episode 15628
NCIS Kensi Blye 2 pilot episodes: "Legend"
She was part of a guest cast including Chris O'Donnell, LL Cool J, Barrett Foa, Peter Cambor and Louise Lombard
2009–present NCIS: Los Angeles Series regular, 277 episodes
Golden Globe Award (Portugal) for Newcomer of the Year
TV Action Icon Award 2011 of Celebrity & Stuntwomen's Awards
Nominated-Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Action Actress.
2011 Hawaii Five-0 Crossover with NCIS: Los Angeles
Episode: "Ka Hakaka Maika'i"
2018 Eurovision Song Contest 2018 Herself Hostess
2020 A Espia Maria João Mascarenhas Main Cast

Portuguese miniseries broadcast by RTP



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Babel is inarguably one of the best films of 2006. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Irritu and his co-writer, Guillermo Arriaga weave together the disparate strands of their story into a finely hewn fabric by focusing on what appear to be several equally incongruent characters: an American (Brad Pitt) touring Morocco with his wife (Cate Blanchett) become the focus of an international incident also involving a hardscrabble Moroccan farmer struggling to keep his two young sons in line and his family together. A San Diego nanny, her employers absent, makes the disastrous decision to take their kids with her to a wedding in Mexico. And a deaf-mute Japanese teen (the extraordinary and beautiful Rinko Kikuchi) deals with a relationship with her father and the world in general that's been upended by the death of her mother.
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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look


To help lift your spirits and keep your wanderlust alive, Zafigo would like to introduce the first edition of ZafigoZine, a bite-sized compilation of the best and most relevant content from Zafigo that you may have missed.

This first issue of ZafigoZine features excerpts of our COVID-19 articles with helpful ideas and suggestions on how you can keep from going stir-crazy while in quarantine. Watch films that will take you to exotic locations, go on virtual tours that will satiate your craving for culture and exploration, and experiment with mouthwatering recipes that will bring the world into your home. While it may not be the ultimate fix, it is a little something to help keep your lockdown blues at bay.
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