“I love drama. I feel that that’s much easier. They say that dying is easy and comedy is hard. Comedy is definitely more challenging but I love doing both.” Madeline Zima
Actress Madeline Zima, the older sister of actresses Vanessa and Yvonne Zima, first came to the attention of the public playing Emma in the Rebecca De Mornay successful thriller “The Hand the Rocks the Cradle” (1992), from which she picked up her first of 10 Young Artist nominations. She gained even more recognition and popularity with her six year role of young Grace in the television sitcom “The Nanny” (1993-1999), which brought her three YoungStar and five Young Artist nominations. More recently, Zima is known to television viewers as one of David Duchovny's bedmates on Showtime’s “Californication” (2007-2009). Zima has also guest starred in such television series as “Law and Order,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Grey's Anatomy” and made several TV films, including “The Secret Path” (1999) and “The Sandy Bottom Orchestra” (2000, earned a Young Artist nomination). In 2009, she began her role of Gretchen in the series “Heroes” (2009 - 2010).
In addition to her film debut, “The Hand the Rocks the Cradle” (1992), Zima has acted in other movies like “Mr. Nanny” (1993), “Second Chances” (1998), “A Cinderella Story” (2004, with Hillary Duff), “Looking for Sunday” (2006) and “Dimples” (2007). In 2008, she appeared in the video “Legacy” (2008).
Zima will costar as Billie in the upcoming dramatic comedy “My Own Love Song.” She will also appear in the upcoming horror movie “Trance” (2010), Vivi Friedman’s “The Family Tree,” “Crazy Eyes” and star in “First Dates,” which is also slated for a 2010 release,
Childhood and Family:
Madeline Rose Zima was born on September 16, 1985, in New Haven, Connecticut, to Dennis Zima, a computer programmer, and Maria Zima, a writer. She spent part of her childhood in New Jersey and New York before her family settled in Los Angeles, California. Maddie has younger sisters named Vanessa (born on December 17, 1986) and Yvonne (born on January 16, 1989), both of whom also pursue an acting career.
Maddie was home schooled. She enjoys camping, roller skating, swimming, horseback riding, writing songs and spending her free time with her sisters. She also sings and plays the guitar.
The Hand the Rocks the Cradle
Madeline Zima began her career as a child. After getting modeling gigs and spots in a number of television commercials, she moved to the big screen with the role of Emma Bartel, the daughter of Annabella Sciorra, in the thriller “The Hand the Rocks the Cradle” (1992), which starred Rebecca De Mornay as Peyton Flanders. The film was a success at the box office and under the direction of Curtis Hanson, Zima's debut performance earned positive reviews. The following year, the then 8-year-old Zima was nominated for a Young Artist Award in the category of Best Young Actress Under Ten in a Motion Picture. Still in 1993, Zima made a guest appearance in an episode of “Law & Order” called “Extended Family” and had a small role in the independent film “Mr. Nanny,” for director Michael Gottlieb. She then received a starring role in the Daryl Hannah short “The Last Supper.” The latter project was a success at the Sundance Film Festival.
However, Zima did not enjoy another shot to fame until she joined the cast of the comedy series “The Nanny,” which was co-created by and starred Fran Drescher. The CBS show was a hit and ran for six years until 1996. Zima, who played the youngest of three siblings, received several Young Artist nominations for Best Performance by a Young Actress - TV Comedy Series and three YoungStar nominations for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series.
During her stint on “The Nanny,” Zima also played Gwen in Scott Winant's comedy “’Til There Was You” (1997), acted with her sisters Vanessa and Yvonne in Karen Leigh Hopkins' “The Rose Sisters” (1998) and appeared as Melinda Judd in the independent drama “Second Chances” (1998). On the small screen, she guest starred in episodes of “JAG” (1996) and “Touched by an Angel” (1997) and starred as the daughter of Crystal Bernard and grandchild of Ron White in the based-on-book dramatic film “The Secret Path” (1999), in which her sister Yvonne played Zima's character, Jo Ann, at age 7.
After the demise of the “The Nanny,” Zima acted in the television movies “Lethal Vows” (1999), opposite John Ritter and Marg Helgenburg, and “The Sandy Bottom Orchestra” (2000), where she nabbed a Young Artist nomination for Best Performance in a TV Movie (Drama) - Leading Young Actress for her portrayal of a classical violinist named Rachel Green. She next participated in the short film “The Big Leaf Tobacco Company,” which starred and was directed by Alan Rich, and had guest spots in such series as “Gilmore Girls” and “The Nightmare Rooms” (all 2001) before winning the role of Lucille Ball as a teenager in the CBS miniseries “Lucy” (2003). A year later, Zima revisited the big screen as the evil stepsister of Hilary Duff in the Mark Rosman directed “A Cinderella Story.”
Returning to the spotlight following a short break, Zima took the supporting role of Trisha in the dramatic film “Looking for Sunday” (2006), along side Michael Weston, Katharine Towne and Spence Decker, and guest starred as Cassie Mack and Maddy Strom on the CBS medical drama “3 lbs” (2006). She then appeared in the Jennifer Love Hewitt series “Ghost Whisperer” (2007) and starred in the independent mystery “Dimples” (2007), opposite Torsten Voges, Gabrielle Carteris, Elliott Grey and Ashley Peldon. That same year, Zima returned to series TV as a regular on Showtime's series “Californication” (2007 - 2009). In the series, she portrayed Mia Lewis. She also appeared as Marissa in an episode of the hit series “Grey's Anatomy” called “Forever Young,” which aired on November 15, 2007.
In 2008, Zima appeared in “Legacy” (2008), a film directed by Irving Rothberg. She currently portrays Gretchen in the popular series “Heroes” and will star as Jessica in the upcoming “Trance,” Mitzi in “The Family Tree,” Rebecca in “Crazy Eyes” and will star as Kelly in the comedy “First Dates” (all 2010).