Zuleikha Robinson
Birth Date:
June 29, 1977
Birth Place:
London, England, UK
5' 6''
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles
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Zuleikha Robinson


London born actress Zuleikha Robinson is best known for her role as Ilana Verdansky on the television series “Lost,” which she played from 2009 to 2010, and for her starring turns in the films “Hidalgo” (2004) and “The Merchant of Venice” (2004). She received a 2010 Monte-Carlo TV Festival nomination for her work on the series.

Robinson is of mixed heritage, with Burmese, Indian, Iranian, Scottish, Malaysian and English. Her favorite musician is Jeff Buckley.

Beautiful One

Childhood and Family:

Zuleikha Robinson was born on June 29, 1977, in London, England, to a Burmese-Indian mother and an English father. She was raised in Thailand and Malaysia before moving to Los Angeles, California at the age of 15 to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has one brother,  Dr. Alastair Robinson, a British field botanist. Zuleikha means “beautiful one” in Persian.



Zuleikha Robinson made her film acting debut as Lester Moore's assistant in “Timecode,” a 2000 experimental film directed and written by Mike Figgis. The film starred Salma Hayek, Stellan Skarsgård, Suzy Nakamura and Kyle MacLachlan. Her first television job came when she landed the regular role of Yves Adele Harlow on the Fox science fiction series “The Lone Gunmen,” a spin off of the popular long running series “The X-Files.” Starring Tom Braidwood, Bruce Harwood and Dean Haglund, the show debuted on March 4, 2001 to positive reviews, but its rating declined and was canceled after 13 episodes. The final episode was broadcast in June 2001.

In April 2002, Robinson appeared in an episode of “The X-Files” called “Jump the Shark,” in which she reprised her role as Yves Adele Harlow. The same year, she was cast as Suzie in the South African film “Slash,” helmed by Neal Sundstrom. Co-stars in the film included Adam Woolf, Danny Keogh and Milan Murray.

In 2004, Robinson played the role of Jazira, the determined and self-willed daughter of the Sheikh on the film “Hidalgo,” based on the legend of the American distance rider Frank Hopkins and his mustang Hidalgo. Written by John Fusco, directed by Joe Johnston and starring Viggo Mortensen as Frank Hopkins, the film earned mixed reviews from mainstream critics, and grossed over $108 million  worldwide, over $67 million of which from the domestic market. The same year, she also portrayed the daughter of Al Pacino, Jessica on the film version of Shakespeare's “The Merchant of Venice.” Helmed by Michael Radford, the film received mostly positive reviews from critics, but was not a commercial success.

In 2006, Robinson portrayed a Bengali character called Moushumi Mazumdar in Mira Nair's acclaimed film “The Namesake,” an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri. In the following year, she had a recurring role as Gaia in the HBO historical drama series “Rome,” starring Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker, Max Pirkis, Simon Woods, Lindsay Duncan and James Purefoy, among other actors. Robinson returned to series television as a regular when she was cast as new partner Eva Marquez in the Fox drama “New Amsterdam,” opposite Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Alexie Gilmore and Stephen Henderson. The show premiered on March 4, 2008 and ended after its eighth episode. About “New Amsterdam,” she said, “It's a very unique show and it's a challenging show for network television to take on because it is so unique and I love that about it. Like I said earlier, I gravitate towards things that are offbeat. I really want to make her real, because I have played so many interesting and crazy characters in the past. I want to be able to show her flaws and her vulnerabilities and all of the rest of her traits.”  

In 2009, Robinson starred along with Julia Rose and Robert Zalkind in a short film called “Fist Full of Love,” directed by Sean Doyle. She also wrote and produced the film.  

Robinson joined the cast of the hit ABC serial drama “Lost” in February 2009 during its fifth season, as Ajira Airways Flight 316 survivor Ilana Verdansky. Initially as a recurring character, Ilana was upgraded to regular character status for season six. In 2010, Robinson was nominated for a Golden Nymph for Outstanding Actress - Drama Series at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival for the role.


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