Zendaya Went from a Disney Channel Star to a Blockbuster Actress – Look inside Her Life Story

Zendaya has had an impressive career so far, from her days in Disney to become the amazing actress that she is now. Here is more about her fascinating life and career.

From a Disney child star to an established actress with several blockbusters to her name, Zendaya has had an awe-inspiring story. At just 14, she captured our hearts with her sweet and charming nature in the Disney sitcom, “Shake It Up.” 

However, the “Frenemies” star has since evolved and taken up more daring and mind-blowing roles. She has been able to break away from the stereotype of being a Disney child star and established herself as a bankable actress ready to take Hollywood by storm. 

Zendaya Coleman at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards 2016 held at the UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, USA on July 14, 2016 | Photo: Shutterstock


The “Zapped” star was born Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman to a stage manager father on September 1, 1996, in Oakland, California. As a result of her creative background, she spent most of her childhood hanging around the California Shakespeare Theater, and her interest in acting was piqued.

Zendaya auditioned for her first role in a production at her school, Oakland School for the Arts, for the lead role but unfortunately didn’t get it. She got cast as a silkworm instead, and Zendaya put her all into the performance. 

After her time there, she honed her acting skills at the American Conservatory Theater and the Cal Shakes Conservatory. While there, she gained an interest in dancing and joined the Future Shock Oakland dance group. Zendaya also learned hula dancing at the Academy of Hawaiian Arts.

Zendaya attends the premiere of Columbia Pictures’ “Spider-Man: Homecoming” at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 28, 2017, in Hollywood, California. | Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images


With her dancing and acting skills sharpened, Zendaya, although still a teenager, was ready to take the world by storm. Her career began as a backup dancer for Selena Gomez and a child model for big brands like Old Navy and Macy’s. She also starred in a commercial for a Sears commercial and became a Kids Bop Kid.

However, her big break didn’t come until 2010 when she got the lead in the Disney sitcom, “Shake It Up,” as Rocky Blue alongside Bella Thorne. With a stellar performance, Zendaya soon became a teenage sensation with a clothing line fashioned after their attires in the sitcom. 

That was just the starting point for Zendaya as she soon became a Disney icon with appearances in “A.N.T Farm,” “Good Luck Charlie, and other Disney movies, “Zapped” and “Frenemies.” Around that time, her music career also picked up, proving she was indeed a Jill of all trades. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2013 and, in that same year, competed on “Dancing with the Stars,” ending up as the 1st runner-up.

Zendaya attends the 2019 ELLE Women In Hollywood at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 14, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. | Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic


As of 2017, Zendaya was still ingrained in the Disney world, with her lead role in the series, “K.C. Undercover,” but her new identity as a blockbuster actress was in the works. 

That year was a career-defining time for Zendaya as she made her big-screen debut in two iconic movies, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “The Greatest Showman.” She did some voice-overs for “Duck Duck Goose” and “Smallfoot.”

Zendaya attends the Bvlgari B.zero1 Rock collection event at Duggal Greenhouse on February 06, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. | Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images


Still, Zendaya was bent on re-inventing her perception and career. She reprised her role in the superhero sequel, “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” and starred in the Netflix series, “OA.” However, it was HBO’s “Euphoria” that genuinely established her as a fine actor.

In the gritty series, Zendaya plays Rue, a recovering drug addict who always relapses and battles depression and anxiety. Her role as Rue was different from everything she has done in the past, challenging. Speaking about it in an interview with Vogue, Zendaya said:

“It’s a totally different thing than being the star of K.C. Undercover. That first day on set, I was honest-to-God terrified.”

Zendaya attends the Marc Jacobs Spring 2020 Runway Show at Park Avenue Armory on September 11, 2019 in New York City. | Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs

Nevertheless, she didn’t back down and emerged victorious after one season with a Primetime Emmy Award. At just 24, Zendaya is already shaking the entertainment industry, and there is no telling how mind-blowing the future would be with her.

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