María José de Pablo Fernández, better known as Cote de Pablo, was born in Santiago, Chile, but was raised in Miami, Florida when her mother received a job there when Cote was ten. She attended Arvida Middle School in Miami and then Carnegie Mellon University. She graduated in 2000 after studying music theater. Whilst at Carnegie Mellon she appeared in several theater productions, before graduating with a BFA in Acting and Musical Theater. Her first television role, before she even graduated, was hosting the 1994 show Control, alongside Carlos Ponce. Though she was featured in a few other television roles after that, Cote is probably best known for portraying the character of Ziva David on CBS' hit show, NCIS.