Known professionally by her first name only (which means "to give thanks"), Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman was born in Oakland, California as the youngest of six children.
Her mother was a teacher and during the summer, had a job as the house manager at the California Shakespearian Theatre. As a little girl, Zendaya would help her mother and later began appearing on stage herself. She also modeled for stores such as Old Navy, Sears and Macy's and took dance lessons. She spend three years dancing with hip hop dance troupe Future Shock Oakland and two years dancing hula with The Academy of Hawaiian Arts.
Zendaya worked as a backup dancer in music videos before landing a starring role as Raquel "Rocky" Blue on her first television show, Shake It Up! in 2009. The show, produced for Disney Channel, ran from 2010 to 2013 and made Zendaya an instant star amongst her age group.
During that time, she made guest appearances on other Disney Channel shows such as Good Luck Charlie (in character as Rocky) and A.N.T. Farm. She also played opposite her Shake It Up! co-star Bella Thorne in the Disney TV movie Frenemies (2012).
In 2013, Zendaya danced her way to the finals in season sixteen of Dancing with the Stars, winding up as runner-up on the final night, losing to country singer r Kellie Pickler and her dance partner, Derek Hough. That same year, Zendaya released her self-titled debut album on Hollywood Records, which yielded the Platinum single "Replay." Also in 2013 Zendaya released her first book, Between U and Me: How to Rock Your Tween Years with Style and Confidence (Disney Publishing Worldwide).
When Shake It Up! wrapped after 75 episodes and three seasons, Zendaya was signed on to star in the Disney Channel TV movie Zapped opposite Spencer Boldman. Her growing film career continued with a starring role in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) alongside franchise newcomer Tom Holland and in the musical The Greatest Showman (2017) as a trapeze artist.
Zendaya lent her voice to the animated children's film Smallfoot(2018) with Channing Tatum and James Corden, about a Yeti who sets out to prove the existence of the Smallfoot species. She also reprised her role as MJ in Spider-Man: Far From Home(2019).
In 2021, she starred in the Netflix film Malcolm & Marie opposite Tenet star John David Washington, marking her first foray into romantic drama. She will also reprise her role as MJ alongside Tom Holland and Jacob Batalon in the upcoming Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and joined the ensemble cast of the big screen flick Dune (2021), including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin.
Spider-man: No Way Home (2021)Dune (2021)
Malcolm & Marie (2021)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Duck Duck Goose (2018)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)