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Madeline Zima

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Biography

Madeline Rose Zima (born September 16, 1985) is an American actress. She is mostly known for her six years as Grace Sheffield on the TV series The Nanny or more recently as Mia Cross on the Showtime dramedy Californication and as Gretchen Berg on Heroes.

Zima was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Marie and Dennis Zima. She has two younger sisters, Vanessa and Yvonne, both of whom are also actresses. Her surname means “winter” in Polish (as in most other Slavic languages) and comes from her paternal grandfather, who was from Poland.

Zima began her career at the age of 24 months when she was chosen as a toddler to appear in a television commercial for Downy fabric softener. She played the role of Grace Sheffield on the television show The Nanny for six years. Zima has become known for her work in films such as The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and having most recently appeared in the Hilary Duff film A Cinderella Story and the soon to be released films: Dimples, Looking for Sunday, Once in a Very Blue Moon and Legacy alongside Haylie Duff

In 2007, Zima played Mia Cross, a sexually precocious and conniving 16-year old, on the series Californication. Zima returned for a second season of Californication in 2008 reprising her role as disgustingly bratty 17-year-old Mia. In promotion of Mia’s book, Fucking and Punching, Zima starred in several Californication webisodes that are featured on YouTube. In 2009, Zima joined the cast of Heroes as Gretchen Berg, Claire Bennet’s quirky bisexual roommate and tentative love interest.

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