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Daniela Ruah is a mix of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish, Spanish and Ukrainian ancestry. Though she was born in Boston, she was raised in Portugal. She studied in London and New York, and she can speak three languages: Portuguese, English and Spanish.
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Daniela Ruah has a birthmark in her right eye, called the Nevus of Ota. She recalled a time in her youth when she cut off all her hair. “I have very curly hair, and it curled up into a mini-Afro. Then I made the mistake of dyeing it orange, so my friends called my ‘Sideshow Bob.’”
She began her career acting in Portuguese soap operas when she was a teenager. Her first role, in fact, was at the age of 16, and she acted throughout high school. She said, “From then on, it was just like a snowball. A lot of people joke about soap operas, but there’s no better training. In no job will have you as many lines to learn, in as short an amount of time, with as complicated a plot. It was the biggest lesson of my life.”
After graduating, Daniela attended the London Metropolitan University. Then she returned to Portugal to pursue acting. She won a celebrity dancing competition in the Portuguese version of “Dancing With the Stars.” She said, “Now I watch it on YouTube and I’m like, ‘That’s the biggest load of bleep I’ve ever seen myself do!' But as much as I laugh at myself, it’s still a great memory.”
Daniela Ruah moved to New York in 2007 to study at the Lee Strasberg Theater. Her other credits include “Red Tails,” and the play “Proof,” among other projects. As for her role on “NCIS: Los Angeles,” she said she’s not too far off from her tomboy character, Kensi. The actress also tries her best to do as many of her own stunts as possible.
She said, “The goal is to work as much as possible in projects I respect and that will help me grow. No actor has a flawless career, but in the long term, I’d like my name to be synonymous with good quality.”
In 2013, Daniela Ruah announced that she is expecting her first child with fiancé David Paul Olsen. (David is a stuntman brother to her on-screen flame, actor Eric Christian Olsen. David is also a former SEAL.)