Fátima Ptacek (//; born August 20, 2000) is an American film and television actress and model, and a human rights activist working with UN Women's #HeForShe campaign for gender equality. She is best known as the lead actor in the 2012 Academy Award winning film Curfew and its 2014 full-length feature film version Before I Disappear. She has lent her voice as the lead role of "Dora" in Nickelodeon's animated television series Dora the Explorer since 2010 and Dora and Friends: Into the City! since 2014.
She is a gymnast, competing at United States of America Gymnastics Level 7, and takes part in English equestrian riding; as of 2010, she noted that she was hoping to qualify for the Olympic Games. In 2010, she noted that she was aiming for a scholarship to Harvard or Yale, and was enrolled in an academy for intellectually gifted children; In 2013, she was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. She has expressed interest in transitioning from acting to a career in law someday. Her childhood dream was to be elected President of the United States; and her remarks led to her being invited to view the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate debate in person. She was acknowledged by Assemblyman Francisco Moya on the floor of the Assembly and recognized for her contributions to the arts. In addition to being fluent in English and Spanish, Ptacek has been studying Mandarin Chinese since childhood. In 2018 she started attending Stanford University.
As a child actress, Ptacek appeared in more than 70 television commercials,[note 1] and on the covers of numerous national magazines. She was also one of the few child models who has had the privilege of walking the runway at Bryant Park during the annual Fall Fashion Week in New York City. Discovered by Wilhelmina Models, then represented by New York's Abrams Artists Agency during her child acting and modeling career, the critical acclaim she received for her role in the Oscar-winning film Curfew led to efforts by the "Big Four" talent agencies - Creative Artist Agency (CAA), United Talent Agency (UTA), William Morris Endeavor (WME), and International Creative Management (ICM) - to recruit her, and ultimately, she chose to work with ICM. Ptacek was one of the highest-paid child models in the world, earning approximately $250,000 annually as of 2010, when she had appeared as the "face of" Ralph Lauren, and worked in major campaigns for high end designers like Bonnie Young, Miss Sixty, Monna Lisa, and Siviglia, and fashion houses like Guess, The Gap, H&M, and Benetton. One of her most notable campaigns was for Macy's in 2009, when she revived Natalie Wood's childhood role of "Virginia" in Macy's Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus -themed campaign for the holiday season, which saw Ptacek's appearance in a series of full page advertisements in each of New York's major newspapers, TV commercials with celebrities, such as Queen Latifah, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, and Carlos Ponce, and public appearances on behalf of Macy's that sought to raise support for the literacy organization, Reading is Fundamental (RIF). She also appeared on the cover of Newsweek.
In 2009, she was cast in the comedy film The Rebound with Catherine Zeta-Jones. After landing small roles in several other films, she was cast in lead roles in several feature films released in 2013 and 2014, including A Little Game, Anything's Possible, Tio Papi, and A Miracle in Spanish Harlem. Ptacek has appeared in television shows including Saturday Night Live, A Gifted Man, Royal Pains, The Beautiful Life, Body of Proof, and appeared with First Lady Michelle Obama on Sesame Street.
Ptacek was given a three-year contract as Dora in Dora the Explorer, in November 2010, with the first new TV episodes with her voice in January 2012. She replaces previous voices Kathleen Herles and Caitlin Sanchez. She notes she was a fan of the character before being cast, amongst 200 girls auditioning. The role earned her a "Best Young Actress - Television" at the 2012 Imagen Awards, which she attended. She is nominated in the 2014 awards for "Outstanding Performance in a Children's TV Series". Specials voiced by Ptacek include Dora Rocks!, Dora in Mermaid Kingdom, Dora's Butterfly Ball, Dora's Royal Rescue, Dora's Easter Adventure, and Dora's Fantastic Gymnastics Adventure (2012).
Ptacek starred in the Shawn Christensen short film Curfew (2012) as well as its feature film version Before I Disappear (2014), about a depressed man asked to take care of his niece. Christensen had auditioned a handful of actresses for the role, but saw Ptacek on a morning show appearance. He admits that he hoped she would nail the audition, and describes her as "phenomenal". Receiving extensive critical acclaim, Ptacek's performance was deemed "a breakthrough", "memorable", "charming", an "eerie, mature confidence for someone so young", and "delightfully annoying". The film was nominated for "Best Live Action Short Film" at the 85th Academy Awards, the first time the category was open to all members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voting. The film won, with Ptacek in attendance. She attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party with Christensen. Ptacek has personally won Best Young Actress at the 2012 Sapporo Short Fest (the film screening there the year after with an appearance by Ptacek), A feature film of the story has been announced, with Ptacek announced to return. Best Actress at the 2013 Rincon International Film Festival, and Best Actress at the 2013 Vaughan Film Festival.
Joey Dedio, screenwriter and top star of the film Tio Papi, in which Ptacek stars, commented in an interview that "we hit the jackpot with that one. She’s a class act, as are her parents." Ptacek was nominated for a "Best Actress/Supporting Actress - Feature Film" Imagen Award, alongside nominees including Elizabeth Rodriguez from the same film; Míriam Colón (Bless Me, Ultima) won the category.
Dora and Friends: Into the City (2014–2017), also has Ptacek as the voice of Dora. While Ptacek speaks in a higher pitch for Dora the Explorer, the new series allows her a more natural voice, as the character is 10 to Ptacek's real life age at the start of production, 12. Production continues on the original series. Producers have allowed Ptacek to modify lines, when she feels she can provide a more accurate version of how youth speak. Ptacek won "Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s TV Series" at the 2015 NAACP Image Awards.
Fátima volunteers as a "Celebrity Ambassador" for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and has done work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in conjunction with the Macy's Believe Campaign, and the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. Given her joy of reading, Ptacek has done work with SAG Foundation's BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools), and Reading Is Fundamental. The Latino Commission on AIDS named Ptacek their 2013 youth ambassador at its Cielo Latino benefit gala.
|2008||One Last Beat||Little Girl|
|Sweet Flame||Amber's friend|
|2010||The Rebound||Mozambique Girl|
|2011||Body of Proof||"Buried Secrets" - Becky Salern|
|2011||Anything is Possible: The Movie||Jessee|
|2012–2019||Dora the Explorer||Dora Marquez|
|2013||Anything is Possible||Jessee|
|2014||Before I Disappear||Sophia|
|2014–2017||Dora and Friends: Into the City!||Dora|
|2014||Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress||Tio Papi||Won|||
- Lucadamo, Kathleen (2014-12-12). "The Voice of Dora the Explorer, Fátima Ptacek, Is a Busy Teenager - The New York Times". The New York Times. New York. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
As the voice of the cross-cultural cartoon icon Dora the Explorer, Fátima Ptacek, 14
- "Media Advisory: UN Women events commemorating International Women's Day 2016". Headquarters. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- "Dora Grows Up | TIME For Kids". www.timeforkids.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-09. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- "Cafecito: Fatima Ptacek talks 'Dora and Friends: Into the City!'". NBCNews.com. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- "Meet Fatima, the face and voice behind Dora the Explorer". Sunshine Coast Daily. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- Nine-Year-Old Reaches Supermodel Status CBS News, May 11, 2010
- McLean, Linda (18 January 2013). "Young actress Fátima Ptacek modelling Lamantine, her movie Curfew is nominated at the Oscars". smudgetikka. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Fatima Ptacek: Child prodigy, role model and Michelle Obama's pen-pal". METRO. London. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- Scileppi, Tammy (23 March 2012). "The Homegrown Voice of Dora". Times Ledger. New York NY. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Lovett, Ken (5 June 2013). "Dora Explores Albany". NY Daily News. New York City. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "Fatima Ptacek Espinoza, Ecuadorian descent actress shines at the Oscars". Ecuador Times. [United States]. 27 February 2013. Archived from the original on 2 March 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Little 'it' girl is big NY Post, May 9, 2010
- "Rep Moves: UTA, Verve, WME, Zero Gravity Entertainment | SSN Insider". www.ssninsider.com. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- "Home > Advertising > 2010 - Fatima Online | Image Gallery". fatimaptacek.net. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- Karni, Annie (2010-05-09). "Little 'it' girl is big". New York Post. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- "Fatima Ptacek, Nine-Year-Old Model, Banks $250K A Year, Is Penpals With Michelle Obama (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. 2010-05-11. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- Halvorson, Gary (2009-11-26), Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, retrieved 2016-05-10
- "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - Film information, facts, quotes and goofs - Celebs Journal". celebritywc.com. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- Fitzpatrick, Marlena (2016-03-14). "Fátima Ptacek: The Voice of a Generation #WomensHistoryMonth". Latino Rebels. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
- Rivas, Jessica (9 November 2012). "Miami Native & Latino: Fro Rojas directs feature film "Tio Papi"". The 305. Miami FL. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- Herrero, Rebeca (11 November 2011). "Joey Dedio: La nueva fuerza del cine latino". impreMEDIA (in Spanish). Los Angeles CA. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2013-03-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Meet The Newest Voice Of "Dora The Explorer" – Fátima Ptacek". nickutopia. 28 January 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Knickerbocker Film Series winter lineup includes independent, foreign films". Holland Sentinel. Holland MI. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "Listings". TheFutonCritic.com. 2011-05-10. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "Fatima the New Yorker becomes Dora the Explorer". news.com.au. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- McNamara, Maggie (1 August 2012). "She Did It!". New York Family. New York NY. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- AOL. "You've Got Fatima Ptacek". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "Fatima Ptacek, Voice of Dora the Explorer, on 200 Girls Fighting For the Role". StarCam. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "27th Annual Imagen Awards - Nominees". Imagen Awards. Encino CA: The Imagen Foundation. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "Imagen Awards 2012: Sundance Breakout 'Filly Brown' Nabs Top Acting Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles CA. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "The voice of Dora the Explorer, Fatima Ptacek". American Latino. New York NY: American Latino Syndication. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- Phineas Lover (2012-04-03). "Say "hola" to the new voice of Dora, Fátima Ptacek!". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- Olsen, Mark (24 February 2013). "Oscars 2013: 'Curfew' wins best live-action short film". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Bibbiani, William (14 February 2013). "Thank My Mom: Shawn Christensen on Curfew". Crave Online. Los Angeles CA. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "My reflection on the 85th Academy Awards". Ahwatukee Foothills News. Phoenix AZ. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Eisner, Ken (7 February 2013). "Oscar-nominated live-action short films mix comedy and pathos". Vancouver Straight. Vancouver BC. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Live Action Shorts – Size Matters Not". Awards Daily. Valley Village CA. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Wilson, Jeremy (18 February 2013). "2013 Oscar-Nominated Live Action Shorts Review". 411mania. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Moore, Roger (5 February 2013). "Movie review: Oscar-nominated live-action shorts". The Record. Hackensack NJ. McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Dennis, Alicia Diaz (24 February 2013). "'Dora the Explorer' Star Fátima Ptacek Makes Her Oscars Debut!". Zimbio. San Carlos CA: Livingly. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Fatima Ptacek & Shawn Christensen greet fans at 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in WeHo". PopCandies TV. Los Angeles CA. 26 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Awards | Curfew (Short Film)". Curfewfilm.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "Fátima Ptacek - Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- Clint, Caffeinated (July 16, 2013). "TV stars under Curfew". Moviehole. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- Madeleine Marr (2013-09-03). "Local actor Joey Dedio a family guy in 'Tio Papi' - People". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- Official movie website Archived 2015-04-17 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
- "Nominees for the 28th Annual Imagen Awards Announced". The Imagen Foundation. 2013-08-16. Archived from the original on 2014-11-26. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- "Winners of 28th Annual Imagen Awards Announced Honoring Latinos in Entertainment". The Imagen Foundation. 2013-08-16. Archived from the original on 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- Starr, Michael (11–12 June 2013). "Queens native and 'Dora the Explorer' voice adds spinoff". New York Post. New York City. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH IN A YOUTH/CHILDREN'S PROGRAM (SERIES OR SPECIAL)". The 46th NAACP Image Awards. 2015. Archived from the original on 2017-03-19.
- "The Elizabeth Glaser Global Champions Of A Mothers Fight Awards Dinner". Guest of a Guest. New York NY. n.d. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Bailey, Lee. "Audrey's Society Whirl: Elizabeth Glaser AIDS Foundation Gala Honors J&J, Cookie Johnson and Amy Towers". Lee Bailey's EurWeb: Electronic Urban Report. Los Angelesdate=27 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.CS1 maint: location (link)
- García, Sandra E. (22 February 2012). "¡Vamonos! Dora and Boots come uptown to visit on Valentine's Day". Manhattan Times. Washington Heights/Inwood, New York NY. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- Austin, Josh (28 February 2013). "SAG Foundation's BookPALS Celebrates 20 Years". backstage.com. New York NY. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "Panky Saviñón se une con otros famosos en la lucha contra el sida; asiste a Cielo Latino 2013". Hoy digital. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 28 May 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- "35th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved April 14, 2014.