Daniela Sofia Korn Ruah (born December 2, 1983) is a Portuguese actress best known for playing NCIS Special Agent Kensi Blye in the CBS series NCIS: Los Angeles.
Early years and family
Ruah was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the only child of Dr. Moisés Carlos Bentes Ruah, and his wife, Katharina Lia Azancot Korn. Her father was a resident in Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat) in the Boston University-Tufts University Program. When Ruah was five years old, her father completed his Residency, and the family returned to Portugal where her parents divorced and she attended an international, English-based school.
Ruah's father is from a prominent Portuguese-based Sephardic Jewish family.
Ruah's maternal grandfather was an Ashkenazi Jew who was born (1922) in what is now Wrocław, Poland. Ruah's maternal grandmother, Vera, was born in Lisbon, Portugal; Vera's father (Ruah's great-grandfather) was of half Sephardic Jewish and half Spanish ancestry, and Vera's mother (Ruah's great-grandmother) was an Ashkenazi Jew from Odessa. She is niece-great-granddaughter of the captain Artur Carlos de Barros Basto, the "Apostle of the Marranos".
Ruah attended Saint Julian's School in Carcavelos, near Lisbon. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from London Metropolitan University.
She was an active member of the Portuguese Jewish community, of which her father's second cousin, also a doctor, is the head. In 2003, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) ran a piece about an annual gathering of Jewish young people from 32 countries sponsored by European Union of Jewish Students. Ruah, then 19 and still living in Lisbon, was one of the students the JTA interviewed. She said, "I've never been around as many Jews in my entire life. Here, you don't feel the need to explain to people who you are. I am meeting people who eat kosher for the first time ever."
She has a distinguishable birthmark in her right eye, called the Nevus of Ota. Her one eye is hazel, giving her eyes a unique appearance as the other one is brown/blackish.
Ruah speaks three languages fluently—Portuguese, English, and Spanish.
In addition to being left-eye dominant, Ruah is also left-handed although she was seen writing with her right hand in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 1 episode, "Past Lives"
Ruah started acting in Portuguese soap operas when she was a teen. Her first acting role came at the age of 16, when she auditioned for the soap opera Jardins Proibidos ("Forbidden Gardens") and won the role of Sara. Ruah kept working on diverse projects while she was finishing high school.
At the age of 18, she moved to London to study at the London Metropolitan University, where she earned a First in Performing Arts. She got extremely good grades while in school, and became the best well known movie and sports star. Ruah returned to Portugal to pursue her acting career. She was the winner of the celebrity dancing competition Dança Comigo (the Portuguese version of "Dancing With The Stars") and had principal roles in television series, short films, and theatre. In 2007, she moved to New York to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
Ruah stars as Special Agent Kensi Blye in NCIS: Los Angeles, which premiered on September 22, 2009. Season 2 premiered on September 21, 2010, and airs Tuesdays at 9:00 pm on CBS following NCIS at 8:00 p.m. Season 3 premiered on September 20, 2011.
Daniela is now married to her co-star's brother David Olsen and have one son named River and one daughter named Sierra.