Actress Madeline Zima was born on September 16, 1985 in New Haven, Connecticut to Dennis and Marie Zima. Her younger sisters, Vanessa and Yvonne, are actresses as well. She became a child actor at 23 months of age, appearing in a Downey commercial among others. After a handful of movie auditions, she snagged a lead role in The Hand that Rocks the Cradle directed by Curtis Hanson. She followed that with a part in a short film directed by Daryl Hannah called Last Supper, and later appeared in Mr. Nanny (1993) (with Hulk Hogan), Law and Order, and a pilot, Our Song (as George Hamilton's daughter) before taking on the role of the precociously neurotic Gracie in the sitcom The Nanny (1993).
Madeline moved from the East Coast to LA when The Nanny became a hit show; after six years on CBS the program went into syndication and now runs on Lifetime. She has also appeared in TV films such as The Secret Path (1999) (TV) and The Sandy Bottom Orchestra (2000) (TV). Madeline was cast to play Lucille Ball as a teenager, in the CBS mini-series, Redhead. She also starred in A Cinderella Story (with Hilary Duff and Chad Micheal Murray) playing one of the stepsisters.
Madeline is a regular on the dramedy Californication also starring David Duchovny.