‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Find out Who Plays Zola Grey-Shepherd and If It Is the Same Actress Since Day 1

Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) little girl, Zola has been a staple of Grey’s Anatomy since season 7. She arrived at Seattle Grace when she was only six months old, thanks to Alex Karev’s (Justin Chambers) Africa project. 

Zola was born with Spina Bifida and came to the hospital in need of brain surgery. Derek and Meredith quickly fell in love with the little girl and adopted her. Who is the actress who plays Zola? Has it always been the same actress? Read on to get these questions and more answered. 

Meredith's children, Zola and Derek
Aniela Gumbs and Brody Goodstadt | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images via via Getty Images

Twins played Meredith’s daughter, Zola from season 7 to 11 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

When Zola first arrived at Seattle Grace Hospital, she was played by twin baby girls, Jela K. Moore and Jael Moore. The girls are identical twins. They learned to walk on the set of Grey’s Anatomy.

Ellen Pompeo thought they were the best baby stars. She dished about the little girls in 2012, “Those babies are amazing. They’re so cute, and they’re really small. You know they’re only like a little over a year, but they seem to know when the camera is on them.”

She also told a sweet story about one of the twins walking on camera, “When we were trying to get her to walk, and they’re really on the verge of walking, and just when the camera was on her, she just stood up and walked across the room! It was really a real moment, and so it really has been fun. They’re great babies.”

The twins played Zola for five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy

Aniela Gumbs has been playing Zola since season 11 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

In January of 2014, the role of Zola was recast. The new little girl cast to be the daughter of Meredith and Derek was Aniela Gumbs. 

Gumbs is now ten years old but was not even five yet when she took on the role of Zola. This role was her first significant acting role and served as her breakthrough into the industry. 

She has established a vast Instagram following since being cast on Grey’s Anatomy. The ten-year-old has over 90,000 followers on her account. She often posts videos of herself talking to her fans. 

Child actress, Gumbs loves acting

Gumbs includes hashtags such as #lovemyshow, #lovewhatIdo, and #loveacting in almost every post on her Instagram account. She often sends thanks to her fans and her costars for allowing her to act. 

Recently she posted a photo with the caption, “Thank you so much for allowing me to do what I love Ms. Rhimes & Ellen Pompeo and thank you to all the awesome fans.”

She is very grateful that she can do what she loves on Grey’s Anatomy. You can watch Gumbs every Thursday night on ABC.