Yllka Gashi is an expert in upheaval. Once a carefree child, she grew up amid the Kosovo war. Since then she has found herself wearing many labels; war survivor, refugee and now, immigrant. Yet through all the chaos one constant remains; Yllka Gashi is an artist.
Back home, before the outbreak of brutality, she spent the early nineties dreaming up short stories and publishing them in local newspapers and glossy magazines. At 17, she attended her first audition and left with the role of Hamlet’s Ophelia alongside Kosovo’s best and brightest veteran performers. She went on to tour with them for three years and later received an invitation to perform for the Albanian King in South Africa.
In 2001, Yllka made her television debut on the hit show Familja Moderne (Modern Family) and starred as the darling Zana for more than 300 episodes, (Fran Drescher even played her best friend).
Over the decade that followed, Yllka became a fixture of the Albanian acting community, appearing in numerous productions including the sell-out Death and the Maiden with the National Theatre of Kosovo, and several internationally broadcast commercials.
Yllka is also hugely proud to have served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and as an Artist Ambassador for Save The Children - Kosovo, where she campaigned for inclusive education for children with special needs.
In 2015, another of Yllka’s dreams came true when she migrated to the United States with her husband and young daughter, Nina.
In June, 2018 she took on her first English speaking role alongside Kathleen Chalfant in Royal Family’s off-Broadway hit Women On Fire.