Katalin Rodriguez-Ogren (maiden name Katalin Rodriguez Zamiar; born August 12, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) is an American martial artist, sportswriter, fitness instructor and gym owner who played Kitana, Mileena, and Jade in Mortal Kombat II.
Katalin Zamiar taught an undergraduate forensic science course at the University of Illinois and holds a degree in anthropology from the same university. She has studied martial arts since 1982 and is an accomplished martial artist holding black belts in Tae Kwon Do, Goju Karate, and Shorin Ryu Karate.
She is the owner of POW! Mixed Martial Arts and Chicago Krav Maga training centers. Along with teaching at her training center in downtown Chicago, Zamiar often covers the Ultimate Fighting Championship for Grappling magazine, focusing primarily on features and interviews. She has over 150 articles published in various martial arts magazines including Black Belt and Inside Kung Fu, among others, and has been featured in Shape, Allure and Self magazines.
Katalin is an international fitness and martial arts presenter teaching at various conferences from Taipei to Aruba, and has spent some time as a spokesperson for the firm Revgear. She also writes conditioning materials and manuals, and is a featured trainer on Podfitness.com.
In video games and film
Katalin Zamiar is best known for her characterizations of the three female ninja characters Kitana, Mileena, and Jade in the 1993 game Mortal Kombat II. Zamiar was hired for the role after Ed Boon and John Tobias, who have been members of her fitness center, were contacted by her brother, a Mortal Kombat fan who proposed that she would take a role in the sequel. Zamiar said she was introduced to them through Daniel Pesina, "when they decided they wanted to cast a female martial artist for the ninja roles." She trained in kung fu for the first time in preparation for the role. Zamiar's video shoot costume was Kitana's blue; John Tobias created Mileena and Jade by altering the character colors to purple and green respectively. She recorded footage only for Kitana and Mileena though, as Jade was made up of recycled sprites from Kitana. The costume was a tailor-made, swimsuit-based simple costume that, however, presented some challenges for the crew during filming, such as the bottoms of the leggings being a bit too slippery for moves such as jump kicks and the tops having to be held up with rubber bands, while her mask was taped to her nose to keep it in place. Additionally, Kitana's fans during the production were actually made of a reflective paper material and they were Zamiar's own training fans.
In 1995, she and fellow Mortal Kombat actors Ho Sung Pak (her boyfriend at the time), Daniel Pesina, and Phillip Ahn appeared in Thea Realm Fighters, a never-released fighting game produced exclusively for the Atari Jaguar. Later, she made two martial arts conditioning videos with Pak. In 1996 she played Chae Lee, a ninja woman character, in the all-women fighting game Catfight for PC.
In 1997, Zamiar, together with Phillip Ahn and Elizabeth Malecki, filed a lawsuit against Midway Games over lack of royalties for the home ports of the game, a case in which Midway emerged victorious.
In 2003, she played a minor part in the martial arts film Book of Swords. In a nod to her Mortal Kombat alter egos, Katalin once again portrayed a female ninja character, dressed in similar clothing as her MKII counterparts and even wielding the Sai like Mileena does. The movie also starred Pesina, Pak, and another Mortal Kombat actor, Richard Divizio, who are also seen in MK-style clothing/roles throughout the movie.
She can also be seen in various workout videos as she has more than 15 fitness/martial arts videos/DVDs on the market.
- Benedykt Dziubałtowski, Interview with Katalin Ogren - an actress played a character of Kitana, Mileena and Jade in Mortal Kombat 2, PPA.pl, 09.11.2012.
- The On Blast Show! Ep10: Katalin Zamiar (Kitana/Mileena) Part 1 - YouTube
- Katalin Rodriguez Ogren. Mortal Kombat Still Popular After 20 Years. Chicagonow.com.
- The Art of Martial Arts: Katalin Rodriguez Ogren | Life Of a Fighter - Your source for Health, Fitness, Nutrition, & MMA. Health Advice & Tips, Workouts, MMA News & Training, UFC Gym, Interviews, and more. What's your fight?(Retrieved from Internet Archive)
- GamePro 58 (May 1994), pages 28-31.
- VideoGames: The Ultimate Gaming Magazine #63 (April 1994), p. 49.
- The 97' Midway Court Case- Shang Tsung and Kitana Speak! | The Gaming Liberty