Yara Shahidi


Yara Shahidi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yara Shahidi
Born Yara Sayeh Shahidi
(2000-02-10) February 10, 2000 (age 17)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Nationality  United States
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2007–present
Known for Black-ish

Yara Sayeh Shahidi[1] (Persian: (یارا (سایه) شهیدی‎‎; Persian pronunciation: [jɑːɾɑː sɑːje ʃæhiːdiː]) (born February 10, 2000) is an American actress and model of Iranian-American and African-American descent, best known for playing Zoey on the sitcom Black-ish.[2]

Early life[edit]

Shahidi was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to an African-American mother, Keri Salter Shahidi,[3] and an Iranian-American father, Afshin Shahidi.[4][5] Her father is a photographer.[2][6] The family moved to California for Afshin’s work, when Yara was 4. She is the older sister of child actor and model Sayeed Shahidi and a second cousin to rapper Nas. Keri Shahidi in a 2016 interview with Star Tribune said that the name Yara translates to “someone who is close to your heart” in Persian.[4]


She began her career when she was 6 years old,[7] appearing in television and print advertisements for companies such as McDonald’s, Ralph Lauren, Target, GapKids, Disney, Guess Kids and The Children’s Place. She frequently worked with her mother and younger brother in various print and broadcast campaigns.

Shahidi made her cinematic debut in 2009, starring opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount Pictures’ Imagine That,[2] for which she received a Young Artist Award nomination for the best performance in a feature film category.[8]

In 2012, she played Chloe Johnson, the daughter of President William Johnson, in the TV series, The First Family (TV series).

In September 2014, Shahidi starred in ABC’s prime-time comedy Black-ish as 14-year-old Zoey Johnson.[9] In December 2014 she won an NAACP Image Award in the category of ‘Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy’.[10]

In 2016, she signed to model with New York’s Women Management modeling agency, in hopes of providing a platform to see more women of color in diverse roles.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
2009 Imagine That Olivia Danielson
2010 Salt Salt’s Young Neighbor
2010 Unthinkable Katie
2011 Rip City Montana Television movie
2011 Butter Destiny
2012 Alex Cross Janelle Cross


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Entourage Kandace West Episode: “No Cannes Do”
2009 In the Motherhood Esther 5 episodes
2009 Cold Case Meesha Sullivan ’91 Episode: “Read Between the Lines”
2009 Wizards of Waverly Place Olive Episode: “Doll House”
2010 Lie to Me Olivia Episode: “Teacher and Pupils”
2010 $h*! My Dad Says Girl Scout Episode: “Pilot”
2011 The Cape Layla Episode: “Endgame”
2011 Family Guy Little Girl (voice) Episode: “Episode VI: It’s a Trap”
2012 The Finder Adina Episode: “The Conversation”
2012–2013 The First Family Chloe Johnson 23 episodes
2013 Scandal Young Olivia Pope 2 episodes
2014–present Black-ish Zoey Johnson Main Role
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated – BET Awards for YoungStar
2014 Bad Teacher Jalissa Episode: “Pilot”
2014 The Fosters Maddie 2 episodes
2016 Trollhunters Darcy

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