Yara Sayeh Shahidi (Persian: یارا سایه شهیدی; Persian pronunciation: [jɒːɾɒː sɒːje ʃæhiːdiː]; born February 10, 2000) is an American actor, model and activist. She gained recognition for her starring role as the oldest daughter Zoey Johnson on the sitcom Black-ish (2014–present) and its spin-off series Grown-ish (2018–present). Her film credits include Imagine That (2009) and Smallfoot (2018).
Shahidi in 2017.
Yara Sayeh Shahidi
February 10, 2000
|Occupation||Actor, model, activist, student|
Yara Sayeh Shahidi was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to an Iranian American father, Afshin Shahidi, a photographer, and to mother Keri Salter Shahidi, who is African American (of Yoruba and Fulbe descent) and Choctaw heritage. The family moved to California for Afshin's work when Yara was 4 years old. She is the older sister of child actor and model Sayeed Shahidi and they have a younger brother, Ehsan. Keri Shahidi states the name Yara means "Someone who is close to your heart", the name Sayeed means "Blessing", and Ehsan means "To act as though God is watching". The rapper Nas is their once-removed cousin.
She began her career when she was 6 years old, 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, for which she received a Young Artist Award nomination for the best performance in a feature film category. She also appeared in the Angelina Jolie action film Salt in 2010 as a next door neighbor. In 2012, she played Chloe Johnson, the daughter of President William Johnson, in the TV series The First Family.
In September 2014, Shahidi starred in ABC's prime-time comedy Black-ish as 14-year-old Zoey Johnson. In December 2014 she won an NAACP Image Award in the category of 'Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy'.
Shahidi is an actor and activist. She founded Eighteen x 18 with social news publisher NowThis, “which will be a platform to encourage my peers to vote for the very first time in our upcoming midterm elections”. Her other organizations include Yara’s Club a partnership with Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN) of New York, which provides online mentorship in hopes to end poverty through education.
Shahidi’s activism was noticed by former first lady Michelle Obama, who wrote her a letter of recommendation to Harvard University. She was also given the opportunity by Teen Vogue to interview Hillary Clinton in 2017.
Shahidi has publicly supported Jussie Smollett after reports that he faked a hate crime for personal and monetary gain. In April, 2019, at the NAACP Image Awards, Shahidi stated, "I stand with Jussie" after Chris Rock made jokes at Smollett's expense.
|2009||Imagine That||Olivia Danielson|
|2010||Salt||Salt's Young Neighbor|
|2012||Alex Cross||Janelle Cross|
|2019||The Sun Is Also a Star||Natasha Kingsley|
|2007||Entourage||Kandace West||Episode: "No Cannes Do"|
|2009||In the Motherhood||Esther||5 episodes|
|Cold Case||Meesha Sullivan '91||Episode: "Read Between the Lines"|
|Wizards of Waverly Place||Olive||Episode: "Doll House"|
|2010||Lie to Me||Olivia||Episode: "Teacher and Pupils"|
|$h*! My Dad Says||Girl Scout||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2011||The Cape||Layla||Episode: "Endgame"|
|Family Guy||Little Girl (voice)||Episode: "Episode VI: It's a Trap"|
|Rip City||Montana||Television movie|
|2012||The Finder||Adina||Episode: "The Conversation"|
|2012–2013||The First Family||Chloe Johnson||23 episodes|
|2013||Scandal||Young Olivia Pope||2 episodes|
|2014||Bad Teacher||Jalissa||Episode: "Pilot"|
|The Fosters||Maddie||2 episodes|
|2014–present||Black-ish||Zoey Johnson||Main role (seasons 1–3), Recurring role (season 4–present); 79 episodes|
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2015)
BET Award for YoungStar (2017)
Nominated – BET Award for YoungStar (2016)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Comedy TV Actress (2017)
|2016–2017||Trollhunters||Darcy (voice)||10 episodes|
|2018–present||Grown-ish||Zoey Johnson||Lead role; 15 episodes|
|2019–present||3Below: Tales of Arcadia||Darcy (voice)||3 episodes|
- "Yara Shahidi". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016.
- "All about Yara". June 1, 2009. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
- "C.J.: Mother of Minneapolis-born "Black-ish" star is having a good day when there's no eye twitch". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
- "Yara Shahidi, [Prominent Iranian-Americans]". Virtual embassy of the United States, Tehran.Iran (in Persian). U.S. Department of State. Archived from the original on 2016-10-05. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Brother Troy R. Gibson II "Yara Shahidi: A Star On The Rise". Drfunkenberry.com. October 22, 2010. Retrieved December 2, 2012.
- Shams, Alex (2016-06-03). "Yara Shahidi, the Iranian-American Star of 'Black-ish,' Is Breaking Stereotypes On & Off Screen". Muftah.org. Archived from the original on June 7, 2017. Retrieved 2016-12-13.
Zoey, the Johnson’s eldest daughter, is played by a sixteen-year-old, Iranian American actress. Born to Iranian father, Afshin Shahidi and mother of mixed African American and Native Choctaw heritage, Keri Salter, Yara Shahidi lived in Minneapolis before moving to California at a young age.
- Stern, Claire (2015-04-23). "7 Things You May Not Know About Black-ish Star Yara Shahidi". InDesign Magazine. Time Inc. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
- Shahidi on the Fuse TV series White Guy Talk Show, transcribed by "Yara Shahidi Gives the Inside Story on Her Life as Nas' Cousin". BCKOnline.com (Black Celebrity Kids, Inc.). April 10, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
- "Yara Shahidi". Young Black Stars. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- "Nominations and Special Awards". 31st Annual Young Artist Awards. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- Okwodu, Janelle (2016-04-19). "Black-ish's Yara Shahidi Is a Model With a Cause". Vogue Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- "Blackish Nominated for Six NAACP Image Awards". Blackish Fans. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (May 19, 2017). "'Black-ish' Spinoff Starring Yara Shahidi Greenlit at Freeform". Variety.
- "Best Dressed 2018". Net a Porter.
- Spangler, Todd (2018-04-18). "'Black-ish' Star Yara Shahidi Kicks Off Political-Engagement Campaign With NowThis". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Seligson, Hannah (2015-11-27). "'Black-ish' Star Yara Shahidi Is a Role Model Off-Screen". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Berg, Madeline. "Meet Yara Shahidi: The 17-Year-Old Actress And Activist". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Rogo, Paula (2017-03-11). "Star Pupil: Michelle Obama Wrote Yara Shahidi ACollege Recommendation!". Essence.com. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- "Yara Shahidi Just Asked Hillary Clinton About That Very Uncomfortable Trump Debate". Harper's BAZAAR. 2017-12-03. Retrieved 2018-04-18.
- Smith, Krista. "Yara Shahidi on Being a Role Model, Attending Harvard, and Continuing Her Activism". Vanities. Retrieved 2018-04-02.