Yara Sayeh Shahidi Persian pronunciation: [jɒːɾɒː sɒːje ʃæhiːdiː]; born February 10, 2000) is an American actress, 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), Smallfoot (2018), and the lead role in The Sun Is Also a Star (2019).
Shahidi in 2018
Yara Sayeh Shahidi
February 10, 2000
|Occupation||Actress, model, activist, student|
Yara Sayeh Shahidi was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the daughter of Keri Salter Shahidi and Afshin Shahidi, a photographer. Her father is Iranian American. Her mother is African American, of Yoruba and Fulani descent, and also has 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 founded Eighteen x 18 with social news publisher NowThis, which "will be a platform to encourage [her] 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 Smollett 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||Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Movie Actress (2019)|
|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, 2019)
|2016–2018||Trollhunters||Darcy (voice)||10 episodes|
|2018–present||Grown-ish||Zoey Johnson||Lead role|
Nominated - Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV Actress (2019)
|2018–2019||3Below: Tales of Arcadia||Darcy (voice)||8 episodes|
- "Yara Shahidi". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016.
- "All about Yara". June 1, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. 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 July 15, 2016.
- "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 October 5, 2016. 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.
- "Nas Wiki: 10 Facts About the Rapper". October 3, 2014.
- Shams, Alex (June 3, 2016). "Yara Shahidi, the Iranian-American Star of 'Black-ish,' Is Breaking Stereotypes On & Off Screen". Muftah.org. Archived from the original on June 7, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
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 (April 23, 2015). "7 Things You May Not Know About Black-ish Star Yara Shahidi". InDesign Magazine. Time Inc. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- 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. Archived from the original on April 5, 2016. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- "Nominations and Special Awards". 31st Annual Young Artist Awards. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- Okwodu, Janelle (April 19, 2016). "Black-ish's Yara Shahidi Is a Model With a Cause". Vogue Magazine. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- "Blackish Nominated for Six NAACP Image Awards". Blackish Fans. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
- Wagmeister, Elizabeth (May 19, 2017). "'Black-ish' Spinoff Starring Yara Shahidi Greenlit at Freeform". Variety.
- "Best Dressed 2018". Net a Porter.
- Spangler, Todd (April 18, 2018). "'Black-ish' Star Yara Shahidi Kicks Off Political-Engagement Campaign With NowThis". Variety. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Seligson, Hannah (November 27, 2015). "'Black-ish' Star Yara Shahidi Is a Role Model Off-Screen". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Berg, Madeline. "Meet Yara Shahidi: The 17-Year-Old Actress And Activist". Forbes. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Rogo, Paula (March 11, 2017). "Star Pupil: Michelle Obama Wrote Yara Shahidi ACollege Recommendation!". Essence.com. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- "Yara Shahidi Just Asked Hillary Clinton About That Very Uncomfortable Trump Debate". Harper's BAZAAR. December 3, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Smith, Krista. "Yara Shahidi on Being a Role Model, Attending Harvard, and Continuing Her Activism". Vanities. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
- Deb, Sopan (February 20, 2019). "Accused of Faking Own Assault, Jussie Smollett Arrested on Felony Charge" – via NYTimes.com.
- "'I Stand With Jussie': Celebrities Who Are Still Rooting For Jussie Smollett". Essence.
- "Meghan Markle puts Sinéad Burke on the cover of Vogue's September issue". The Irish Times. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
- Crist, Allison; Nordyke, Kimberly (August 11, 2019). "Teen Choice Awards: Full List of Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 12, 2019.