Raza Jaffrey

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Raza Jaffrey
Born c. 1974/1975 (age 39–40)[1]
Liverpool, England
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Miranda Raison September 2007-present (separated July 2009)

Raza Jaffrey is an English actor and singer, most notable for playing the character of Zafar Younis in the BBC One television spy drama Spooks / MI-5. In 2014, he played Pakistani Lieutenant Colonel Aasar Khan in season 4 of Homeland on Showtime.

Early life[edit]

Jaffrey was born in Liverpool, England, the son of an Indian sea captain from Agra and an English mother from Liverpool. He grew up in London and was educated at Dulwich College (1986–91), alongside fellow Spooks actor Rupert Penry-Jones (1982–89).[2] He studied English and Drama at Manchester University, and studied acting at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

He originally intended to be a pilot, and was to join the Royal Air Force on leaving Manchester University.[3] While at university he appeared in a number of plays at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, including The London Vertigo by Brian Friel, and at the Pendley Open Air Shakespeare Festival, including Henry VIII, and A Comedy Of Errors. In his final year at Manchester he worked with RSC chief associate director Gregory Doran which he has cited as one of the things that led him to apply for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and eventually go on to become a professional actor. Throughout his time at Manchester he was also the lead singer with a jazz funk band.


After graduating from the Old Vic, he worked extensively on stage, appearing in Romeo and Juliet (Haymarket Theatre, Leicester), Cyrano De Bergerac (The Theatre Royal, Northampton and Tour), East Is East (Oldham Coliseum), and 14 Songs 2 Weddings and A Funeral (Lyric Hammersmith, Birmingham Rep and Tour) .

His break came in 2001 when he was cast as Sky in Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre, London, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. From this he went on to land the leading role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of A.R. Rahman's Bombay Dreams at the Apollo Theatre, London, directed by Steven Pimlott.[4] He won rave reviews for his performance with the BBC hailing him as "the most exciting new leading man to emerge in a London musical since Hugh Jackman became an overnight star in the National Theatre production of Oklahoma".[5]

After leaving Bombay Dreams he appeared in ITV1’s M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team, the HBO/BBC co-production Dirty War and the three part BBC Drama Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee. In 2005 he began work on the BBC One spy drama series Spooks / MI-5, as agent Zafar Younis. During this time he returned to the stage playing Orsino in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the Albery Theatre, London, and was cast in the David Cronenberg film Eastern Promises.

He then left Spooks to join the BBC One drama series Mistresses and went on to star in Sharpe's Peril alongside Sean Bean and the feature films Infinite Justice, for which he won the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Kara Film Festival,[6] The Crew and Harry Brown.

In 2010, he appeared in the follow-up feature film to Sex and the City, Sex and the City 2, as Gaurav. He then went on to star opposite Ashley Jensen as cheating boyfriend Mike in the BBC1 comedy Accidental Farmer.

In 2011 he appeared as the French supervillain Cain on the NBC superhero drama The Cape before working for NBC again on the Steven Spielberg produced drama Smash, airing in early 2012.

In Smash, Jaffrey played Dev, the English boyfriend of rising Broadway star Karen, played by Katharine McPhee,[7] working as a press officer in the New York Mayor's office. The show also stars Anjelica Huston and Debra Messing, and was shot entirely on location in New York City.[8] Jaffrey did not return to the show for its second season.[9][10]

Jaffrey still continues to sing and has performed in a number of concert productions, including singing at the London Palladium with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,[11] and with the BBC Concert Orchestra for BBC Radio 2.

He was also the creator and co-producer of the dance show "RED", a celebration of dozens of styles of movement and dance featuring flamenco, salsa, capoeira hip-hop, belly dance, kathkali, break dance, ballet; brought together by their influences on and from India. He took the show to Johannesburg’s Nelson Mandela Theatre.[12]

He has played the role of Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Garrick Theatre in London.

Personal life[edit]

He married fellow Spooks actress Miranda Raison in September 2007, shortly after he left the show. In November 2009. They are now divorced.[1][13] As of September 2013, he is going out with actress Lara Pulver.[14]


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Infinite Justice Kamal Khan
2007 Eastern Promises Doctor Aziz
2008 The Crew Keith Thompson
2009 Harry Brown Father Bracken
2010 Sex and the City 2 Butler Gaurav
Television appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1999 EastEnders Mr. Datani
2002 Casualty Hakkan Tahsin
2004 Dirty War Rashid Dhar
2005 Murder Investigation Team Kareem Dobar Episode: "Phone Tag"
2005 Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee Krishan
2004-2007 Spooks Zafar Younis 23 episodes
2008 Sharpe's Peril Lance Naik Singh
2008-2009 Mistresses Hari 12 episodes
2011 The Cape Cain / Raimonde LeFleur Episode: "Tarot"
2012 Smash Dev Sundaram TV Series: Main Cast Season 1
2014 Death in Paradise Adam Frost
2014 Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Taj 3 episodes
2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Defense Lawyer 1 episode
2014 Homeland Aasar Khan 6 episodes
2014 Elementary Andrew Mittal 2 episodes


  1. ^ a b Kay, Nathan (15 November 2009). "'Spooks dating agency' couple spied leading separate lives". London: Daily Mail. 34-year-old 
  2. ^ "Eminent OAs, Drama: Penry-Jones, Rupert". Dulwich College. 
  3. ^ Paton, Maureen (1 November 2008). "In a taxi with... Raza Jaffrey". Daily Mail (London). 
  4. ^ Apollo Victoria Theatre
  5. ^ "Drama Faces: Raza Jaffrey". BBC. August 2005. 
  6. ^ Dehlavi Films
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (25 February 2011). "NBC’s ‘Grimm’ And ‘Smash’ Add To Casts". Deadline Hollywood. 
  8. ^ Eng, Joyce (5 March 2011). "Anjelica Huston Joins NBC's Smash". TV Guide. 
  9. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 2012). "'Smash' Shakeup: Four Stars Axed From Second Season". Hollywood Reoprter. 
  10. ^ "UPDATED: Brian d'Arcy James, Will Chase, Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey Not Returning as Regulars on SMASH". Broadway World. May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Lyrics by Don Black - BBC Radio 2 concert". 17 July 2008. 
  12. ^ RED: The Indian Dance Spectacular
  13. ^ Boffey, Daniel (2 May 2010). "Hand in hand, Miranda the Spook and her 'Married, Single Other' co-star". London: Daily Mail. Jaffrey, 35 
  14. ^ Jones, Alice (30 April 2013). "The naked truth about Lara Pulver". The Independent (London). 

External links[edit]