Tala Ashe

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Tala Ashe
Tala Ashe.jpg
Ashe in 2017
Talayeh Ashrafi

(1984-07-24) July 24, 1984 (age 37)
Tehran, Iran
EducationBoston University
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art
Years active2008–present
Tala Ashe Signature.svg

Talayeh Ashrafi (Persian: طلایه اشرفی‎;[1] born July 24, 1984),[2] known professionally as Tala Ashe, is an Iranian-American actress. She is known for her roles on the television series Smash, American Odyssey, and As the World Turns, as well as her regular role as Zari Tomaz and Zari Tarazi on The CW superhero series Legends of Tomorrow.

Early life and education[edit]

Ashe was born in Tehran, Iran.[3] She immigrated to the United States when she was nine months old.[4] Ashe grew up in Powell, Ohio, just outside of the state capital Columbus.[5][6] She participated in her high school theatre productions as both an actress and director.[5]

Ashe received a BFA from Boston University's School of Theatre.[7] She also trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City.[8][9]


Ashe has performed in numerous regional and Off-Broadway stage productions.[5] Ashe's first screen credit is for her role as Nadia in the 2008 film Waiting in Beijing.[10] She was credited as Tala Ashrafi, but is credited as Tala Ashe in all subsequent roles. She has made guest appearances on the series Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, 30 Rock, and Covert Affairs.[3][5][11] Ashe has also had recurring roles on Smash and American Odyssey.[12] She was also a cast member on As the World Turns.[10]

In 2017, Ashe joined the main cast of DC's Legends of Tomorrow as Zari Tomaz.[13][12] She took the lead for a bottle episode titled "Here I Go Again" and drew praise from critics and fans alike for her performance.[14][15][16][17]

Personal life[edit]

Ashe is Iranian-American and holds dual citizenship.[3][11] Her name, Talayeh, means "pioneer" in Persian and comes from the Shahnameh.[1] In addition to English, she speaks fluent Persian. Along with her fellow Arrowverse actresses, Ashe is a founding member of Shethority, a project aimed at inspiring and uplifting women (inclusively defined).[18][19]


Television and film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2008 Waiting in Beijing Nadia Film; credited as Tala Ashrafi
2008 Law & Order Madison Episode: "Angelgrove"
2008 As the World Turns Ameera Ali Aziz Recurring role, 26 episodes
2011 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Rebecca Landon Episode: "Boots on the Ground"
2012 Smash R.J. Quigley Recurring role (season 1), 6 episodes
2015 American Odyssey Anna Stone Recurring role, 7 episodes
2017–present Legends of Tomorrow Zari Tomaz / Zari Tarazi Main role (season 3–present)


In addition to the following, Ashe has also performed in productions of Love's Labour's Lost (as Tala Ashrafi; Huntington Theatre Company), Age of Innocence (New York Arena), Autophagy (Drama League Director's Project), Twelfth Night (Actors' Shakespeare Project), and Pearls from Salt (Olney Theatre), among others.[8][7][20][9][21]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2009 Aftermath Naimah Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City [7][22]
2010 Welcome to Arroyo's Lelly Santiago Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, California [23][7]
2011 Again and Against Dahlia LAByrinth Summer Intensive, New York [7][8][24]
Urge for Going Jamila The Public Theater, New York City [25][26]
2012 Troilus and Cressida Cressida, Cassandra Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Oregon [27][28]
The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa Anne Page Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Oregon [29][30]
2014 The Who & the What Mahwish Claire Tow Theater, New York City [31][32]
2015 Head over Heels Philoclea Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Oregon [33][11]
The Happiest Song Plays Last Shar Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Oregon [34][35]
2016 Troilus and Cressida Helen, Andromache Delacorte Theater, New York City [36][37][38]
2017 The Profane Emina Playwrights Horizons, New York City [39][40]


  1. ^ a b @talaashe (October 17, 2020). "#MyNameIs Talayeh. It means "pioneer" in Persian & comes from the Shahnameh. I have felt my share of Othering & racism by people like @sendavidperdue. I will be voting for @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris because I know we are a nation of immigrants & I am proud to be one" (Tweet). Retrieved October 18, 2020 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Legends of Tomorrow [@TheCW_Legends] (July 24, 2018). "Being a Legend is written in her code. Happy Birthday, @talaashe!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b c Malek, Parastoo (June 8, 2017). "Iranian-American Tala Ashe Will Be Starring In 'DC's Legends of Tomorrow'". The Iranian.
  4. ^ Video on YouTube
  5. ^ a b c d Grossberg, Michael (April 23, 2012). "Ohio actress a reporter on 'Smash'". The Columbus Dispatch.
  6. ^ de Souza, Alison (October 13, 2017). "Legends of Tomorrow's new hero is female and Muslim". The Straits Times.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Ensemble Member, Tala Ashe at The Public..." Barefoot Theatre.
  8. ^ a b c "Tala Ashe". Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
  9. ^ a b "TALA ASHE". Lincoln Center Theater.
  10. ^ a b Berman, Nat (November 23, 2017). "Five Things You Didn't Know about Tala Ashe". TVOvermind.
  11. ^ a b c Wagmeister, Elizabeth (June 6, 2016). "'DC's Legends of Tomorrow' Adds Muslim-American Superhero for Season 3". Variety.
  12. ^ a b Pedersen, Erik (June 6, 2017). "Tala Ashe Joins 'DC's Legends of Tomorrow' As Muslim-American Hacktivist-Superhero". Deadline Hollywood.
  13. ^ Abrams, Natalie (October 23, 2017). "Legends of Tomorrow's Tala Ashe previews new addition to team". Entertainment Weekly.
  14. ^ Agard, Chancellor (February 23, 2018). "Superhero Insider: Tala Ashe shines in Legends of Tomorrow time loop episode". Entertainment Weekly.
  15. ^ Sava, Oliver (February 19, 2018). "Legends of Tomorrow channels "Hedgehog Day" for an excellent time loop story". The A.V. Club.
  16. ^ Hicks, Aimee (March 11, 2018). "Performers of the Month – February Voting *RESULTS*". SpoilerTV.
  17. ^ Hicks, Aimee (March 31, 2018). "Performers of the Month – Reader's Choice Performer of February – Tala Ashe". SpoilerTV.
  18. ^ Drum, Nicole (November 18, 2017). "Arrowverse Actresses Launch "Shethority" Charity Campaign". ComicBook.com.
  19. ^ "What Is Shethority?". shethority.com.
  20. ^ Millward, Tom (March 27, 2014). "Full Casting for Ayad Akhtar's 'The Who and The What'". New York Theatre Guide.
  21. ^ Broadway.com Staff (March 26, 2014). "Pulitzer Prize Winner Ayad Akhtar's The Who & The What to Have New York Premiere at LCT". Broadway.com.
  22. ^ New York Theatre Workshop, Aftermath, a sneak preview : Works & process at the Guggenheim. OCLC 427393956.
  23. ^ "Old Globe Theatre – Welcome to Arroyo's: Press Highlights / Reviews" (PDF). Press Archive. Old Globe Theatre. October 2010.
  24. ^ Shamieh, Betty (2011). "PLAYS: AGAIN AND AGAINST". BettyShamieh.com.
  25. ^ Propst, Andy (April 10, 2011). "Urge for Going". TheaterMania.
  26. ^ Hetrick, Adam (April 10, 2011). "Mona Mansour's Urge for Going Opens Off-Broadway April 10". Playbill.
  27. ^ Kent, Roberta (April 4, 2012). "Troilus and Cressida". Ashland Daily Tidings.
  28. ^ Crowder, Marcus (July 15, 2012). "Theater reviews: OSF's 'Troilus and Cressida,' 'Henry V', 'Very Merry Wives,' 'Party People,' 'As You Like It'". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012.
  29. ^ Varble, Bill (June 22, 2012). "Falstaff in trouble". Mail Tribune.
  30. ^ Decker, Angels (August 30, 2012). "Cheers to you". Ashland Daily Tidings.
  31. ^ Stewart, Zachary (June 16, 2014). "The Who & the What". TheaterMania.
  32. ^ Isherwood, Charles (June 16, 2014). "The Shadow of the Patriarch". The New York Times.
  33. ^ Kent, Roberta (June 15, 2015). "Party atmosphere sets a Go-Go's pace for 'Head Over Heels'". Ashland Daily Tidings.
  34. ^ Varble, Bill (July 11, 2015). "Review: OSF's 'The Happiest Song Plays Last' wraps Iraq vet's story". Mail Tribune.
  35. ^ "The Happiest Song Plays Last". OSFAshland. Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
  36. ^ Stewart, Zachary (August 9, 2016). "Troilus and Cressida". TheaterMania.
  37. ^ BWW News Desk (July 21, 2016). "Photo Flash: First Look at TROILUS AND CRESSIDA at Shakespeare in the Park". BroadwayWorld.
  38. ^ "TROILUS AND CRESSIDA". PublicTheatre.org.
  39. ^ Zednick, Jason (February 15, 2017). "Zayd Dohrn, Kip Fagan, Tala Ashe, and Cast of The Profane Meet the Press". TheaterMania.
  40. ^ Collins-Hughes, Laura (April 10, 2017). "Review: Zayd Dohrn Plumbs Muslim-American Rifts in 'The Profane'". The New York Times.

External links[edit]