Yara Shahidi

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Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi at the world premiere of Butter, 2011 Toronto Film Festival -a.jpg
Yara Shahidi at the world premiere of Butter, 2011 Toronto Film Festival
Born Yara Sayeh Shahidi
(2000-02-10) February 10, 2000 (age 16)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 2007 – present

Yara Sayeh Shahidi[1] (born February 10, 2000) is an American actress and model, best known for playing Zoey on the sitcom Black-ish.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Shahidi was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to an African-American mother, Keri Salter Shahidi, and an Iranian-American father, Afshin Shahidi.[3] Her father is a photographer who was from Shahidi family generation.[2][4] 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. The name Yara is an Iranian name meaning "Someone who is close to your heart".[3]

She began her career when she was 6 years old,[5] appearing in television and print advertisements for companies such as McDonald's, Ralph Lauren, Target, GapKids, Disney, Guess Kids, and Children's Place. She frequently worked with her mother and younger brother in various print and broadcast campaigns.

Shahidi made her theatrical 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.[6]

In September 2014, Shahidi starred in ABC's prime-time comedy Black-ish as 14-year-old Zoey Johnson.[7] In December 2014 she won an NAACP Image Award in the category of 'Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy'.[8]

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.[7]



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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Minnesota Birth Index, 1935–2002
  2. ^ a b c "All about Yara". June 1, 2009. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "C.J.: Mother of Minneapolis-born "Black-ish" star is having a good day when there's no eye twitch". Star Tribune Minnesota. Retrieved 2016-07-15. 
  4. ^ Brother Troy R. Gibson II "Yara Shahidi: A Star On The Rise". Drfunkenberry.com. October 22, 2010. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Yara Shahidi". Young Black Stars. Retrieved 2016-07-16. 
  6. ^ "Nominations and Special Awards". 31st Annual Young Artist Awards. Retrieved 2016-07-16. 
  7. ^ a b Okwodu, Janelle (2016-04-19). "Black-ish’s Yara Shahidi Is a Model With a Cause". Vogue Magazine. Retrieved 2016-07-16. 
  8. ^ "Blackish Nominated for Six NAACP Image Awards". Blackish Fans. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 

External links[edit]