Yara Sayeh Shahidi (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).
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.
Shahidi in 2017
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 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.
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.
|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|
List of famous Iranian women
List of African Americans