About Yara Shahidi

Yara Shahidi Biography

In the multi-award-winning ABC comedy series "Black-ish," young scholar, philanthropist, and actor Yara Shahidi plays popular adolescent "Zoey Johnson," an ambitious, technologically obsessed high school junior. Since the show's launch in September 2014, Yara has won a 2016 Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role, been nominated for a Teen Choice Award, and received an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actress" in a Comedy Series. Shahidi continues to utilize her platform to inspire and encourage others, making her one of Hollywood's most lauded young stars. Shahidi, who was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, spent the early years of her youth there when she delighted in yearly trips to the state fair and helped her grandpa run the family's Persian Rug store. Her mother is a well-known commercial actress, while her father is a prominent cameraman. Along with her mother, the little celebrity debuted in a number of international print and commercial campaigns. When she was given the chance to try out for the part of "Olivia Danielson" in the Paramount movie "Imagine That," with Eddie Murphy, that became her first significant picture. She soon embraced the part of Murphy's artistic and upbeat daughter, which fueled her passion for acting. With Cheryl Hines and Megan Mullally, Shahidi later had appearances in TV shows including ABC's "In the Motherhood," CBS' "Cold Case," Disney's "Wizards of Waverly Place," FOX's "Lie to Me," and FOX's "The Finder," to mention a few. In addition, Shahidi continues to play recurring parts as the "young Olivia Pope" on the popular ABC drama "Scandal" and as "Maddie" on the ABC Family drama "The Fosters." Among Shahidi's numerous film roles are "Unthinkable" (Sony Pictures), in which she played the son of Samuel L. Jackson, "Salt" (Columbia Pictures), in which she appeared alongside Angelina Jolie, "Alex Cross" (Summit Entertainment), in which she played the daughter of Tyler Perry, and "Butter," in which she played Jennifer Garner's co-star. Yara is not only equally dedicated to performing and academics, but she also just established "Yara's Club," a collaboration with The Young Women's Leadership Schools (TYWLS) in New York. A bi-monthly online gathering called Yara's Club brings together Yara and students to talk about social challenges, personal development, and higher education. Yara also acted as the spokeswoman for the DoSomething.Org and 3M "Science Sleuth" campaign, which generated money for Minnesota and St. Louis classrooms in need of science and technology supplies. The young celebrity has received attention from The New York Times, Variety's Youth Impact, and Next Big Thing issues, and she was ranked third on DoSomething's list of Celebs to Watch. Celebs Gone Good 2016 list from Org. Shahidi, a high school student who is advanced for her age, is beginning to prepare for college and has plans to visit prestigious universities like Barnard, Brown, New York University, and Harvard (again). Shahidi enrolled in and excelled in humanities classes while studying abroad at Oxford University in England in the summer of 2014. While working 35+ hours a week on set and maintaining a 4.60 GPA, Yara is a fan of Greek Mythology, history, and public service. In her spare time, she reads classic literature, goes rock climbing, and travels with her parents and two younger brothers, Sayeed and Ehsan.

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