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Wednesday 7 July 2021

Sarah Shahi: Who is she? Past roles + photos

So, who is Aahoo Jahansouzshahi?

And where have you seen her before?

She’s the name on everyone’s lips right now and her screen name is: Sarah Shahi. Yes, she plays Billie in cult Netflix series 'Sex/Life'.

The 41 year old was born on January 10, 1980 in Euless, Texas, USA and is the daughter of Abbas Jahansouzshahi and Mahmonir Soroushazar, an interior designer, who divorced when she was ten.

Her father is from Iran, and his family left Iran two years before the Iranian Revolution. Sarah's father was working at the American embassy in Iran, and was slated for execution when the last Shah's regime collapsed in 1979, but was able to flee the country.

Sarah's mother was born in Spain, to an Iranian father and a Spanish mother. She has an older brother, Cyrus, and a younger sister, Samantha, who is a production assistant. 

Sarah is a former NFL cheerleader, and while working as an extra on the set of 'Dr. T and the Women in Texas', Shahi met renowned director Robert Altman, who encouraged her to move to Hollywood, where she received roles in several series, including 'Alias', 'Dawson's Creek', 'Reba', and 'Supernatural'. In 2005 she appeared in the supporting character role of DJ Carmen de la Pica Morales on 'The L Word', which she joined in its second season. Shahi's two-year contract was not renewed after the end of the fourth season, and her character was written out.

She also played Farah in the second season of Sleeper Cell, and also appeared in HBO's 'The Sopranos' in 2007, in the Season 6b episode 'Kennedy and Heidi' as Sonya Aragon, a stripper and college student who spends a weekend with Tony after a death in his family.

In 2007, she secured a small role in 'Rush Hour 3' as Zoe, a scantily clad rich girl who is pursued by Chris Tucker's character, Detective Carter.

In 2007, she took on her first permanent leading role on a TV series, co-starring with Damian Lewis in the NBC series 'Life' as homicide detective Dani Reese. The series ran for two seasons.

In October 2009, Shahi landed the lead role in the USA Network pilot, 'Facing Kate'. Shahi began filming in November 2009.[20] The show followed the life of Kate Reed, a legal mediator who is frustrated with the bureaucracy and injustice she witnesses in the legal system. The series title was later changed to 'Fairly Legal'. The show was cancelled after two seasons in November 2012.

Shahi was cast as a recurring love interest for Taylor Kinney's character Lt. Kelly Severide on NBC's show 'Chicago Fire' in October 2012.

She was cast as the possibly recurring character of Sameen Shaw on 'Person of Interest' and was featured in the sixteenth episode of the second season, ‘Relevance', which aired in February 2013.

In May 2013 CBS President Nina Tassler announced that Shahi would be added as a series regular for its third season. She played the daughter of Sylvester Stallone's character in the action film 'Bullet to the Head' which was also the first time working with co-star Jason Momoa who she would later go on to work with again in his movie 'Road to Paloma' in 2014.

Following the January 7, 2015, episode of Person of Interest, Shahi and the show's producers announced she would be leaving the show for an indefinite period of time because of her pregnancy.

In February 2016, she was cast as iconic detective Nancy Drew in a planned TV series based on the books.

In May 2016, CBS passed on the series, and its producers announced they would continue looking for a network to air the show. Also in May, Shahi resumed her appearances as Shaw on Person of Interest, until June 21, 2016, when the show ended. Shahi starred in the new TV series 'Reverie' in 2018, however it was cancelled after one season.

In 2019, Shahi joined the cast of Showtime's 'City on A Hill' (seen in Australian TV on the Stan streaming service) as recurring character Rachel Behnam, an investigator for the district attorney.

In October 2020, Shahi started filming 'Sex/Life', a Netflix series inspired by BB Easton's book ’44 Chapters About 4’, in Toronto, Canada. This has been arguably her most talked about role to date.

She plays Billie, a housewife struggling to remain a devoted wife and mother when tempted by an old flame and the freer days of her youth.

Shahi was named number 90 on the Maxim magazine "Hot 100 of 2005" list, moving up to number 66 in 2006 and 36 in 2012. She appeared on the cover of Maxim's 2012 'TV's Hottest Girls' Issue in October 2012. She ranked number 5 on the AfterEllen.com hot list in 2007.

Shahi married actor Steve Howey (he is known for his roles as Van Montgomery on The WB/CW television series 'Reba', and Kevin Ball on the Showtime series 'Shameless') on February 7, 2009, in Las Vegas. In July 2009, she gave birth to their first child, a son, during an at-home water birth. In January 2015, she announced that she was pregnant with twins. In March, a daughter and son were born during another home birth. Shahi and Howey filed for divorce in May 2020.

Their divorce was finalised in January 2021.

After meeting during the 2020 filming of Sex/Life, Shahi started dating Australian actor Adam Demos. Yeah, he of THAT shower scene. (He has appeared in 'Falling Inn Love', also on Netflix - more on him in the next post. This is Sarah's moment to shine!).

Demos and Shahi first met in the make-up trailer and had some interests in common. Shahi commented to People magazine; "I said, 'Well, that's a tall drink of water.' When I first met Adam, I was really blown away with him".

Sarah’s birth name, Aahoo (Persian: آهو‎), means ‘gazelle’ in Persian. She is a descendant of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar of the Qajar Dynasty.

Such esteemed roots and a gorgeous connotation to a name.

Watch her star rise and rise from NOW.