Yara Shahidi is an African-Iranian teen actress who is popularly known for playing Zoey Johnson in the series, Black-ish and Grown-ish both. She is a talented actress who debuted in the entertainment industry in 2007 from a Television series, "Entourage" and in the movie, "Imagine That". For her performance in the series, she won NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2015 and a BET Award for Youngstar in 2017.
Early Life and Education of Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi was born Yara Sayeh Shahidi to parents Keri Salter and Afshin Shahidi on February 10, 2000, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Her father was professionally a photographer and used to be the famous legendary singer Prince's personal photographer.
When she was just four years of age her family moved to California and she received her primary education there. She grew up with her younger brother Sayeed and Ishan Shahidi who are also active in the entertainment field. Shahidi started appearing in many commercials for companies like McDonald's, Ralph Lauren, Guess Kids, Gapkids and Target at the age of 6.
Yara Shahidi's Career
Yara Shahidi is professionally an actress who debuted in the entertainment industry in 2007 from a Television series named Entourage in the role of Kandace West in an episode. After her small screen debut, it was time for her movie debut which happened in 2009 when she starred in the comedy movie Imagine That where she portrayed Olivia Danielson. In the movie, she played the daughter of Eddie Murphy and even got nominated for a Young Artist Award for the Best Performance in a Feature Film category.
The same year she appeared in three television series namely In the Motherhood, Cold Case, Wizards of Waverly Place she played the role of Esther, Meesha Sullivan and Olive respectively. Her performance as an actress was highly appreciated and she began getting more and more offers in movies & TV series.
Her movies include Butter, Alex Cross, Unthinkable and Salt. Shahidi is famous for portraying Zoey Johnson for the series, Black-ish which airs at present as well. For her performance in the series, she won NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2015 and a BET Award for Youngstar in 2017. Besides she was nominated for BET Award for Youngstar in 2016 and a Teen Choice Award for Choice Comedy TV Actress in 2017.
She is cast in the 2018 spinoff of ABC's Black-ish named Grown-ish which first aired on January 3, 2018. In the series, she appeared for 13 episodes portraying her Black-ish character which was Zoey Jackson and acted alongside Jordan Buhat, Deon Cole, Trevor Jackson, Francia Raisa, Chole Bailey and Halle Bailey. Shahidi voiced Brenda in the 2018 movie Smallfoot and is set to appear in the 2019 movie The Sun is Also a Star where she will portray Natasha Kingsley.
Yara Shahidi's Net Worth
Yara Shahidi's is estimated to have a net worth of $1 million according to various sites but there is no confirmation about it being her actual net worth. She must earn a lot from her involvement in the Television series. Some of her movies did great in the box office and grabbed appreciation.
Yara Shahidi's Personal Life
Yara Shahidi is not in a relationship with anymore and is fully focused on her career. She is not rumored to have dated anyone formerly as there is no information regarding her relationships. Shahidi is a person with a strong will and excels in her studies with a high GPA and her desire to learn more never stops. She is learning the Persian Language and wants to specialize in history as well.
She revealed the real meaning of her birth name on the NPR podcast saying "Yara" means Somebody Close to Your Heart, "Sayeh" means Shadow and "Shahidi" means witness.
Her inspiration is her mother who has been there with her through all her good and bad, encouraging her to do great things. She is pretty active on her social media handles like Instagram where she has a whopping 2.7 million followers. Shahidi loves her fans and clicks selfies with them when she meets them.
As for her hobbies and interest, she loves listening to music and reading books. One of her favorite books is by James Baldwin and she recommends the book to everyone she meets. She has learned karate for seven years and has a black belt.
Her much-needed desert island beauty product is lotion and when asked about how she describes herself in three words she replied saying Everchanging, awkward and Eighteen. Her unusual behavior is that while watching tv shows she just hears the audio and doesn't watch the video.
Along with being an actress she is also involved in social works and is an activist. She was honored with the GLSEN Gamechanger Award for her works towards uplifting women. Shahidi works with the Young Women's Leadership Network and Let Girls Learn initiative. She has founded the Eighteen x 18 with the social news publisher Now This which has a motive of raising awareness and encouraging people to vote in the elections soon after they turn Eighteen. She is seen speaking on major issues like racism, sexism and gun control.
She also has a club named Yara's Club which is partnered with Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN) of New York. The club provides mentorship to help eliminate poverty by facilitating education to people. Her involvement in activism was appreciated by everyone. The former first lady Michelle Obama even wrote her a letter of recommendation for her to join Harvard University being impressed by her work. Even teen magazine gave her the honor of interviewing Hilary Clinton.