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The Biography of Yara Shahidi

Updated on April 15, 2020
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The writer is a dedicated article writer, who loves music, films and celebrity gossip.

Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi

Yara Sayeh Shahidi is a talented actress and model from America. She earned recognition after starring as “Zoey Johnson” on Black-ish (American TV sitcom). In addition to acting and modeling, Yara is also engaged in activism. She’s also very beautiful, fashionable and smart.

If you’ve been seeking to know more about the talented young actress, read on below.

Related Reading: What Do Zendaya Coleman, Yara Shahidi And China McClain Have in Common?


Yara was born in February, 10, 2000 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA to Afshin Shahidi and Keri Salter Shahidi. Her father, Afshin Shahidi, is Iranian-American, while her mom, Keri Salter is of African–American descent. Yara has two younger brothers: Sayeed Shahidi and Ehsan Shahidi. Her family members are also highly talented: Afshin is a cinematographer, Keri is an actress and Sayeed is an actor.

The name “Yara” is of Farsi origin and it means “somebody who is close to one’s heart”. While the uprising actress was raised in Minnesota, she learned how to speak Farsi before English.

I find it so sweet how Yara says that her mom, Keri, is her biggest inspiration. She considers her mother her first role model, and believes she has shown her how to live life as a woman of color.

Another fascinating fact about Yara Shahidi is her high intellectual capacity. As a young school girl, Yara’s teachers suggested sending her right into third grade. However, her mom felt that skipping two school grades would have been too intense, so Yara skipped first grade only.

Yara Shahidi with her beautiful family
Yara Shahidi with her beautiful family

Yara Shahidi Career

Yara started her career in the limelight at 6 years of age by appearing in TV and print adverts for various companies. Such organizations include McDonald’s, Disney, Ralph Lauren, Guess Kids, and Target.

Her cinematic debut was in 2009 when she starred alongside Eddie Murphy in “Imagine That”. Yara’s role in the film earned her a nomination for a Young Artist Award. Moreover, Yara made an appearance in the 2010 Angelina Jolie action movie “Salt”. Two years later, the talented actor was featured on the television series “First Family” as Chloe Johnson, President William Johnson’s daughter.

Furthermore, in 2014, Yara starred in “Black-ish”, an ABC prime-time comedy, as Zoey Johnson. In the same year, she received a NAACP Image Award for the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

After that, Yara signed up as a model for New York’s Women Management modeling agency. She did that in an effort to promote the addition of women of color in diversified roles.

In 2018, Yara Shahidi started to star in “Grown-ish”, which is a spinoff of “Black-ish”. During the same year, a fashion website by the name “Net-a-Porter”, listed her as one of the best dressed females in 2018.

Other films and TV shows that Yara has appeared on include:

1. Entourage (2007 TV series) as Kandace West

2. In the Motherhood (2009 TV series) as Esther

3. Cold Case (2009 TV series) as Meesha Sullivan ‘91

4. Wizards of Waverly Place (2009 TV series) as Olive

5. Unthinkable (2010 film) as Katie

6. Lie to Me (2010 TV series) as Olivia

7. The Cape (2011 TV series) as Layla

8. Family Guy (2011 TV series) as the voice of Little Girl

9. Rip City (2011 TV series) as Montana

10. Butter (2011 film) as Destiny

11. Alex Cross (2012 film) as Janelle Cross

12. The Finder (2012 TV series) as Adina

13. Scandal (2013 TV series) as Young Olivia Pope

14. Bad Teacher (2014 TV series) as Jalissa

15. The Fosters (2014 TV series) as Maddie

16. Trollhunters (2016-2018 TV series) as the voice of Darci Scott

17. Smallfoot (2018 film) as the voice of Brenda

18. 3Below (2018-2019 TV series) as the voice of Darci Scott

19. The Sun is Also a Star (2019 film) as Natasha Kingsley

Yara Shahidi Activism

Yara is a passionate activist. She established Eighteen X 18 in collaboration with “NowThis”, a publisher of social news. The platform was formed in an effort to encourage Yara’s peers to vote in midterm elections. She’s also formed Yara’s Club, which is a partnership with the New York Young Women’s Leadership Network (YWLN). The YWLN offers online mentorship with the aim to end poverty via education.

Michelle Obama took notice of Yara’s activism and wrote her a recommendation letter to join Harvard University. Furthermore, in 2017, Teen Vogue gave the dedicated activist a chance to interview Hillary Clinton.

In 2019, Yara gave support to Jussie Smollet publicly after reports came up of the former Empire actor’s effort to fake a hate crime.

Yara Shahidi with Oprah Winfrey
Yara Shahidi with Oprah Winfrey

Yara Shahidi Net Worth

Yara Shahidi has been a star for many years now and has won the hearts of many audiences. But, you may wonder, how much money does she earn from her successful career? Well, her net worth is estimated to range from $1 million to $5 million. She’s only started, and we wish her all the best.

If you wanted to know about the amazing Yara Shahidi, now you know!

You might also like: Zendaya Coleman Biography

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Alice Njambi


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