persians in hollywoodby f_m67 | created - 31 May 2011 | updated - 11 Mar 2014 | Public
Actress | Darbareye Elly
Golshifteh started her acting career in theater at the age of 6 and has always kept a strong link with theater, but it was at the age of 14 that she acted in her first film Derakhte Golabi (1998), for which she won the prize for the Best Actress from the international section of the Fajr film ...
Actress | Homeland
Nazanin Boniadi is rapidly making her mark in both film and television. She co-starred as CIA analyst Fara Sherazi on seasons three and four of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama Homeland (2011), for which she shared a 2015 SAG Award nomination in the Outstanding Performance by an ...
Boniadi was born in Tehran, Iran. Her parents moved to London when she was an infant. She performed violin and ballet as a young girl.
She was educated at a private school and later moved to the US where she earned a Bachelor's Degree, with Honors, in Biological Sciences from the University of California Irvine. At UCI, she won the Chang Pin-Chun Undergraduate Research Award for molecular research involving cancer treatment and heart transplant rejection. She was also Assistant Editor-in-Chief of MedTimes, UCI's undergraduate medical newspaper.
Boniadi's first major acting role was as Leyla Mir on the Emmy Award-winning daytime drama General Hospital and its SOAPnet spin-off series General Hospital: Night Shift, making her the first contract actor to play a Middle Eastern character in American daytime television history. She is also the first Iranian-born actress to ever be on contract on an American soap opera.
She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 2008 for her role in General Hospital.
Her General Hospital character died from exposure to a biotoxin in February 2009.
Boniadi has also landed supporting roles in several major Hollywood film productions, such as Charlie Wilson's War directed by Mike Nichols, Iron Man directed by Jon Favreau, and The Next Three Days directed by Paul Haggis.
In February 2011, she debuted as Nora, a love interest for Neil Patrick Harris's character Barney Stinson, on the sixth season of the hit CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. She reprised this role during the show's seventh season.
In November 2011, Boniadi appeared opposite George Clooney in a European spot for Nespresso, called The Swap, directed by Grant Heslov.
3. Sarah Shahi
Actress | Bullet to the Head
Sarah Shahi was born Aahoo Jahansouz in Euless, Texas, to an Iranian father and Spanish mother. She is a former NFL cheerleader and a descendant of a 19th-century Persian Shah. She attended Trinity High School and Dallas Southern Methodist University, studied opera and majored in English. As a ...
Actress | Bruce Almighty
Catherine was born in London, but moved to California with her Iranian mother at age 2. Her mother still acts as her personal assistant. As a child, she acted in various TV adverts. She went to UCLA to study biology, but dropped out to become a model in Japan. She moved back into acting with a ...
Actress | House of Sand and Fog
Shohreh Aghdashloo was born Shohreh Vaziri-Tabar on May 11, 1952 in Tehran, Iran. In the 1970s at age 20, she achieved nationwide stardom in her homeland of Iran, starring in some prominent pictures such as Gozaresh (1977) directed by the renowned Abbas Kiarostami, which won critics awards at the ...
Visual_effects | The Perfect Storm
Habib Zargarpour graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design with Distinction after receiving a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia. He started his film career on 3D IMAX films ...
Habib Zargarpour is an Iranian born art director who is also active in visual effects in Hollywood. he was nominated for two Academy Awards in Visual Effects for Twister and The Perfect Storm
7. Shaun Toub
Actor | Iron Man
Shaun Toub was born in Tehran, Iran, to a Persian Jewish family. He was raised in Manchester, England. At the age of 14, he moved to Switzerland and after a two year stay, he crossed the Atlantic to Nashua, New Hampshire, to finish his last year of high school. After two years of college in ...
Actress | Crash
Bahar Soomekh was born on March 30, 1975 in Tehran, Iran, to a Persian Jewish family. She is the daughter of Manijeh and Hamid Soomekh, who owned a women's high fashion company. She has a sister, Saba Soomekh. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1979, to escape the Iranian revolution. She attended a...
9. David Diaan
Actor | The Stoning of Soraya M.
David Diaan has built an impressive career as an acclaimed Iranian American Actor, Writer, and Producer. David came to the United States as a teenager and completed high school in the Midwest. He then studied Radio, Television, & Journalism at the University of Missouri Columbia. David's first ...
10. Bobby Naderi
Actor | Under the Shadow
Born in Tehran, Naderi had an cultured childhood having being raised between Iran, Europe, Canada and the U.S. Bobby by sheer chance found his way into the Arts in his early 20s which led him to study with Judith Weston then began working on stage and the indie film. He gained notice for his lead ...
13. Vida Ghahremani
Actress | Eshq va entegham
She began acting in film as a teenager. Her earliest work was in 1958's Toofan dar shahre ma (Storm in Our Town). She currently teaches creative theatre and Persian Language in Pleasanton, California and Persian Center where she has been an active member since its establishment in Berkeley, California and Artistic associate in San Francisco Golden Thread Production.
Ghahremani received a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and holds a diploma in Directing and Producing television. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the Gem and Mineral society. Vida is the mother of three and recently finished a film with director Wayne Wang called A Thousand Years of Good Prayers as supporting actress.
17. Daryush Shokof
Writer | Asudem
Daryush Shokof is an artist and film-maker who left Iran in the 1970s for the U.S. and under the name of AliReza Shokoufandeh. He studied mathematics and physics at E.N.M.U. and then went on to get a masters degree in management from U.D. in Texas. He became a full-time artist in Germany where he ...
18. Kami Asgar
Sound_department | Apocalypto
Kami Asgar is an Iranian-American Supervising Sound Editor. Asgar is an industry professional and has over 60 credits as sound producer/editor in both film and television.
During a career that spans nearly 20 years, he has been nominated for an Emmy award for sound editing on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman in 1996 and Golden Reel Awards in 2005 for The Passion of the Christ and 2007 for Apocalypto. For his work on Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, Asgar has been nominated for 79th Academy Award (OSCAR) for best sound editing along with colleague Sean McCormack.
In his 2007 interview with Jamejam daily, he insisted on his Iranian identity proudly.
21. Omid Djalili
Actor | The Mummy
Omid Djalili is a British Iranian stand-up comedian and actor. Omid had great success performing A Strange Bit of History, which won the Spirit of The Fringe award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1994, Omid has since become a fringe favorite with a string of sell-out shows. In 1995 it was with Short ...
23. Marshall Manesh
Actor | Will & Grace
Marshall Manesh was born in Iran. He lost his father at an early age and was raised by his beloved mother, whom he feels he got his strength from to make it in show biz. He came to America in the mid "70s" and joined the Persian Theater Group and traveled extensively through out The United States, ...
25. Adrian Pasdar
Actor | Near Dark
Adrian Pasdar was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Rosemarie Pasdar (née Sbresny), who owns a travel agency, and Homayoon Pasdar, a prominent heart surgeon. His father is Iranian and his mother, who was born in Germany, is of German, and some Polish, descent. At the age of 2, his father moved ...
27. Farhad Safinia
Writer | Apocalypto
Farhad Safinia was born in 1975 in Tehran, Iran. He is a writer and producer, known for Apocalypto (2006), The Professor and the Madman (2018) and Boss (2011). He has been married to Laura Regan since 2007.
Farhad Safinia was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1975. He left Iran with his family at the age of four to live in Paris, then London. At King's College, Cambridge, where he studied Economics, he directed and acted in a number of stage productions for the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club and other theatre companies. After graduating, he moved to New York City where he studied film at the New School University and at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. In the summer of 2007 he married actress Laura Regan in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Apocalypto (2006), which he co-wrote with director/producer Mel Gibson, is his first feature length screenplay. Safinia met Gibson serving as his assistant during postproduction and promotion of The Passion of the Christ two years earlier. He is also the creator, writer and executive producer of the Starz TV series Boss. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
28. Hossein Amini
Writer | Drive
Hossein Amini was born in Iran, and when he was 11 years old, he and his family moved to England. Amini's first screenplay was for the 1994 TV movie The Dying of the Light, which was directed by Peter Kosminsky. The TV movie covered the murder of Sean Devereux, an aid worker who was murdered in ...
29. Max Amini
Actor | Heroes
Max Amini was born in Tucson, Arizona. He was raised on the East Coast and graduated from UCLA's school of Theater, Film and Television in 2004. As an actor, Max has numerous film and television credits including NBC's Heroes, regular appearances on Comedy Central's Mind of Mencia, Netflix original...
Actor | American Pie
Travis Cody, the second of six brothers, was born in Laguna Beach California. His father is an Airline Captain, and his mother a Gospel Singer. He started acting in Church and school plays at age two; his first role was as Baby Jesus!
When he was cast in American Pie (1999), he was sixteen, and was ...
33. Yara Shahidi
Actress | Salt
Is half African-American and half Iranian.
She is continuously learning how to speak, write, and read Farsi.
34. Reza Badiyi
Director | The Six Million Dollar Man
Reza Badiyi was born on April 17, 1929 in Arak, Iran as Reza Sayed Badiyi. He is known for his work on The Six Million Dollar Man (1974), Stop Susan Williams (1979) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). He was married to Tania Harley, Barbara Turner and Gwendolyn M Dennis. He died on August 20, ...
Date of Birth
17 April 1930, Arak, Iran
Date of Death 20 August 2011, Los Angeles, California, USA
35. Mina Badie
Actress | Road to Perdition
Daughter of Reza Badiyi and actress-screenwriter Barbara Turner.
36. Nicholas Guilak
Actor | Saving Jessica Lynch
Nicholas Guilak was born in Houston,Texas and raised in La Jolla, California, moved to Los Angeles in 1991 and received his Bachelors of Arts from USC in Theatre, Humanities and Film. He then studied in London then Scotland were he performed in thirteen different shows, 168 performances and ...
38. Navid Negahban
Actor | Brothers
Navid, though sometimes called "the man of a thousand faces," is still most widely regarded as Abu Nazir, the enigmatic al-Qaeda leader he played for two seasons on Showtime's Emmy-winning original series "Homeland." Among his many fans are Israeli president Shimon Peres and U.S. president Barack ...
39. Jasmin Tabatabai
Actress | Der Baader Meinhof Komplex
She played in the woman-band "Even Cowgirls get the blues", which also helped her to play her part in the movie Bandits (1997). She wrote most of the songs for the Soundtrack of "Bandits". On 3rd December 2002, her first child, a girl named Angelina Sherri Rose, was born. Father of the child is the...
40. Ramin Djawadi
Composer | Game of Thrones
Ramin Djawadi was born on July 19, 1974 in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He is a composer, known for Game of Thrones (2011), Iron Man (2008) and Westworld (2016). He is married to Jennifer Hawks.
He was born in Duisburg, Germany to an Iranian father and German mother
44. Taies Farzan
Actress | Argo
Taies Farzan was born in Tehran, Iran. Her family moved to Turkey and thereafter to Germany. She speaks Persian, Turkish, German, English, Kurdish. She was on stage at the age of 14 in Cologne Germany and appeared in lead positions in more than 15 stage pieces until she met Daryush Shokof in a ...
46. Ata Servati
Producer | Baba
Ata Servati is a noted poet, playwright, novelist, prize-winning actor, filmmaker and activist. As a spiritual man, Ata has chosen to follow the path of legends such as Rumi, Omar Khayyam and Hafez. His own spirituality began at the age of four when he began to receive premonitions in his dreams. ...
48. Khosrow Vaziri
Actor | WWWF Championship Wrestling
Iranian professional wrestler best known for his work in the 1980s for WWE (then the WWF) as the Iron Sheik. Trained under Verne Gagne and Billy Robinson and debuted under his own name in 1973 for the American Wrestling Association. Changed to Ali Vaziri while working for NWA Big Time Wrestling (...
51. Armen Mirzaian
Art_department | Adventure Time with Finn & Jake
Episode #5.20 of Adventure Time (2010), entitled "Shh!", was dedicated to Mirzaian, who was killed in a car accident about three months prior to the broadcast of the episode (May 2013). The caption under his name and photo read "Aw c'mon".
52. Ojan Missaghi
Sound_department | Unfriended
Ojan Missaghi was born in 1975 in Tehran, Iran. He continued his education at the Los Angeles Film School where he got his degree in sound engineering.
He has worked in film and television as Supervising Sound Editor and Post Production Audio for great projects in the past several years.
With an ...
59. Anthony Azizi
Actor | Eagle Eye
Anthony Azizi started his career many years ago, as a child, acting in plays for the Touchstone Theater run by Bill and Bridget George in Bethlehem, PA. He also started writing and staging his own plays at the age of eight for school and other public venues. He continued in the arts throughout all ...
Actress | Rendition
Rosie Malek-Yonan was born on the fourth of July, 1955 in Tehran, Iran. She is an actress, director, producer, published author, documentary filmmaker, a classically trained pianist, composer and a human rights activist. She is a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent Assyrian Christian...
64. Anita Khalatbari
Actress | Let's Die Together
Anahita Khalatbari is the great-granddaughter of Sepahsalar Tonekaboni-Khalatbari (Commander in Chief) who was of the Royal Khalatbari Family and served as Prime Minister of Iran for 4 terms. Due to his genius military skills and and national democratic following, he became the leader the ...
66. Amir Khalighi
Actor | SEAL Team
Amir Khalighi was born in Tehran Iran. The Iranian Revolution thwarted him out of Iran and into the neon lights of the West. His start in the arts came at the age of 17 with the theatrical lead in the UJ Production of "Our House" then laid dormant until his productions of two successful Los Angeles...
67. Nima Nourizadeh
Director | American Ultra
Nima is the son of Dr. Alireza Nourizadeh, who is an Iranian scholar, journalist and a Political Commentator for Voice of America and Deutsche Welle radio channels. Nimas' brother is the music producer, Omid Nourizadeh. Nima got his degree from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design and ...
Actress | American Dreams
Atoosa Rubenstein was born on January 13, 1972 in Tehran, Iran as Atoosa Behnegar. She is an actress, known for American Dreams (2002), Miss Seventeen (2005) and America's Next Top Model (2003). She has been married to Ari Rubenstein since August 29, 1998. They have one child.
Visual_effects | Spider-Man
Director and writer, Pedram Goshtasbpour started his career as journeyman for feature, episodic and commercial productions in late 90s. Over fifteen years of senior-level work on bellwether films Spider-man, Spider-man 2, Final Fantasy - The Spirits Within, advertising campaigns for HBO Family and ...
72. Piran Zarifian
Producer | Freedom Fighter
Piran Zarifian was born on August 28th, 1983 in Tehran, Iran. Being Jewish, he found it difficult to live there. Consequently, just before his 17th birthday, in August of 1999, he emigrated to Vienna where he applied for a U.S Visa and about a year later he arrived in Los Angeles. Shortly after his...
73. Bijan Zaimi
Actor | Net Worth
Born in Iran, and raised up in Chicago and Salt Lake City, Bijan began stage and commercials at 14, then moved onto classical theater, television and Independent film. He's worked with the Chautauqua Conservetory Theater, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and The Sundance Institute. Bijan holds a ...
74. Sara Saidy
Actress | My Sixteenth Summer
Born in Tehran, Iran to Mansour & Ellie Jamiei, Sara Saidy was raised in her home town along with her younger brother and sister. Her parents divorced when she was fifteen and she and her siblings were raised primarily by their mother, who later remarried. She went on to attend Tehran University. ...
79. Nader Khalili
Writer | Earth Turns to Gold
Nader Khalili was born on February 22, 1936 in Tehran, Iran. He was a writer, known for Earth Turns to Gold (2009), Making of a Dream (2009) and Design with Nature (2009). He was married to Iliona Khalili. He died on March 5, 2008 in Los Angeles, California, USA.
80. Ali Saam
Actor | Argo
Ali Saam was born in Tehran, Iran. Growing up, he was a huge fan of characters such as Batman and Zorro and Western films and TV shows in general. He moved to the United States in the late 1970s to continue his education abroad. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (CIS...
Director | Head Over Heels
Kambiz Shabankare was born on July 18, 1973, Tehran/Iran. He studied Theater direction at Sooreh Art University of Tehran and later Radio, Television and Film at Austin Community College. Since 1998, he has directed numerous experimental theatre, short and documentary films (including Head Over ...
87. Taymaz Saba
Composer, conductor and sound designer Taymaz Saba is inspired by the sounds of the nature and also classical composers Vivaldi, Beethoven, Bach, and film composers such as Nino Rota, Henry Mancini, Bernard Hermann and Ennio Morricone. Taymaz was born in Tehran and raised in an artistic family. He ...
Director | Polaris
She was born in Tehran-Iran and graduated from the Art University of Tehran (School of Cinema & Theater), majored in cinema. She also has an MFA degree in Film and Video from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) . She started her career in filmmaking, screenwriting and editing in 1996. She ...
89. Rabeah Ghaffari
Producer | The Troupe
Rabeah Ghaffari was born in Iran in 1971 and has been living in New York City since 1981. She is a writer, filmmaker and actress. She has performed at many New York theaters including La MaMa, ETC, Theatre 22, The Judith Anderson and The Kitchen. Her film acting credits include "Windows", by Shoja ...
90. Tandees Tanavoli
Producer | Impromptu: The Audition
Tandees' first film was destroyed when the building that housed her film school was hit by bombs in the Iran/Iraq war. She was then 16 years old. After graduating from high school, Tandees and her family moved to Vancouver, Canada, where she continued her studies in media, television and later on ...
91. Niousha Noor
Actress | #Persianize
Niousha Noor is an actress and producer, known for #Persianize (2017), Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero (2016) and Oh Snap! I'm Trapped in the House with a Crazy Lunatic Serial Killer! (2008).
93. Kevan Moezzi
Actor | Raimbo
Kevan "K-von" Moezzi (born on August 1, 1985 Reno, Nevada) is an internationally touring standup comedian / actor / host best known for his work on MTV's "Disaster Date", "Last Comic Standing" (NBC) to name a few. He has appeared in movies, television shows, and on the talk show circuit and has ...