Aahoo Jahansouz "Sarah" Shahi (born January 10, 1980) is an American television actress and former NFL Cheerleader. She played Kate Reed in the USA Network legal drama Fairly Legal in 2011–12 and currently stars as Sameen Shaw on the CBS crime drama Person of Interest. She has also appeared as the main female role Det. Dani Reese in Life, and in supporting roles in The L Word and Alias.
Sarah Shahi was born on January 10, 1980, in Euless, Texas, and raised there. She is the daughter of Mah Monir, an interior designer, and Abbas Jahansouz Shahi, who divorced when she was ten. Her father is from Iran, and her mother is half Persian paternally, half Spanish maternally from Spain. She has an older brother, Cyrus, and a younger sister, Samantha, who is a production assistant. Her father's family left Iran two years before the Iranian Revolution. Her father, who was working at the American Embassy in Iran, was slated for execution when the regime collapsed in 1979 but was allowed to flee the country. Her birth name, Aahoo (Persian: آهو), means "gazelle" in Persian. She is a great-great-granddaughter of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar of the Qajar Dynasty, who ruled Iran from 1797 to 1834, by one of his wives, Begom Khanom, daughter of Hossein Qoli Khan Afshar, niece of Begom Khanom, daughter Emam Qoli Khan Afshar, through their son Jahansouz Shah.
Shahi adopted Sarah as her name in second grade, after hearing the song "Sarah", because she was "tormented" by other children. At her father's behest, she grew up speaking Persian, in addition to English. Shahi's parents began entering her in beauty pageants at the age of eight. Her parents divorced when she was 10. Shahi attended Trinity High School, where she was captain of the volleyball and basketball teams, and Dallas' Southern Methodist University, majoring in English and Theater. Shahi won the Miss Fort Worth pageant in 1997. Hoping to become an actress, she joined the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (1999–2000) squad despite not having cheered before and appeared on the cover of the squad's 2000 calendar before moving to Los Angeles...
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