Aahoo Jahansouz "Sarah" Shahi[1] Persian: آهو جهانسوز سارا شاهی‎ (born January 10, 1980) is an American television actress and former NFL Cheerleader. She played Kate Reed in the USAlegal drama Fairly Legal from 2011-2012 and currently stars as Samantha Shaw on the CBS crime drama Person of Interest.[2] She has also appeared as the female main role in Life, and in supporting roles in The L Word and Alias.[3]


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Shahi was born and grew up in Euless, Texas.[1] She is the daughter of Mah Monir, an interior designer, and Abbas Jahansouz Shahi. Her father is from Iran, and her mother is from Spain.[4]She has one older brother[5] and a younger sister.[6] Her father's family left Iran two years before the Iranian Revolution.[7][8] Her birth name, Aahoo (Persian: آهو‎) means "gazelle" in Persian.[4]She is a descendant of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar of the Qajar Dynasty, who ruled Iran from 1797-1834.[1][9]

Shahi adopted Sarah as her name in second grade, after hearing the song "Sarah", because she was "tormented" by other children.[1] 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.[8] Her parents divorced when she was 10.[4] 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.[10] Shahi won the Miss Fort Worth pageant in 1997;[11] 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.[1]

Acting career[edit]Edit

[1][2]Shahi at the 2012 Monte-Carlo Television Festival

While working as an extra on the set of Dr. T and the Women in Texas, Shahi met director Robert Altman, who encouraged her to move to Hollywood,[1] where she received roles in several series, including AliasDawson's CreekReba, and Supernatural. She may be best known for her role as DJ Carmen de la Pica Morales on The L Word, which she joined in its second season.[citation needed] Shahi did not renew her contract with the series for the fourth season, and consequently her character was written out.[12] She also played Farah in the second season of Sleeper Cell, and also appeared in HBO's The Sopranos, 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.

She co-starred with Damian Lewis in the two-season NBC series Life as homicide detective Dani Reese.[1][13]

In October 2009, Shahi landed the lead role in the USA Network pilot, Facing Kate. Shahi began filming in November 2009.[14] The show follows 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.[15] The show was cancelled after two seasons in November 2012.[16]

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.[17] She was also cast as the possibly recurring character of Sam Shaw on Person of Interest. She was featured in the sixteenth episode of the second season, "Relevance", which aired in February 2013.[18] In May, 2013 CBS PresidentNina Tassler announced that Shahi would be added as a series regular for its third season.[19]

Personal life[edit]Edit

Shahi married actor Steve Howey on February 7, 2009, in Las Vegas. On July 8, 2009, Shahi delivered their first child, son William Wolf Howey,[20] during an at-home water birth.[21]

Shahi was named no. 90 on the Maxim magazine "Hot 100 of 2005" list; she moved up to no. 66 in 2006 [22] and rose to no. 36 in 2012.[23] She appeared on the cover of Maxim's 2012 'TV's Hottest Girls' Issue in October 2012.[24] She ranked no. 5 on the hot list in 2007.[25]


Year Title Role Other notes
2000 Dr. T and the Women Cheerleader Uncredited
2003 Old School
2003 Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde Becky, Delta Nu sister Uncredited
2005 A Lot Like Love Starlet
2006 For Your Consideration Sanchez
2006 The Dog Problem Candy
2007 Rush Hour 3 Zoe Uncredited
2008 Shades of Ray Sana Khaliq
2008 AmericanEast Salwah
2009 Crossing Over Pooneh Baraheri
2011 East Fifth Bliss Hattie Skunk / Hattie Rockworth
2011 I Don't Know How She Does It Janine LoPietro
2012 Static Adele Dade
2013 Bullet to the Head Lisa
2013 The Congress
2013 Road to Paloma Eva
2013 The Adventures of Beatle Carla

Year Title Role Other notes
2000 City Guys Cheerleader Episode: "Shock Treatment"
2000 Spin City Bachelorette Episode: "Blind Faith"
2001 Boston Public Laura Episode: "Chapter Eleven"
2001 Off Centre Angelica Episode: "A Cute Triangle"
2001 Maybe It's Me Rosa Episode: "The Exchange-Student Episode"
2001–2002 Alias Jenny Episodes: "So It Begins", "A Broken Heart", "Reckoning", "Color Blind", "Spirit", "The Box: Part 1", and "Page 47"
2002 Class of ‘06 Meg Television film
2002 My Adventures in Television TV Diva Episode: "The Chinese Baby"
2003 Frasier Reservationist Episode: "Door Jam"
2003 Dawson's Creek Sadie Shaw / Mystery Girl Episodes: "Catch-22", "Sex and Violence", and "All the Right Moves"
2003 ER Tara King Episode: "The Greater Good"
2004 Century City Ms. Morris Episode: "Sweet Child of Mine"
2004–2007 Reba Bridget / Kate Episodes: "Cheyenne‘s Rival" and "To Tell You the Truth"
2005 Plan B Bronwyn Television film
2005 Supernatural Constance Welch / The Woman in White Episode: "Pilot"
2005–2009 The L Word Carmen de la Pica Morales Supporting Role character in 26 (of 70) episodes[26]
2005 The Drop Herself Episode: "2.49"
2006 Teachers Tina Torres
2006 Sleeper Cell Farrah Episodes: "Faith" and "Torture"
2007 The Sopranos Sonya Aragon Episode: "Kennedy and Heidi"
2007–2009 Life Dani Reese Main character
2010 Psych Ruby Episode: "Thrill Seekers and Hell Raisers"
2011–2012 Fairly Legal Kate Reed Main character
2011 Young Justice Killer Frost Episode: "Terrors"
2012-2013 Chicago Fire Renee Royce 7 episodes
2013–present Person of Interest Samantha Shaw Episodes: "Relevance",[27] "Trojan Horse",[28] "Zero Day" and "God Mode"; promoted to regular for the third season [29]
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