Wondering what Person of Interest (2012-2016), Reverie (201, and The Rookie (2018) all have in common? The answer is right here: actress and former model Sarah Shahi, daughter of interior designer Mahmonir Shahi.
Escaping Execution and Starting A Family In The U.S.
Mahmonir Shahi was born in Spain as Mahmonir Soroushazar. She is of Spanish and Iranian descent. She married Abbas Jahansouzshahi, who fled from Iran to avoid execution when the last Shah’s rule ended in 1979. At the time, he was working at the American embassy in Iran, a dangerous place when the Shah’s regime collapsed. He managed to escape certain death and brought his family to the U.S.
Mahmonir gave birth to Aahoo Jahansouzshahi on January 10th, 1980, in Texas, U.S. She later changed her daughter’s name to Sarah Shahi as a result of other children making fun of the girl’s name. Aahoo was smitten with the name ‘Sarah’ that she had heard in second grade in a song and decided to adopt it.
Aahoo means ‘gazelle’ in Persian.
The successful careers that both Mahmonir and Abbas had and the young age of their daughter were not enough to keep the couple together. Sarah’s parents got divorced when she was ten years old.
Beauty Pageants and Cheerleading
Sarah started to enter beauty pageants when she was eight years old. In high school, she was captain of the volleyball and basketball teams. At university, she studied English and Theatre, won a beauty pageant, and for the next two years, she was a cheerleader. Her aspiration was to become an actress.
A Hollywood Star
She made her way from Texas to Los Angeles, where she played several roles in series like Alias (2001-2006), Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003), and Supernatural (2005-2020).
The year 2007 proved to be a prolific year for Sarah, full of promise and long-awaited beginnings for her acting career. She made an appearance in The Sopranos (1999-2007), had a small role in Rush Hour 3, and gained her first permanent role – homicide det. Dani Reese in the NBC series Life.
Among other projects, she played roles in Person of Interest, Bullet to the Head (2012), and Road to Paloma (2014).
Sarah Shahi got married in 2009 to actor Steve Howey, with whom she has a son (born that same year) and twins (daughter and son, born in 2015). Their marriage ended in divorce in 2021, after almost a year since they had filed the papers.
Shahi’s co-star in the Netflix series Sex/Life is Adam Demos. The two formed a couple in 2020.
Athletic since she was young, Sarah pursued her interest in sports and became a 1st dan black belt in Shorin-Ryu karate.
Apart from Sarah Shahi, Mahmonir has two other children, Samantha Shahi and Cyrus Shahi. Sarah’s older sister Samantha is a production assistant. Her older brother Cyrus has a career in the military.
Sarah gave her mother three grandchildren, William Wolf Howey (the eldest) and twins Violet Moon Howey and Knox Blue Howey.