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Creator / Sarah Shahi

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Aahoo Jahansouz "Sarah" Shahi (Persian: آهو جهانسوز سارا شاهی‎, born January 10, 1980 in Euless, Texas) is an American television actress and former NFL Cheerleader of Iranian and Spanish descent.

She's perhaps best-known for her scene-stealing roles in Person of Interest and The L Word, both shows which resulted in her being upgraded from a guest star to a regular. She also played the lead in Fairly Legal as Kate Reed, and has had many notable supporting roles in Film and Television.

She was married to fellow actor Steve Howey, and they have a son named William Wolf Howey, born in 2009 (necessitating her pregnancy being hidden on Life's second season) and twins Violet and Knox, born in March 2015. She and Howie filed for divorce in May 2020.



  • Actor Allusion: Shaw is of Persian descent, like Shahi, and has both a Persian and westernized name; not to mention both have the initials S.S. Her frequent use of football metaphors ("I know this went sideways, Finch, but you can't bench me for every mistake." "You go through identities like they're Dixie Cups, but I'm one and done?") are a reference to her former career as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Sarah is the child of an Iranian father and Spanish mother. In two roles so far (Dani Reese of Life and Sameen Shaw of Person of Interest) her character is stated to be half-Iranian (though in both cases it's on her mother's side instead, explaining their Western last names).
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Sarah Shahi.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • An episode of Life makes good use of her fluency in Farsi when her character speaks to a mother and daughter who are Persians.
    • Advertisement:
    • An episode of Person of Interest has her speaking to a cab driver in Farsi.
  • Casting Gag: Twice during Reba Cheyenne and Van's marriage was tested by another woman. The first time was Kate, a business associate of Van's that Cheyenne was insanely jealous of. The second was a woman named Bridgit, who was a former classmate of theirs (and enemy of Cheyenne) who made a pass at Van to torment Cheyenne. Both characters were played by Shahi, who is now Steve Howey's (Van's actor) wife (although they were only dating/engaged at the time).
  • Embarrassing First Name: She changed her name from "Aahoo" to "Sarah" as a child to avoid being teased; "Aahoo" sounds a little too much like a sneeze.
  • The Cheerleader: She was a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader from 1999 to 2000.
  • Hello, Attorney!: As Kate Reed in Fairly Legal and Renee Royce in Chicago Fire.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy / Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • She was pregnant during the last episodes of season two's Life, so she was quickly written into a story-line of being interviewed by the FBI and wasn't shown standing up for the rest of the season.
    • It happened again on Person of Interest, after she wound up pregnant with twins during the fourth season; there was a lot of sitting down and standing behind counters. When standing, she was mostly framed from the chest up and wore a lot of black outfits with coats over them when they had to do full body shots.note  She was written out of the show midway through the season with her character's fate left deliberately ambiguous to allow them to bring her back later, and she returned the following season. Shahi told interviewers they considered simply writing it into the series, though since Shaw's very far from the maternal type this didn't go through.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Shahi was once an NFL cheerleader, has won numerous beauty competitions, was Miss Fort Worth USA, is frequently ranked as one of the most gorgeous women in the world, and willingly will show nudity. Thus she's played many examples with varying degrees of nudity, sex scenes, skimpy clothes and suggestiveness (see e.g. The L Word, Life, Fairly Legal, Person of Interest).

Selected Filmography

Film Roles

Television Roles


Video Example(s):


Sexy Shirt Switch - Fairly Legal

In the morning after, Kate walks into Justin's kitchen to talk to him while wearing only his shirt.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / SexyShirtSwitch

Media sources:

Main / SexyShirtSwitch