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

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 is 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.


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  • Actor Allusion: Shaw is of Persian descent, like Shahi, and has both a Persian and westernized first name; not to mention both has 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 interestingly in both cases it's on her mother's side instead).
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Sarah Shahi.
  • The Cast Showoff: An episode of Life makes good use of her fluency in Farsi.
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  • 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: 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: 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.
    • 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 shotsnote . 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.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Due to her willingness to do nude scenes, her past as an NFL cheerleader, the fact that she's won numerous beauty competitions, was Miss Fort Worth USA, and her frequent rankings as one of the most gorgeous women in the world, Sarah's mere existence qualifies her as this.

Selected Filmography

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Television Roles


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