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Shohreh Aghdashloo

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Shohreh Aghdashloo
Shohreh Aghdashloo
Character: Stefania Vaduva Popescu
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Shohreh Aghdashloo (Persian: شهره آغداشلو‎, IPA: [ʃohˈɾe ɒɢdɒːʃˈluː]; born May 11, 1952) is an Iranian American actress.

After establishing a theater and film career in Iran, Aghdashloo moved to England during the Iranian Revolution in 1979, and she subsequently became a citizen of the United States. After several years playing supporting roles in television and film, her performance in House of Sand and Fog (2003) brought her several film critics' awards and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has continued to play supporting and character roles in film and television, and she won an Emmy Award for her work in the television drama House of Saddam (2008).


Aghdashloo was born in Tehran, Iran, as Shohreh Vaziri-Tabar ("Aghdashloo" is the family name of her former husband, Iranian painter Aydin Aghdashloo), to a wealthy Muslim family. Aghdashloo started acting at the age of 18. Following numerous starring roles on the stage, she was offered her first film role in Gozāresh (The Report), directed by Abbas Kiarostami, which won the Critics Award at the Moscow Film Festival. Her next film was Shatranje Bad (loosely translated: Chess With the Wind), directed by Mohammad Reza Aslani, which screened at several film festivals. Both films were banned in her home country, but in 1978, Aghdashloo won acclaim for her performance in Sooteh Delan (Broken Hearts), directed by the late Iranian filmmaker Ali Hatami, which established her as one of Iran's leading actresses.

During the 1979 Revolution, Aghdashloo left Iran for Windermere, Cumbria, England, in 1978, where she completed her education. Aghdashloo still owns a separate vacation villa that she attends during most summer parts of the year. She earned a Bachelor's degree in International Relations. She continued to pursue her acting career, however, which brought her to Los Angeles. In 1987, Aghdashloo married actor/playwright Houshang Touzie. They had a daughter in 1989. She has since performed in a number of Touzie's plays, successfully taking them to national and international stages, primarily in the Iranian community.

Aghdashloo narrated a documentary called Iranium, which documents the development of Iran's nuclear threat, beginning with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the ideology installed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The documentary also tracks Iran's use of terror as a tool of policy, beginning with the 444 day seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, through Iran's insurgent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it details the brutal nature of the Iranian regime to its own citizens and the Iranian people's desire to rejoin the international community. Finally, it outlines the various scenarios the greater Middle East and the Western world may face should Iran cross the nuclear threshold. She came under heavy criticism for her role in the movie from organizations in the Iranian diaspora, such as the National Iranian American Council. Criticism of the movie and her role in it were also documented by BBC Persian.



Year Title Role Notes
1976 Shatranje Bad
1977 Gozaresh
1978 Sooteh-Delan Aghdas
1989 Guests of Hotel Astoria Mrs. Pori Karemnia first American film role
1991 Raha Raha
1993 Twenty Bucks Ghada Holiday
2000 Surviving Paradise (راز بهشت) Pari First English language Iranian-American feature film distributed theatrically in the United States, written and directed by Kamshad Kooshan
2001 America So Beautiful Exiled Actress
2002 Maryam Mrs. Homa Armin
2003 Possessed Woman Short film by Shirin Neshat
Pulse Woman Short film by Shirin Neshat
Mystic Iran Narrator Documentary film by Aryana Farshad
House of Sand and Fog Nadereh 'Nadi' Behrani Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated–Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
2005 The Exorcism of Emily Rose Dr. Sadira Adani
Babak and Friends - A First Norooz Farah Animated movie
2006 American Dreamz Mrs. Nazneen Riza
The Lake House Dr. Anna Klyczynski
X-Men: The Last Stand Dr. Kavita Rao
The Nativity Story Elizabeth
2008 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Prof. Nasrin Mehani
The Stoning of Soraya M. Zahra Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
2010 The Adjustment Bureau (Role was cut from finished version)
The No Game Aunt Laila
2011 Iranium Narrator Documentary film by Alex Traiman
On the Inside Dr. Lofton
2012 The Odd Life of Timothy Green Evette Onat

Television Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Matlock Saleslady 1 episode
1993 Martin Malika 1 episode
2001 The Honduran Suburbs Zereshk 2 episodes
2004 The Secret Service Lila Ravan TV Film
2005 24 Dina Araz 12 episodes: Day 4
Nominated–Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2006 Smith Charlie 5 episodes
Will & Grace Pam 1 episode
ER Mrs. Riza Kardatay 1 episode
2007 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Helen Crawford 1 episode
2008 House of Saddam Sajida Khairallah Talfah 4 episodes
Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie
The Simpsons Mina 1 episode: "Mypods and Boomsticks"
2009 FlashForward Nhadra Udaya 3 episodes
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Detective Saliyah "Sunny" Qadri 1 episode
House M.D. Afsoun Hamidi 1 episode: "Moving On"
NCIS Mariam Bawali 1 episode: "Safe Harbor"
2012 Portlandia Author 1 episode: "Cool Wedding"
Mob Doctor Dr. Jayana Baylor Recurring role (begins in episode 4)

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