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Shohreh Aghdashloo

A prominent actress on both stage and screen, Shohreh Aghdashloo has portrayed a vast array of complex and powerful characters throughout her career, most notably her prodigious performance as ‘Nadi' in House of Sand and Fog, which earned her an Academy Award nomination. Aghdashloo was most recently seen on the big screen in a featured performance in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, alongside America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn and Alexis Bledel.

She recently completed work on the BBC/HBO mini-series House of Saddam, in which she portrays Sadaam Hussein's wife Sajida. The mini-series explores the inner workings of Saddam Hussein's family and his relationship with his closest advisers.

In The Nativity Story, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, Aghdashloo transformed herself as Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. The film looks at the life of the Virgin Mary before the birth of Christ, following Mary and Joseph's lives including their relationships with other Biblical characters, such as Elizabeth, who is Mary's cousin. Other notable roles for Aghdashloo include: The Lake House starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, American Dreamz and X-Men: The Last Stand.

During the 2005-2006 television season, Aghdashloo captured audiences on the small screen as a guest star on two popular television series, ER and Will & Grace. Prior to these appearances she was a critically-acclaimed guest star on Fox's award-winning television drama, 24, opposite Emmy nominated and Golden Globe winning Kiefer Sutherland.

Born in Tehran in 1952 to an intellectual, creative family, Aghdashloo spent her twenties performing in various cutting-edge performance groups, among them the acclaimed Drama Workshop of Tehran. Based upon her work there, Aghdashloo was cast by directors Abbas Kiarostami and Ali Hatami - - two towering figures of the nascent Iranian New Wave -- to play starring roles in 1977's Gozaresh and Sute-Delan.

In the late '70s, Aghdashloo left Iran for London, England, where she earned a degree in international relations. She was on the verge of accepting a position at a newspaper when a friend presented her with a play, called Rainbow, about the Iranian Revolution and its discontents. Aghdashloo put her journalism career on hold -- for what would turn out to be an indefinite length of time. Rainbow was such a success it toured the United States, where Aghdashloo was reunited with Drama Workshop colleague Houshang Touzie. The two married in Los Angeles in the late '80s. It was her work on film, in topical dramas such as America So Beautiful and Maryam -- both about the struggle of Iranian immigrants in the U.S -- that caught the attention of director Vadim Perelman, who was looking to cast the supporting role of Nadi in his big-screen adaptation of the bestselling book, House of Sand and Fog. Aghdashloo's subtle, simmering performance brought her kudos from the Independent Spirit Awards, the New York Film Critics and the Los Angeles Film Critics associations, all of which named her 2003's Best Supporting Actress. The Academy followed suit, nominating Shohreh as an Oscar contender.

Having found notoriety in the world of film, Aghdashloo continues to indulge her passion for the stage, working alongside Houshang Touzie to write, perform and produce Farsi language theater for an Iranian audience through her traveling theatre group, Drama Workshop '79. Aghdashloo currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.
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Shohreh Aghdashloo Facts

BirthdayMay 11, 1953 (70)
BirthplaceTeheran, Iran
Awards2009 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie (for House Of Saddam)

Selected Filmography

Here There Be Dragons
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
X-Men: The Last Stand
The Expanse: Season 1
The Lake House
The Nativity Story
House Of Sand And Fog
Stoning Of Soraya M.
Jerome's in the House and He Won't Get Out
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