Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi
as Zoey Johnson

Actor Biography

Yara Shahidi stars as Zoey Johnson, who is slaying her post-college life and is determined to help her brother Junior get the most out of his college experience at her alma mater Cal U, on the fifth season of Freeform's hit comedy "grown-ish," produced by ABC Signature.

Shahidi is an actress, producer and breakout star of ABC's Emmy®- and Golden Globe®- nominated comedy series "black-ish" and the Freeform spinoff "grown-ish." Since "black-ish" launched in 2014, Shahidi has been awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, a Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role and highlighted on TIME Magazine's annual 30 Most Influential Teens list as well as Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017 and 2018, respectively, on behalf of her television contributions and humanitarianism. Shahidi is one of Hollywood's most heralded young talents as she continues to use her platform to empower and inspire others.

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Shahidi received her start alongside her mother, appearing in several international commercial and print campaigns. Her first major film came when she was offered the opportunity to audition for the role of Olivia Danielson in the Paramount film "Imagine That," opposite Eddie Murphy. She quickly took to the role of the creative and happy-go-lucky daughter to Murphy, bolstering her love of acting.

Next up, Shahidi will take on the role of Tinker Bell in Disney's live-action film "Peter Pan & Wendy." She will also executive produce and star in Amazon Studios' upcoming romantic-comedy "Sitting in Bars with Cake," as well as voice a character in Netflix's animated film "My Father's Dragon."

Shahidi's extensive film roles include Warner Bros.' "The Sun is Also a Star," which explores a love story alongside one of the most pressing issues of the century, immigration; Sony Pictures' "Unthinkable," as the daughter of Samuel L. Jackson; Columbia Pictures' "Salt," opposite Angelina Jolie; Summit Entertainment's "Alex Cross," as the daughter of Tyler Perry; and the Weinstein Company film "Butter," where she starred opposite Jennifer Garner.

Off-screen, Shahidi is a champion for inclusive media programming and an advocate for equity. Identified as a leader of the new Hollywood guard, she has received numerous accolades for her work outside of entertainment, such as British Vogue Forces for Change, Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year and Essence Magazine's Black Women in Hollywood, to name a few. Inspired by her extensive work with President and First Lady Obama, Shahidi founded Eighteen x 18, now called WeVoteNext, to shine a light on Gen Z and BIPOC inclusion in the political process. A sought-after public speaker, Shahidi has appeared in conversation with university peers and thought leaders such as Dr. Angela Davis, President Obama, Harry Belafonte Jr., former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Dr. Cornell West, Sen. Cory Booker, and Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock.

This May, she graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in social studies and African American studies, with a concentration in Black political thought under a neocolonial landscape. Her final thesis for graduation was entitled "I AM A MAN: The Emancipation of Humanness from Western Hegemony Through the Lens of Sylvia Wynter."

Twitter: @YaraShahidi

Instagram: @yarashahidi