Yara Shahidi was born and raised for the first four years of her life in Minneapolis, Minnesota, before her family made the move to California for her father's line of work. She began her career at six weeks old, working alongside her mother in commercials and print ads. Shahidi has been seen in campaigns for Gap Kids, Guess Kids and Disney, to name a few. She frequently had the opportunity to work with her mother and younger brother in numerous print and broadcast campaigns.
Shahidi plays Esther in the ABC sitcom In the Motherhood, which debuted March 26, 2009. She and her real-life brother, Sayeed, play siblings in the series.
Shahidi made her motion picture debut starring opposite Eddie Murphy in Imagine That. She's also filmed a role in the Angelina Jolie film Salt and she and her brother played Samuel L. Jackson children in Unthinkable.
In her free time, Shahidi loves cooking with her father, learning to speak Farsi, traveling with her family, and conducting science experiments (she wants to build a laboratory in her garage one day). Her favorite subject in school is history, where she never tires of learning about the Renaissance.
Shahidi currently resides with her mother, father, and two younger brothers.