Sarah Shahi is an American actress and model best known for her role as the Mexican-American DJ Carmen de la Pica Morales in the television drama series The L Word, from 2005-2006.
She currently stars as Kate Reed, a tough litigator-turned-mediator, who is fed up with the bureaucracy and injustice in the US legal system, in the legal drama television series Fairly Legal, since 2011.
Shahi was born in Euless, Texas, to an Iranian father and Spanish mother, Abbas and Mahmonir Jahansouz Shahi. She attended Trinity High School and Dallas' Southern Methodist University, majoring in English and Opera.
Shahi started her career as a beauty queen during her teen years. She won the Miss Fort Worth USA pageant in 1997. She joined the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 1999-2000 squad and appeared on the cover of their 2000 calendar.
While working as an extra on the set of Dr. T and the Women, she met director Robert Altman, who encouraged her to move to Hollywood. Sarah then moved to Los Angeles.
Once in L.A., she got various recurrent roles in several famous series, such as Alias, in which she played Jenny, and Dawson's Creek, playing Sadia Shaw. Shahi was also the first ghost in Supernatural, the paranormal drama series.
She is best known for her role as the Mexican-American DJ Carmen de la Pica Morales in the Showtime drama television series The L Word, which she joined in its second season. Sarah did not renew her contract with the L Word for a fourth season, and consequently her character was written out.
She also appeared in HBO's The Sopranos, in the Season 6 episode "Kennedy and Heidi," as Sonya Aragon, a stripper and college student who spends a weekend with Tony after a death in his family.
Although uncredited by most sources, Sarah also appeared in Jackie Chan movie Rush Hour 3 as one of the girls being handcuffed along with Mia Tyler by Chris Tucker, for a motoring offence early in the film.
Sarah speaks English, Persian and some Spanish, and has a brown belt in Karate.
Sarah's currently starring as one of the leads alongside Damian Lewis in the drama series Life, which started airing in the U.S. in late September 2007, and which has been renewed for a second season for the Fall of 2008.
She is of Iranian and Spanish descent and a great-great-granddaughter of the 19th century Persian Shah Fath Ali Shah Qajar by Begom Khanom (daughter of Hossein Qoli Khan Afshar, niece of Begom Khanom, daughter of Emam Qoli Khan Afshar), through their son Jahansouz Shah.
Shahi was named #90 on the Maxim magazine "Hot 100 of 2005" list; she moved up to #66 in 2006.
Shahi is in a relationship with actor Steve Howey, who starred as Van in the comedy show Reba. Her acting coach is Bill Howey, Steve's father.