Iranian-born actress Shohreh Aghdashloo captured critical acclaim in "The Stoning of Soraya M." (2009), a wrenching film about an Iranian woman framed for adultery and sentenced to stoning under an archaic Islamic law. Aghdashloo has made a name for herself playing numerous ethnic roles in film and television, most recognizably as an undercover Muslim terrorist on FOX's "24," which outraged many Muslim-Americans. Aghdashloo later countered in a Time magazine interview that though she previously had resisted stereotypical Muslim terrorist roles, the "strength and complexity" of the "24" character convinced her to take the part. She played opposite Ben Kingsley in "House of Sand and Fog" (2003).
Aghdashloo began acting in her 20s and starred in numerous Iranian films, but left the country for England to study following the 1979 revolution. After she completed her education, she moved to Los Angeles to continue her film and TV career. Proud of her Iranian and Muslim heritage, Aghdashloo continues to take complex roles that push the envelope of cultural and religious perceptions (she played the Jewish character Elizabeth in "The Nativity Story"). Aghdashloo is only moving up in Hollywood—she just scored her first Emmy for her supporting role in the HBO miniseries, "House of Saddam."