Sarah Shahi was born Aahoo Jahansouz in Euless, Texas, to an Iranian father and Spanish mother. She is a former National Football League cheerleader and a great-great-granddaughter of the 19th-century Persian Shah Fath Ali Shah Qajar by Begom Khanom.
Her lineage on the latter side could be traced to a 19th-century shah - in Euless, TX on Jan. 10, 1980, Shahi was an overachiever at an early age, participating in sports and beauty pageants, training as an opera singer, and earning a brown belt in karate.
While exploring that venue, Shahi joined up with the iconic Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders from 1999-2000, ending up as the first rookie to ever grace the cover of their calendar. During this time, she also appeared in layouts for Muscle and Fitness and Curve magazines, and toured the Balkans and Southern Europe as part of the U.S.O.
She relocated to Los Angeles and began working almost immediately in television and film. Shahi graduated quickly from bit parts, to recurring roles on series like "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06) and "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1999-2003). A turn in the 2003 theatrical comedy "Old School" also earned her numerous male fans, after she gave an impressive pantomime of oral sex.