Fresh Faces

Nazanin Boniadi


Nazanin Boniadi is an Iranian-born British-American actress best known for her role as Leyla Mir in "General Hospital." She  was born in Tehran at the height of the Iranian Revolution; her parents relocated to London shortly thereafter.

Ms. Boniadi moved to the United States where she earned a bachelor's degree with honors in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. At UCI, she won the Chang Pin-Chun Undergraduate Research Award for molecular research involving cancer treatment and heart transplant rejection. She was also Assistant Editor-in-Chief of "MedTimes," UCI's undergraduate medical newspaper.

A photo posted by Nazanin Boniadi (@nazaninboniadi) on

Ms. Boniadi changed career path from medicine and started pursuing acting in 2006 where she took the role of Leyla Mir on the Emmy Award-winning daytime drama "General Hospital" and its SOAPnet spin-off series "General Hospital: Night Shift," making her the first contract actor to play a Middle Eastern character in American daytime television history. She is also the first Iranian-born actress to ever be on contract on an American soap opera. She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 2008 for that role.

A photo posted by Nazanin Boniadi (@nazaninboniadi) on

She has also played supporting roles in several major Hollywood film productions, such as "Charlie Wilson's War" directed by Mike Nichols, "Iron Man" directed by Jon Favreau, and "The Next Three Days" directed by Paul Haggis.

Ms. Boniadi played Nora, a love interest for Neil Patrick Harris' character Barney Stinson, on the sixth, seventh and ninth season of the hit CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." In May 2013, she joined the cast of "Homeland" as CIA analyst Fara Sherazi in season three. She was promoted to series regular for the show's fourth season. She also appeared in an eight-episode arc on season three of "Scandal" as antagonist Adnan Salif. She will portray Esther in the 2016 remake of "Ben-Hur."

A photo posted by Nazanin Boniadi (@nazaninboniadi) on

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