Shaun Toub
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Tehran, Iran
6' 1½" (1.87 m)
Famous for:
His roles in the TV films “Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing” (1997) and “Live from Baghdad” (2002)
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“I take jobs as they are. I don't pay too much attention. I've been doing this for 20 years now. You kind of get immune to it in a sense that you don't want to get too excited too early on because you never know how it's going to turn out.” Shaun Toub (on moving from independent films to blockbusters)

An actor since the late 1980s, Shaun Toub, who was born in Iran and raised in Europe before eventually settling in the U.S., is known for his ability of portraying somewhat untrustworthy or villainous characters and for often being cast in cultural roles. He has acquired praise for several of his appearances in more than 100 television episodes, including “Married with Children,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “ER,” “Seinfeld,” “Charmed,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “The Sopranos,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “The District,” “Smith” and “Lost.” He also had roles in the TV films “Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing” (1997) and “Live from Baghdad” (2002), to name a few, and appeared in the miniseries “The Path to 9/11” (2006). On the big screen, Toub is probably best remembered for playing a Persian store owner in the Academy Award winning film “Crash” (2004). He has also acted in the high profile movies “Bad Boys” (1995), “The Nativity Story” (2006), “The Kite Runner” (2007), “Charlie Wilson's War” (2006), “Iron Man” (2008), and the John Woo thriller “Broken Arrow” (1996). Moviegoers should look forward to his performance in the upcoming film “The Last Airbender” (2010), which is an adaptation of the TV series “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

Toub, who is of Persian Jewish background, has been actively involved in the Iranian Jewish community. He tirelessly encourages the community to embrace the arts through public speaking and charity events. Toub has been honored with the Shepard award at the Los Angeles Sephardic Film Festival.


Childhood and Family:

Shaun Toub was born in Tehran, Iran, but was raised in Manchester, England. His family left Iran before the 1979 revolution. When he was 14 years old, he relocated to Switzerland, but moved again after two years to Nashua, New Hampshire, where he finished his last year of high school. Currently living in Los Angeles, California, Shaun previously attended the University of Southern California. He also studied for a few years in Massachusetts.

Shaun enjoys music, sports and outdoor activities.

The Last Airbender


Shaun Toub entered show business in 1988 when he landed a two episode role on the police drama “Hunter.” He followed it up with appearances in the TV films “Out of Time” (1988, starred Bruce Abbott and Bill Maher), “Glitz” (1988, based on a novel by Elmore Leonard), and “Dark Holiday” (1989).

The thespian built a prolific career throughout the 1990s. Among his approximately 40 projects, he guest starred in the television shows “Columbo,” “Matlock,” “Dragnet,” “Gabriel's Fire” (all 1990), “Under Cover,” “In the Heat of the Night” (both 1991), “Bodies of Evidence” (1993), “Living Single,” “Cafe Americain,” “One West Waikiki,” “Married with Children” (all 1994), “Ellen,” “JAG” (both 1995), “Sisters,” “Nash Bridges” (both 1996), “Sliders,” “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “ER,” “Seinfeld,” “The Visitor” (all 1997), “Early Edition,” “Cybill,” “Soldier of Fortune, Inc.” (all 1998), and “Just Shoot Me” (1999). He also played Mahmood in two episodes of USA Network's police drama “Pacific Blue” (1996-1997) and was memorable for his portrayal of Asabi in several episodes of the based-on-comic book action series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” a role he played from 1993 to 1997. Toub also acted in several television films, including “Before the Storm” (1991), “Desperate Rescue: The Cathy Mahone Story” (1993, starred Mariel Hemingway and Clancy Brown), “Suddenly” (1996, starred Kirstie Alley and Jason Beghe), “Path to Paradise: The Untold Story of the World Trade Center Bombing” (1997, opposite Peter Gallagher, Marcia Gay Harden and Mike Starr) and “D.R.E.A.M. Team” (1999, as Prince Ali Saleed).

The Manchester-reared actor made his big screen acting debut as a sleeping guard in the 1993 comedy “Hot Shots! Part Deux,” which starred Charlie Sheen and Lloyd Bridges. He resurfaced in Michael Bay's “Bad Boys” in 1995 and “Steel Sharks,” an independent film starring Gary Busey, in 1996 before receiving the important supporting role of Max in the John Woo-directed thriller “Broken Arrow” (also 1996). Costars in the film included John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Delroy Lindo, and Bob Gunton. He was next seen in “Executive Decision” (1996, starred Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, John Leguizamo and Oliver Platt), “Out to Sea” (1997, starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) and “Stigmata” (1999, with Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce and Nia Long).

Toub maintained a busy career in the new decade. Opening the new millennium with a guest appearance in the Peter Dobson-Melora Hardin series “Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family” (2000), he earned some notice with his recurring roles as triad member #3 on the WB's popular supernatural drama “Charmed,” a role he had from October to November 2000, and Boris in the CBS police drama “The District” (2 episodes, 2001). He also appeared in guest spots in “Malcolm in the Middle,” “The Sopranos,” “Son of the Beach,” “Special Unit 2,” “The Division” (all 2001), “She Spies” (2002) and “The Agency” (2003) before returning to the CBS soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” in 2005 to reprise his 1994 two-episode arc of Moustafa.

Meanwhile, on the movie front, Toub starred as Dr. Darius Armin in the drama “Maryam” (2002), which won the director Ramin Serry an Emerging Filmmaker Award at the 2000 St. Louis International Film Festival and a Golden Reel Award for Best Film at the 2002 Tiburon International Film Festival, appeared with Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham Carter in Mick Jackson's “Live from Baghdad” (HBO, 2002), acted in the impressive short film “Underground” (2003), and costarred with Michelle Williams and John Diehl in Wim Wenders' “Land of Plenty” (2004). It was his performance as Farhad, a Persian store owner who is afraid for his safety, in the successful movie “Crash” (2004) that brought the actor critical acclaim. Directed and written by Paul Haggis, the film won three Oscars, including Best Picture, and many other awards and nominations.

After “Crash,” Toub supported Keisha Castle-Hughes, Oscar Isaac and Shohreh Aghdashloo in New Line Cinema's “The Nativity Story” (2006), which was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, appeared in Marc Forster's “The Kite Runner” (2007), which was adapted from the 2003 Khaled Hosseini novel of the same name, and worked in the Tom Hanks starring vehicle “Charlie Wilson's War” (2006), directed by Mike Nichols. On the small screen, he was featured with Harvey Keitel, Michael Benyaer, Shirley Douglas, Dan Lauria, Michael Murphy and Stephen Root in the Emmy Award winning miniseries “The Path to 9/11” (2006), played Jerry in three episodes of the John Wells-created series “Smith” (2006-2007) and made a guest appearance in the ABC hit “Lost” (2007).

In 2008, after guest starring in “Navy NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service,” Toub costarred with Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Faran Tahir and former “Crash” costar Terrence Howard in the Marvel Comics adaptation “Iron Man” (2008), where he portrayed Yinsen. Helmed by Jon Favreau, the movie received primarily positive reviews from critics and was a box office success. Back to television, he appeared in the pilot of “The Mentalist” (2008) and recently could be seen in episodes of “The Unit” and “Chuck” (both 2009).

The busy actor will play Uncle Iroh in “The Last Airbender,” an upcoming fantasy film directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. A live action movie adaptation of the first season of the animated television series “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” it is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on July 2, 2010, and in the U.K. on August 6, 2010. The film will star Noah Ringer, Nicola Peltz, Jackson Rathbone and Dev Patel.


  • Los Angeles Sephardic Film Festival: Shepard award

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