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Azita Ghanizada stars in "Alphas" on Syfy as Rachel Mizrahi, a pretty and timid girl in her early twenties, and sheltered from society by her traditional, overtly religious parents. Mizrahi also is an Alpha—an everyday person with a very special mental ability known as an "Alpha Skill." Her talent is that of a "synesthete," which allows her to enhance one sense while rendering her remaining senses temporarily useless—leaving her vulnerable to danger.

Azita Ghanizada can also be seen guest-starring in 2011 on NBC's new series "Friends with Benefits" as Tasi. The comedy follows five single friends as they search for love, but settle for less in the meantime. Her previous recognizable roles include guest-starring alongside Chris O'Donnell and LL Cool J as Rochelle Stanton in "NCIS: Los Angeles," as Mistress Sapphire in "Castle," as Mina on "Psych" in 2009, and as Kelly in "Entourage" in 2009.

Ghanizada previously starred on SOAPnet's "General Hospital: Night Shift" as Dr. Saira Batra, a holistic specialist and friend of Dr. Robin Scorpio's from medical school. Dr. Batra came to GH to launch a special program on Alternative Medicine, but she gets more than she bargained for when she meets the stubborn Dr. Leo Julian.

In 2004, Azita portrayed the lead role of Chiara in the short film "A Kiss on the Nose," a performance for which she received multiple film festival Best Actress nominations. Her numerous television guest-starring credits include roles on "NCIS: Los Angeles," "Ghost Whisperer," "Psych," "Entourage," "How I Met Your Mother," "Veronica Mars," "The Wedding Bells," "Numb3rs," "The Closer" and "Bones." She also had a supporting role in the science fiction action feature "Blood Shot," and the independent film comedy, "X's and O's."

Ghanizada is also a surviving Afghani refugee with an incredible story of cultural backlash, framed by her insistence on survival, education and rebellion. Ghanizada and her family fled to the United States to escape war-time conflicts and to seek a life of fewer cultural boundaries. Her multi-ethnic background and her mother's love of Bollywood films exposed her to a world of international music and filmmaking. Azita's first acting experience was portraying Mother Goose at the young age of 4. Continuing in drama throughout high school, she developed a passion for acting and storytelling. As her family insisted on a career in political journalism, Ghanizada achieved her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and communications from Virginia Tech. Years later, she moved to Los Angeles and began studying at The Groundling's, The Stella Adler Consevatory and Playhouse West.

After 9/11, Ghanizada was also able to obtain her passport, allowing her to pursue her acting career with confidence and to finally give back to the organizations that assist women and refugees, much like her, on a worldwide basis. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), or the U.N. Refugee Agency, is one such organization that she remains passionate about as reflected in her participation. The agency's primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees.

Today, a staff of some 6,600 people in more than 110 countries continues to help about 34 million persons. She recently became an active supporter of Women for Women, an organization that provides women survivors of war, civil strife, etc., with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. This is accomplished by enrolling women in their one-year program so they can come to understand their rights and learn how to fight for those rights in their homes, their communities and their nations and become leaders. Most recently, Ghanizada helped lead the Women for Women march on behalf of the 100th Anniversary of Women's Day International.|

Ghanizada currently resides in Los Angeles, and as an avid health enthusiast, she regularly practices Pilates, runs, and ensures herself a "clean food" diet. She counts literature as her first love, and sites poets Rumi, Hafiz, Bukowski, Cummings, Anais Nin and Whitman as her favorites. The actress is the middle sister of three and has broken into the limelight as the first Afghani actress to gain notice in Hollywood.


Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
Hometown: Washington, DC

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