Return to Ocean of Pearls Press Kits

Actor Bios

Omid Abtahi

Omid Abtahi was born in Iran and lived there and later in Europe before moving to the United States while he was a child with his family.

Since arriving to Los Angeles, Omid has been a series regular on FX's "Over There" and Showtime's "Sleeper Cell". Omid also appeared in the film "Mysteries of Pittsburgh" which premiered at Sundance in 2008. He starred alongside Peter Saarsgard, Nick Nolte, Jon Foster, and SiennaMiller.

Before acting on television Abtahi performed on stage in many theatrical productions including Fraulein Else at the Berkeley Repertory, McCarter Theatre and Longwarf Theatre; Adoration of the Old Woman at the Sundance Theatre Lab and Your Everyday Typical Romantic Comedy at the Kennedy Centre. He has also guest starred on the television series JAG, Judging Amy and 24. Abtahi has recently filmed the movies Running With Scissors, which he co-stars along with Annette Bening and Gwyneth Paltrow. The film was released in 2006.

While preparing for the role of Pvt. Tariq Nassiri on the action / drama / war television series Over There, Abtahi learned how to speak Arabic and studied Middle Eastern culture.

Omid recently finished shooting Brothers, a film directed by Jim Sheridan. The film is set for release in December of 2008. In it, he stars alongside Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal. This summer, you can also hear Omid as the voice of Dr. Jagu in Vanguard Animation's "Space Chimps" starring the voices of Andy Samberg, Jeff Daniels, and Stanley Tucci.

Omid holds a special place for Oceans of Pearls in his heart. It was truly an incredible experience for Omid, as he has made friends he will cherish for the rest of his life.

Heather McComb

By the age of 21, Heather McComb had already amassed a resume that many of her peers would envy. A child actor who successfully made the transition to more adult roles, the attractive New Jersey native began her career at age two appearing in a TV commercial for Publisher's Clearing House. Other advertisements and the occasional TV role followed.

A pre-teen McComb made an auspicious film debut as the title character in the Francis Ford Coppola-directed "Life With Zoe" segment of "New York Stories" (1989). Shortly thereafter, she and her family moved to California, where the youngster landed her first TV series role as Scout, one of the girls who hangs with "The Outsiders" in that short-lived 1990 Fox drama. (Her older sister Jennifer was also featured on the series). When she appeared in the telefilm "Generation X" in 1996, she became the first actress to portray the X-Men character of Jubilee on screen.

Numerous other guest appearances followed interspersed with the occasional film role (such as playing the daughter of John Ritter and Pam Dawber in the cultish "Stay Tuned" 1992 or a heroin-addicted prostitute in "God's Lonely Man" 1996). A 1996 appearance as the daughter of Robert Davi's FBI agent on NBC's "Profiler" led to a regular role during the 1997-98 season. McComb segued to the recurring role of Maggie, the college roommate who loses her boyfriend to Julia Salinger (Neve Campbell) on Fox's "Party of Five".

She became the wife of actor James Van Der Beek on July 5, 2003.

Ron Canada

Ron Canada began his professional acting career at Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage after achieving acclaim and an Emmy Award in the broadcast news world.

Ron Canada's numerous film credits include the box office smash Wedding Crashers and the critically acclaimed Cinderella Man. Other notable films include National Treasure, The Human Stain, The United States of Leland, and The Hunted. Ron received the Dallas Film Critics Award and significant national attention for his performance as "Otis Payne" in director John Sayles' acclaimed feature film LONE STAR.

Other film appearances include AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT, MAN OF THE HOUSE , HOME ALONE 2 and ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING . Ron also had leading roles in ABOVE SUSPICION with Christopher Reeve and Joe Mantegna and LAST OF THE FINEST with Brian Dennehy.

A veteran of many movies for television, Ron starred in REVERSIBLE ERRORS , THE APARTMENT COMPLEX , NICK FURY: AGENT OF SHIELD ,BEFORE HE WAKES and CLOVER.

His television experience includes appearances on BOSTON LEGAL, WEEDS, THE WEST WING, ONE ON ONE, as well as on the F/X award winning series THE SHIELD, as Flex Alexander's father. Other TV credentials include recurring roles for Steven Bochco in PHILLY, MURDER ONE, CITY OF ANGELS and NYPD BLUE. Guest appearances include FRASIER, MURPHY BROWN, ELLEN, GRACE UNDER FIRE and STAR TREK (both THE NEXT GENERATION and DEEP SPACE NINE).

On stage, Ron starred as "Lago" opposite Patrick Stewart's "Othello" in an acclaimed and provocative production of the play at the National Shakespeare Theater of Washington, DC. Having worked extensively in the American theater, Ron won a Dramalogue Award for Outstanding Performance for his work in THE BOYS NEXT DOOR. He has starred in Los Angeles productions of MACBETH, MISS JULIE and Romulus Linney's LOVE SUICIDE AT SCHOFIELD BARRACKS. The latter two productions played at The Odyssey Theater. He performed at The Mark Taper Forum in THE TASK and PRIVATE BATTLE. At San Diego's Old Globe Theater, Ron originated the role of "Joe Louis" in the world premiere of MR. RICKEY CALLS A MEETING and was the second actor in the country to play "Troy Maxon" in August Wilson's FENCES for The GeVa Theater, while James Earl Jones was performing it in Chicago. Other favorite roles include the title role in SIZWE BANZI IS DEAD (San Jose Rep.), "Midge Carter" in I'M NOT RAPPAPORT (Cincinnati Playhouse) and every Shakespearean role he has ever performed.

Navi Rawat
Born in Malibu, California, Navi is an American actress of Indian and German descent. She is a graduate of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Originally interested in writing, she later turned to acting and decided to make a move to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She quickly landed her her first acting job on television, as a guest in a February 2000 episode of the WB teen dramedy series "Popular."

She is best known for her role as Theresa Diaz on the hit drama The O.C. and Amita Ramanujan on Numb3rs. She had a guest role as Melanie in the first season of 24. Her acting career in film includes the sci-fi Thoughtcrimes (2003). She landed her first film role, as Ruby, in writer/director Bobby Roth's drama comedy, Jack the Dog then appeared in the Project Greenlight film Feast (2005) and the indie romantic comedy Loveless in Los Angeles (2006). She has also had smaller roles including playing Dana, a psychotic vampire slayer, on the Buffy spinoff, Angel. She also appeared in an episode of the sci-fi teen drama series "Roswell" and played a role in the made-for-television movie The Princess & the Marine.

In 2003, Rawat was cast alongside Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly in Vadim Perelman's Oscar-nominated film adaptation of Andre Dubus III's 1999 novel, House of Sand and Fog. In the highly-praised film, she played the daughter of an Iranian (Persian) immigrant father (played by Kingsley). Recently, Rawat played an Indian girl in Glasgow Phillips' comedic Western/suspense horror movie, Undead or Alive: a Zombedy, alongside Chris Kattan, James Denton, Chris Coppola and Billy Zane.

She appeared in the TV movie version of John Grisham's book, The Street Lawyer. Rawat continued working in films. She played a role in writer/director Ron Carlson's comedy Tom 51 and Jason Winer's 15-minute comedy The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friend (starring Hayes MacArthur and Jason Winer; both in 2005), in which she played an exotic ethnic woman.

Adding to her TV and film works, Rawat also has worked on stage. Her theater works including "The Maids," "The Bald Soprano," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Savage Love" and "Much Ado About Nothing."

Ajay Mehta
Ajay Mehta was born in New Delhi, India & educated in two of the most prestigious institutions there-- Mayo College [boarding school] & St. Stephens College, Delhi University. He attributes his acting talent genes to his parents, particularly his father Lt. Col. Baij Nath Mehta, a war hero declared Missing in Action in 1962 while commanding the 1st Sikh Regiment against the Chinese Aggression in N.E. India. Ajay's father enjoyed acting, directing & writing playlets as an army officer & he believes he is blessed with his father's looks, voice and personality and was born to act.

After university Ajay moved to Hong Kong. While there, he did continuity announcing & scriptwriting for HK TVB Pearl-English, cameos in TV dramas & Commercials, TV & Print. He made his U.S. Primetime TV debut in 1989 on NBC's Around the World in 80 Days' opposite Sir Peter Ustinov. The scene was shot in Hong Kong & then Ajay made his way to New York City.

Ajay's versatility and range as an actor, be it drama or comedy has enabled him to play memorable characters on Primetime Television in Recurring Guest Starring roles; A Middle Eastern Ambassador on "24" & a neurosurgeon on "Eli Stone". Guest Stars on "NCIS" as an Iranian doctor & spy, A Pakistani General " The E-Ring", a Gas station owner " Without a Trace", a diplomat/business tycoon "Strong Medicine", as a surgeon "Nip/Tuck", several doctor roles on drama/comedy shows like " CSI-New York" ,"Queens Supreme" ,"The Education of Max Bickford", "Law & Order-SVU", "Soulman", a Saudi oil billionaire "The Street", a sleazy corporate CEO "The Sopranos", a diamond dealer "Law & Order/Criminal Intent", and a Sultan's Aide "The Nanny" & a undocumented immigrant on "Tracey Ullman's-State of the Union".

Ajay's film roles have enabled him to work with some of the biggest names in the industry; 'Looking for comedy in the Muslim world' [w Albert Brooks], ' People I Know' (w/ Al Pacino), 'Spiderman '(w/ director Sam Raimi), and ' Serendipity' (w/ Molly Shannon & Kate Beckinsale). In 2008 Ajay will appear in five films from drama to comedy namely 'Lakeview Terrace', 'Superhero!', 'Ocean of Pearls' ,'Ode' & 'Ashes'.

Ajay made his theatrical debut in Manhattan Theatre Club's critically acclaimed production, "East is East''. He has done several TV commercials and his mellifluous voice has been used in dozens of voiceovers for TV & Radio spots.

Todd Babcock

Todd was born in Jackson, Michigan. He became involved in theatre in High School and then in the various community theatre groups of the area. Attending Jackson Community College he gained more experience, then transferred to Michigan State University and graduated with a degree in theatre. He continued with theatre groups in various places, including summer stock, the Purple Rose Theatre and with student friends down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

After a while Todd decided to make the big move and try Hollywood. For the last five years he has worked hard and managed to make an impression into the tough skin of the Hollywood world.

Prior to his work on Voyager, Babcock made appearances on another science fiction series, Sliders (starring John Rhys-Davies, as well as the cult series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the sitcom Frasier (the latter starring Kelsey Grammer). He also appeared in Theodore Rex, a direct-to-video release starring Whoopi Goldberg and Stephen McHattie, and the 1996 TV movie What Love Sees, with Fran Bennett and Tim Halligan. He even starred in a Chinese film called A Time to Remember (never released in the US). Perhaps most notably, he had a supporting role in the Academy Award-winning 1998 film Gods and Monsters. Todd also portrayed Ensign Mulcahey on Star Trek: Voyager in 1998. After Voyager and an appearance on the TV show Legacy with Casey Biggs, he became a regular during the first season of MTV's Undressed in 1999.

Since then, Babcock has acted primarily in films. He had a small role in the 2001 drama Role of a Lifetime, starring Scott Bakula and Harry Groener and also featuring Joel Brooks and Frank Novak. That same year, he could be briefly seen as a party guest in the blockbuster remake of Planet of the Apes, also featuring Erick Avari, Michael Jace, Anne Ramsay, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and David Warner. In 2002 he had a supporting role, along with the aforementioned Joel Brooks, in the independent feature Now You Know. In 2004 he co-starred with Brian Brophy and Maureen Flannigan in the controversial sleeper hit A Day Without a Mexican. And in 2005 he co-starred with James Avery in the thriller Lethal Eviction. He also starred in several short films.

He did continue taking on television roles, however; he made several appearances in the soap opera Days of Our Lives in 2003, and in 2005, he worked with John Larroquette on the TV movie McBride: The Doctor Is Out... Really Out. He also made guest appearances on Close to Home (starring John Carroll Lynch, in an episode with Thomas Kopache, Faith Salie and Todd Waring), Cold Case (with K Callan and Steve Vinovich) and Grey's Anatomy. Also, Babcock recently completed work on several projects, including the horror movie Plane Dead with Erick Avari and Tucker Smallwood and the drama Ocean of Pearls.

Dennis Haskins
Dennis Haskins was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Before pursuing a television career, Dennis worked as a music manager, agent and concert promoter. Among his customers were 'Tom Jones' and Greg Allman. He wrote a guide for actors called "Rating the Agents". On screen he had guest roles in series like "Twilight Zone, The" (1985) and "Magnum, P.I." (1980) and many more. He's best known for his role as principal "Mr. Belding" for the teen shows "Saved by the Bell", "Saved by the Bell: The New Class", and "Good Morning, Miss Bliss".

In the mid-1980s, Haskins was a contestant on Scrabble hosted by Chuck Woolery. He has also made guest appearances on a variety of TV series, including The Dukes of Hazzard, 7th Heaven and JAG. Most recently, he appeared in an episode of FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Haskins has recently been touring college and high school campuses throughout the country for question-and-answer presentations as well as autograph-signing. His presentation embraces his Saved by the Bell character and he claims he remains good friends with several members of the cast. Recent visits include Titusville High School in Pennsylvania to speak with its drama club and the 2007 Springfest at Washington State University, and many others.

KT Thangavelu

A social psychologist by training and a corporate career consultant by trade, KT is an artist at heart.

Exploring the performing arts as a result of a mid-life evaluation in the early 2000s, KT has over 30 TV and film credits. Most recently she worked with Ernest Borgnine in his Golden Globe nominated performance in "A Grandpa for Christmas".

A native of India, KT immigrated to the US in 1983 to pursue doctoral studies at Bryn Mawr College. She is thrilled to represent the Indian sub-continent in the increasingly diverse world of Hollywood.

Rena Owen
Owen became one of New Zealand's most successful and recognizable Actors on the international film platform following her performance as Beth Heke in Once Were Warriors. Her performance earned her Best Actress Awards at the Montreal, Oporto, Seattle, and San Diego Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival's Spirit Award. While in New Zealand she received the Benny Award for Excellence and Contribution to the Industry, and the Toast Master's Communicator of the Year Award.

She began her acting career in London in the mid 80s, trained at the Actors Institute, and worked in British Theater. Highlights include, Voices from Prison for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Co-Existences for the Elephant Theater, and Outside In, which debuted at the Edinburgh Festival and toured London. She worked for two years with a London based Theater Company, Clean Break, who produced the first Play written by Rena The River that Ran Away. Directed by Ann Mitchell, and starring Rena in the lead, it enjoyed a successful London tour, and was later published by NZ Playmarket in 1991.

Television credits include NZ series, Shark in the Park, Betty's Bunch and Cover story, which earned her a TVNZ Best Actress Nomination. One hour TV dramas include, The Call Up, The Visitation and, Savage Play, a BBC/TVNZ mini series. Rena was principal cast of an Australian medical TV series for two seasons, Medivac. In 2000, Rena guest starred in a British TV series, Dark Knight, and in David Kelley's Gideon's Crossing. She also played a lead role in the NZ Aroha Series, Mataora.

Rena's first feature film was a supporting role in the Kevin Costner/Kevin Reynolds, Rapa Nui in 1993. Followed by the lead in Once Were Warriors, voted one of Time Magazine's top 10 films in 1995. Other NZ feature films include, Roimata, I'll Make You Happy, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted and When Love Comes. NZ short films include, Her Iliard, Nine Across, and Hinekaro. Australian feature film credits are Vaudeville House and Dance Me to my Song, which was in competition at the 98 Cannes Film Festival and earned Rena a Best Supporting Actress Nomination at the Australian Film Awards 1999.

In 2000, settled in Los Angeles, continuing to act, as Taun We in George Lucas's Star Wars Episode 2, Attack of the Clones. A cameo role in Steven Speilberg's A.I, a supporting role in a USA Independent action feature, Soul Assassin, shot in Holland. A supporting role in a USA Network Movie of the Week, An All American Girl. She guest starred in WB's Angel, playing a Demi-Goddess called Dinza. A Hit Woman in a Los Angeles short film, Sidney, a Tibetan Nun gone wrong, in a Martial Arts film for Sunset Studios USA. A Psycho Killer in a NZ/Canadian Co-pro, Nemesis Game, set and shot in Toronto. A pre-colonial Warrior Woman in the first Rotuman feature film, The Land Has Eyes, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004. Rena returns as a Senator in the next Star Wars.

Brenda Strong
Brenda Strong can be seen (and heard) as Mary-Alice Young, the recently-departed narrator of ABC's award-winning smash hit "Desperate Housewives."

While Strong's seemingly-perfect character committed suicide in the premiere episode, she starred in several flashback scenes as the mystery surrounding her death unfolded. Her weekly voiceovers provide viewers with insightful commentary from beyond the grave.

Strong will be seen in an upcoming episode of the hit HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and recently starred in the Lifetime telefilm "Family in Hiding." She will also be seen in the upcoming independent films "Ocean of Pearls," "A Plumm Summer" and "You."

Previously, Strong was perhaps most recognizable to television audiences for her role as Sue Ellen Mishkie (a.k.a. "The Braless Wonder") on the award-winning series "Seinfeld." She has also recurred on such acclaimed series as "Nip/Tuck," "Everwood," "Sports Night," "7th Heaven" and "Party of Five." Other television credits include "CSI," "Ally McBeal," "Gilmore Girls" and "ER."

Strong recently starred in the feature films "The Kid and I" with Tom Arnold and "The Work and the Glory 2 & 3" Previous film credits include "Starship Troopers," "The Deep End of the Ocean," "The Craft" and "Spaceballs."

A native of Portland, Oregon, Strong left home to attend Arizona State University, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Musical Theater. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and began landing roles in both television and film.

Strong is a certified yoga instructor and produces and stars in a line of videos designed to help infertile couples through yoga therapy. Additionally, she has taught at UCLA's Mind-Body Institute. The American Fertility Association recently named her their first national spokesperson, because of her work with infertility.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.


Home I About Us I Projects I Auditions I Internships I Contact

copyright 2009 © Sarab Neelam | produced by the graphics department, inc.