Famous Baha’is

Religious Leaders:
Bahá’u’lláh – Baha’u’llah was the founder and Prophet of the Baha’i Faith
‘Abdu’l-Bahá – Abdu’l-Baha was the son and successor of Bahá’u’lláh, “Center of the Covenant”
Shoghi Effendi – the Guardian (leader after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)
The Bab – foreruner to Baha’u’llah

Rulers and Politicians:
Queen Marie of Romania – first crowned ruler to embrace Baha’i Faith (not officially enrolled, but a Baha’i at heart, whose devotion is expressed in her letters published in Priceless Pearl)
King Malietoa Tanumafili II – king of Western Samoa
Cynthia Shepard Perry – US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, West Africa and Burundi during Bush administration
David Kelly – British Ministry of Defence (MoD); expert in biological warfare; former UN weapons inspector in Iraq; uncovered Iraq’s former biological weapons program; Nobel Peace Prize nominee

Dizzy Gillespie – Jazz musician (trumpet player)
Jim Seals and Dash Crofts – “Seals & Crofts” songwriting/musician duo (soft rock); best known for “Summer Breeze” and “Get Closer”; Also: “We May Never Pass This Way Again”
Charles Wolcott – film composer; former MGM and Disney Studios Music Director; 3 Academy Awards
Dan Seals – country and western singer
Affe Adel – singer/songwriter with chart-topping hits in the U.S. and U.K.
James Moody – Jazz saxophonist
Vic Damone – jazz singer
Tierney Sutton – jazz singer
Flora Purim – leading Brazilian jazz singer
Fayard Nicholas – singer (of the Nicholas Brothers)
Red Grammer – Grammy Award-winning singer
Jamie Findlay – guitarist
Francin Astani – French pianist
Marc Ochu – classical pianist
Lasse Thoresen – Norwegian classical music composer
Russell Garcia – film composer whose credits include The Time Machine (1960); orchestrator
Carol Bernhardt – classical oboist

Film and Television:
Omid Djalili – ethnic Iranian stand-up comedian and actor in England; has done major U.S.-based acting also, incl. co-starring as “Nasim” on Whoopie (network TV sitcom) and movie roles such as in “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”
Earl Cameron – Bermudan born veteran TV/film actor; The Interpreter (2005); Thunderball (1965); The Message (1976); etc.
O. Z. Whitehead – film and television actor; The Grapes of Wrath (1940), etc.
Alex Rocco – actor (“The Godfather”; “The Wedding Planner”, etc.)
David Hofman – actor, “Voice of the BBC”
Carole Lombard – actress, movie star
Lois Hall – actress
Eva La Rue – actress
Oscar DeGruy – actor
Anthony Azizi – actor (FOX TV series “24”, etc.)
Lloyd Haynes – actor, star of TV series Room 222
Justin Baldoni – actor; CBS TV movie Spring Break Shark Attack; etc.
Phillip Hinton – Australian actor; American exposure includes guest roles in The Flood, The Thornbirds – the Missing Years, Tanker Incident, Time Trax and Flipper
Beverley Evans – Australian actor; has had regular roles in Australian series A Country Practice, Blue Heelers, Janus, Phoenix and Mercury
Rainn Wilson – actor: Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006); Almost Famous (2000); Galaxy Quest (1999); America’s Sweethearts (2001); Sahara (2005); received Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series from Screen Actors Guild Award for Six Feet Under in 2001) [see American Baha’i 23 November 2005]

Cathy Freeman – Olympic gold medal-winning runner; star of 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia; an Aboriginal Australian and advocate of Aboriginal rights
Khalil Greene – professional baseball player; shortstop for the San Diego Padres
Bill Sears – sports announcer and TV personality
Nelson Evora – Portuguese Olympic triple jumper
Miles Kasiri – English tennis player

Robert Hayden – poet; first black American to be appointed as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (later called the Poet Laureate)
Ogden Nash – poet
Roger White – poet (Another Song, Another Season: Poems and Portrayals; Occasions of Grace: More Poems and Portrayals and The Witness of Pebbles )
Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff – fantasy novelist
Juliet Thompson – American playwright and author; wrote I, Magdalene

Mark Tobey – renowned abstract painter; founder of the “New York School” of abstract painting (according to Woodman)
Duffy Sheridan – painter
Roger Bansemer – artist
Bernard Leach – preeminent British potter
Ashraf Geibatov – Azerbaijani painter
Sara Hatch – artist
William Sutherland Maxwell – one of Canada’s premier architects and a leading figure in the arts societies of Montreal
Kevin Locke – Native Amerian hoop dancer

Academics and Non-Fiction Authors:
Alain Locke – American philosopher; multiculturalist; listed in The Black 100 as the 36th most influential African American in history
Guy Murchie – writer of science and philosophy books, incl: The Seven Mysteries of Life; Music of the Spheres; Song of the Sky
Dorothy Marcic – author of Managing with the Wisdom of Love
Thomas Kelly Cheyne – Biblical scholar; important English language pioneer of the “higher criticism” of the Bible
August Forel – scientist; b. 1848; remembered primarily for studies of social behavior of ants and other insects; published studies in legal psychiatry, mental health
Dwight Allen – Professor of Educational Reform at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia; co-author with Bill Cosby of American Schools: The 100 Billion Dollar Challenge
Linda Kavelin Popov – co-author of The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves, about teaching spiritual qualities to children, and other books

Suheil Bushrui – scholar; peace activist; holds Baha’i Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland
Layli Miller-Muro – founder of The Tahirih Justice Center; helped Fauziya Kassindja gain assylum in U.S.; co-wrote Fauziya’s book Do They Hear You When You Cry?
Patricia Locke – (1928-2001) inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003, worked for decades to preserve American Indian languages
Richard St. Barbe-Baker – world-famous environmentalist; founder of “The Men of the Trees”

Notable Promoters of the Baha’i Faith:
Lydia Zamenhof – daughter of Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof, the originator of Esperanto; promoter and user of Esperanto and translator of many Baha’i writings; a.k.a. Lidia Zamenhof
Martha Root – celebrated Baha’i speaker, world traveller, and Esperantist
Louis Gregory – lawyer and influential early Baha’i; first African-American to be named a Hand of the Cause of God. His childhood home in Charleston, SC is now a public museum devoted to his memory and his dedication to the cause of race unity.