Photos with Jay Abdo
Jay Abdo is a Syrian American actor based in Los Angeles. He was born in 1962 in Damascus. Jay was fascinated with acting from early age. He found himself transported by films as widely ranging as Dr. Zhivago, The Godfather and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. His first experience with performance came when he proved to be a talented concert violinist in primary school, an experience that served to further his passion for the performing arts. He was awarded a scholarship to Cluj-Napoca, Romania to study Civil Engineering, and while there he began acting on the Romanian stage. Read more... a newly learned language, Jay made a remarkable impression upon the theater critics, and positive reviews followed. His success on the stage caused him to redirect his educational ambitions and he soon returned to Damascus, which is widely considered the Hollywood of the Arab world, to study acting at the prestigious Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts. In the year after his graduation, Jay was named one of the ten most promising actors in Syria and the Arab world, and he has been cast for starring roles ever since. To date, Jay has appeared in more than 40 Syrian films and over 1000 episodes of television, most often in the leading role. He has taken the stage in over 20 theatrical runs, performing in English, Spanish, Romanian and Arabic. Jay is a grassroots activist who has long used his fame to assist orphans, children with special needs, and children stricken with cancer. In March 2011 his refusal to publicly support the repressive regime led to personal threats and professional pressure, and he was soon assumed to be sympathetic with the Syrian freedom seekers. By late 2011, Jay's continued refusal to provide support to the regime left him with no option but to leave his fame behind and flee Syria to the United States where his wife, Fadia Afashe, was studying as a Humphrey fellow at the University of Minnesota. Upon his wife completing her coursework, Jay and she moved to Los Angeles, where he began rebuilding his career from scratch. He worked as driver and pizza delivery. Then Booking a few supporting roles in the first year, till he met Werner Herzog, who has cast him to play 'Fattuh', a major role opposite Nicole Kidman in Mr. Herzog's film, "Queen of the Desert". Jay then booked another role with Tom Hanks at "A Hologram for the King".