Naji, Reza (born December 26, 1942, Tabriz)
As a child, Reza Naji dreamed of becoming an actor and took part in different Street Plays in pursuit of this dream.
He, however, chose to work as a mechanic as an adult and worked in this field for a few years before joining the Air Force.
From there he became involved in professional acting, playing the lead role in a play directed by Javad Derakhshan.
It was director Majidi’s 'Children of Heaven' (1996) which brought Naji nationwide fame and following this success, he appeared in several movies including 'The Birth of a Butterfly' (1997) and 'Baran' (2000).
In 2007, he starred in another one of Majidi’s films 'Song of Sparrows' (2007) and delivered an astonishing and outstanding performance which brought him worldwide fame and won him several nominations and awards.
Since finding fame, Naji has continued his film and TV series career in works like 'Baran' (2000), 'Kandelous Gardens' (2004), 'Wind Winding Through the Meadow' (2007), 'On Foot' (2008), 'The Forgotten' (2009), 'Waves and Cliffs' (2010), 'Wake Up' (2011) and 'Ziba and I' (2011).
Some of his nominations and awards are: best actor nomination in the first Iran Cinema Celebration for 'Children of Heaven', best male actor in a supporting role nomination in the 19th Fajr International Festival for 'Baran' (2000), juries special honor in the 22nd Fajr International Film Festival for 'Him' (2003) and the silver bear for best actor in the 58th Berlin Film Festival for 'Song of Sparrows' (2007).