was born on the fourth of July, 1955 in Tehran, Iran. She is an actress, director, producer, published author, documentary filmmaker, a classically trained pianist, composer and a human rights activist. She is a descendant of one of the oldest and most prominent Assyrian Christian families from the Middle-East, tracing her Assyrian roots back nearly eleven centuries. The Malek Family was a famous tribe that set roots in the Assyrian village of Geogtapah in the Urmia region of Northwestern Iran.
In the late 18th century, Geogtapah became the setting for the famous tragic love story of Aslee and Karam. Aslee, a young woman from the House of Malek who fell in love with a commoner named Karam. After the two lovers met their untimely death, a stone well was built in Geogtapah as a memorial to Aslee where travelers often stopped to hear the tragic story from the locals that compared to that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In 1912, the Azerbaijani composer, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, composed the Aslee and Karam Opera.
The Malek Family has produced many famous sons and daughters. Rosie's father, George Malek-Yonan, was Iran's Champion of Champions with numerous gold medals in track and field and the pentathlon. He became an international attorney and is credited with securing a seat for the Assyrian Christians as a recognized minority in the Iranian Parliament (Majlis). This was a huge milestone for a nation without a country since the fall of the Assyrian Empire.
Rosie's mother, Lida Malek-Yonan (1928-2002), was a well known humanitarian and activist who tirelessly worked a lifetime demanding rights for minority Assyrian Christian women in Iran and secured their recognition by establishing the Assyrian Women's Organization, the only Assyrian organization officially recognized as a charter member of the Iranian Women's Association.
Rosie's grandparents left their ancestral homeland in Iran, during the Great Exodus from Urmia in 1918 after the Assyrian Genocide. Before WWII, the Malek-Yonan family returned to Tehran where her parents met and were married.
Her sister, Monica, works very closely with her on most of her projects. The sisters were members of the Iranian 1980 Winter Olympic Team but decided not to compete after the Iranian Revolution made it virtually impossible when the new Islamic Government required them to become Muslim, wear scarves and long skirts, and perform without music.
After World War I, Rosie's great-great-uncle, Dr. Jesse Malek-Yonan, represented the Assyrians of Urmia, Iran, at the Paris Peace Talks in 1919.
Rosie began studying classical piano at the age of four and attended the Tehran Conservatory of Music. She won first place in many national piano competitions in Iran and was invited by Queen Farah Pahlavi to play at a Command Performance for the Royal Family.
After receiving her L.C. degree in English from the University of Cambridge, she moved to America and continued studying classical piano with Saul Joseph at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and acting with Ray Reinhardt at the American Conservatory Theatre.
She graduated from San Francisco State University with two degrees in Music and after winning an invitation to study drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she finally moved to Los Angeles. She studied acting at the historic Pasadena Playhouse where she also appeared on the main stage in William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life.
She has directed and written numerous plays that have been produced and performed on stage in Los Angeles to rave reviews.
Rosie made her television debut on the series Dynasty in 1982, immediately followed by a national commercial for AT&T where she spoke in Assyrian (from the Aramaic), a language that years later director Mel Gibson would use in The Passion of the Christ.
Since the early 1980's Rosie has continually appeared on notable television shows, films and plays, acting opposite many of Hollywood's leading actors. She played the role of Nuru Il-Ebrahim, opposite Reese Witherspoon in New Line Cinema's Rendition, by Oscar winning director, Gavin Hood.
She is an outspoken advocate of issues concerning her Assyrian nation, in particular bringing attention to the Assyrian Genocide as well as the plight of today's Assyrians in the Middle-East since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States and its Coalition Forces. She is frequently interviewed on television and radio programs worldwide including Australia's ABC National Radio and publications such as the New York Times, giving her assessment of the current situation of the Assyrians in the Middle-East as well as discussing the topic of the Assyrian Genocide.
Her articles are published globally and translated into many languages. As a public speaker, she is often invited to lectures on the topic of the Assyrian Genocide. She has lectured at University of Berkeley, University of California at Merced and Woodbury University among others as well as at Schools, Churches and Civic Organizations around the globe.
In 2008, she addressed the topic of genocide, world peace and in particular the Assyrian Genocide of 1914-1918 in statements invited to be presented at the House of Lords on 12 March and on 24 April at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.
Rosie Malek-Yonan is the author of The Crimson Field, an historical and literary epic novel, based on real events and true family chronicles set to the backdrop of the Assyrian Genocide of 1914-1918 where 750,000 Assyrians were massacred by the Ottoman Turks, Kurds and Persians in Ottoman Turkey and in the Assyrian inhabited region of Urmia in northwestern Iran. In 2006, Washington D.C. based Zinda Magazine, selected The Crimson Field as The Assyrian Event of the Year 2005 and MAKE, a Chicago Literary Magazine featured it in their 4th edition. The Crimson Field has been added to the State University of New York (SUNY) course curriculum. This is the first time that the Assyrian Genocide is recognized and studied at an institution of higher learning.
When The Crimson Field was brought to the attention of Congress, on 30 June 2006, Rosie was invited to testify on Capitol Hill before a Congressional Committee of the 109th Congress on religious freedom regarding the genocide, massacres and persecution of Assyrians in Iraq by Kurds and Islamists. During her 30 minute testimony, She compared the events of 1914-1918, as depicted in The Crimson Field, to the current plight of the indigenous Assyrian Christians in Iraq. Her passionate testimony and plea to the United States government, ultimately prompted Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) to travel to war-torn Iraq to witness matters for himself. While in Iraq, after meeting with local Assyrians, he turned in Malek-Yonan's report to U.S. Officials in Iraq. One year later, a Congressional Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously voted on and sent $10 million to aid the Assyrians in Iraq.
Monica Malek-Yonan's documentary film, My Assyrian Nation on the Edge, is based on Rosie's Congressional Testimony. It was released September 2006. On 7 August 2008, the documentary film was screened at the Australian Parliament of New South Wales in Sydney. Among the attendees were Rev. Hon. Fred Nile MLC, Hon. David Clarke MLC, Senator Helen Coonan and Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
She is a contributing author to the book entitled: Seyfo: Genocide, Denial and the Right of Recognition (ISBN 91-972351-2-1 Seyfo Center, Netherlands Publisher) which is a compilation of articles and speeches presented at conferences held in the European Parliament. Contributors include Rosie Malek-Yonan (author of The Crimson Field), MP Stephen Pound (House of Commons of the United Kingdom), Prof. Ove Bring (Swedish Parliament), Sabri Atman (Director of Seyfo Center), Mechtild Rothe (Vice President of the European Parliament), Prof. David Guant (Södertöms University Colledge, Sweden), Markus Ferber (EVP-ED, Member of the European Parliament) and Willy Foeutre (Human Rights Without Frontiers).
Various media sources including The Annual Report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the U.K. Iraqi Study have quoted and used Rosie Malek-Yonan's Congressional Testimony and her various published articles, speeches and interviews regarding the current state of affairs in Iraq concerning its Assyrian indigenous people as well as the Assyrian refugees in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
In 2006, at the 73rd Annual Assyrian Convention in Chicago, Illinois, the Board of Advisers of the Assyrian American National Federation, Inc., named and awarded Rosie Malek-Yonan as Woman of the Year.
For her numerous contributions as an actress, artist, director, author and activist, in March 2008, Rosie Malek-Yonan was awarded for Excellence in Arts and Entertainment by the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC).
At the Assyrian Universal Alliance 26th World Conference in Sydney, Australia, she was awarded and named the 2009 Assyrian Woman of the Year in recognition of her substantial contribution to advance the Assyrian national cause by promoting international recognition of the Assyrian Genocide, her extensive efforts in conveying the needs of the Assyrians to the United States government, and achievements in providing individual service to the Assyrian community worldwide.
She is an ambassador for the Swedish-based humanitarian organization, Assyrians Without Borders.
She is a founding member of The Assyrian Cultural and Arts Society that has provided scholarships since 2005 to students at Woodbury University's Design School through an annual Assyrian Design Competition.
Figure Skater - 1980 Winter Olympic Team.
On her nationality: I may not have a country with boundaries, but my country is in me. My country is in my soul and in my heart. I am Assyria.
On Assyrian Christians in Iraq: Iraq's "liberation" has become the "oppression" of Assyrians.
On the War in Iraq: Anytime the Western countries go to war in the Middle East, it becomes a religious war.
On world peace: The recognition and acceptance of a genocide, and mass murder of nations is not to merely point a finger at a tyrant guilty of those crimes. It is acceptance of facts and truths with the ultimate goal to mend bridges between the races. It is not to merely condemn but to create the first step towards world peace.
On denial of genocide: When we perpetually allow the practice of genocide and holocaust and consent to the denial of such actions to linger for decades as in the case of the Assyrian, Armenian and Pontic Greek Genocides, we are in essence consenting to denial as a compromise. Denial is not compromise.
Actress (40 titles)
2008 Eli Stone (TV series)
– Happy Birthday, Nate (2008) … Nurse
1991-2008 General Hospital (TV series)
Farah Mir / Clerk #2
– Episode #1.11590 (2008) … Farah Mir
– Episode #1.11574 (2008) … Farah Mir (uncredited)
– Episode #1.11573 (2008) … Farah Mir (uncredited)
– Episode #1.7139 (1991) … Clerk #2
2007 Life (TV series)
– A Civil War (2007) … Roya Dervishi
2007 ER (TV series)
– Family Business (2007) … Nazely
2005 Anniversary (short)
1999-2003 The Young and the Restless (TV series)
Nurse / Fadel
– Episode #1.7766 (2003) … Fadel
– Episode #1.6644 (1999) … Nurse
– Episode #1.6642 (1999) … Nurse
2002-2003 JAG (TV series)
Rosa / Strong-Willed Woman
– Lawyers, Guns and Money (2003) … Rosa
– In Country (2002) … Strong-Willed Woman
2002 CSI: Miami (TV series)
– Camp Fear (2002) … Receptionist
2001 Three Sisters (TV series)
– Pilot (2001) … Arab Woman
2000 Arrest & Trial (TV series documentary)
– Frat Rats … Counselor
2000 The Practice (TV series)
– Checkmates (2000) … Lambert
1996-1999 Chicago Hope (TV series)
Reporter #1 / Channel 4 Newswoman / Reporter
– White Rabbit (1999) … Channel 4 Newswoman
– Second Chances (1997) … Reporter #1
– The Day of the Rope (1997) … Reporter
– Last One Out, Get the Lights (1996) … Reporter #1
1999 Melrose Place (TV series)
– Asses to Ashes (1999) … Doctor
1999 St. Michael's Crossing (TV series)
– CBS Pilot … Wife
1998 Beverly Hills, 90210 (TV series)
Barbara / Nurse Barbara
– Budget Cuts (1998) … Nurse Barbara
– The Fundamental Things Apply (1998) … Nurse Barbara
– All That Glitters (1998) … Barbara
– Making Amends (1998) … Barbara
1998 Seinfeld (TV series)
– The Strongbox (1998) … Wife
1998 Profiler (TV series)
– Victims of Victims (1998) … Roya
1997 The Visitor (TV series)
– The Black Box (1997) … Maria
1997 Diagnosis Murder (TV series)
Reporter Claudia Montez
– In Defense of Murder (1997) … Reporter Claudia Montez
1996 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (TV series)
– The Assignment (1996) … Tekoa
1987-1996 Days of Our Lives (TV series)
Greek Nurse / Maid / Nurse
– Episode #1.7898 (1996) … Maid
– Episode #1.5620 (1987) … Greek Nurse
– Episode #1.5610 (1987) … Greek Nurse
– Episode #1.5400 (1987) … Nurse
1996 Up Close & Personal
American Airlines Boarding Agent
1996 For Goodness Sake II
1995 NYPD Blue (TV series)
– Curt Russell (1995) … Ackama (uncredited)
1995 Babylon 5 (TV series)
– Confessions and Lamentations (1995) … Doctor
1991 Her Wicked Ways (TV movie)
Iberian Airline Clerk
1990 Cop Rock (TV series)
– Bang the Potts Slowly (1990) … Production Assistant
1990 Generations (TV series)
– Enter the Jeweller (1990) … Gretchen
1989 Murder, She Wrote (TV series)
Air Levant Clerk
– Appointment in Athens (1989) … Air Levant Clerk
1989 Divorce Court (TV series)
– Escobar vs. Escobar (1989) … Terri Ahmadi
1988 Good Morning, Miss Bliss (TV series)
– Parents and Teachers (1988) … Mother
1986 Santa Barbara (TV series)
– Episode #1.566 (1986) … Stenographer
– Episode #1.565 (1986) … Stenographer
1986 Capitol (TV series)
Female Servant / Servant #3
– Episode #1.1139 (1986) … Servant #3
– Episode #1.1138 (1986) … Female Servant
1984 The Facts of Life (TV series)
– Love at First Byte (1984) … Patron (uncredited)
1984 Mr. Success (TV movie)
1983 Dynasty (TV series)
– The Search (1983) … Stewardess (as Rosie Malek)
1981 Chu Chu and the Philly Flash
Girl on Bus (uncredited)
1980 Inside Moves
Girl at Game (uncredited)
1980 Blood Beach
Beach Girl (uncredited)