Nouri began his career on the New York stage and paid his TV acting dues toiling on the longrunning soap "Search For Tomorrow", for which he received an Emmy nomination. He landed a succession of TV roles, notably in "Contract on Cherry Street" (1977), in support of Frank Sinatra. Nouri had the title role in the TV series "The Curse of Dracula" (1979) and played gangster Lucky Luciano in the acclaimed but short-lived series "The Gangster Chronicles" (1981). While working regularly, his many series and TV-movie roles failed to give him much visibility until he made his feature debut in "Flashdance."
For his role as a construction boss and Beals' secret mentor, Nouri became an international star overnight. For a while his career seemed about to take off, but his follow-up big screen appearances--all in starring roles--failed to fulfill the promise of enduring stardom. His performance as a tough but compassionate detective in "The Hidden" (1987) was effective but the sci-fi thriller fizzled at the box office. Nouri continued working in TV, doing movies, miniseries and a couple of forgettable weekly dramas. He hit pay dirt once again as a supporting character in the hit CBS sitcom "Love & War" (1992-95), playing Kip Zakaris, the actor ex-husband of series star Susan Dey. When Dey's character was written out during the second season and replaced by Annie Potts, Nouri's charming but irresponsible character stuck around, contributing to the eclectic mix of staffers and customers that frequented the imaginary Blue Shamrock cafe. When the series departed the airwaves, Nouri returned to his stage roots to star as King Marchand (the role originated by James Garner in the film) opposite Julie Andrews in the Broadway version of "Victor/Victoria," a performance of which was filmed and aired on PBS.
Nouri continued to tackle dozens of journeyman roles, with a few standouts: he made for an intriguing Porfirio Rubirosa in the 1999 TV miniseries "Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke"; he played a doctor in "Finding Forrester" (2001); was well-cast as baseball great Joe DiMaggio in the HBO telepic "61*" (2001); he appeared in the indie hit "Lovely & Amazing" (2001); and he was Catherine Zeta-Jones' caddish beau in the Steven Spielberg-directed "The Terminal" (2004). Nouri has also made frequent guest appearances on such hit series as "Touched By an Angel" (CBS, 1994-2003), "The Practice" (ABC, 1996-2004), "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) "The O.C." (Fox, 2003- ) "Cold Case" (CBS, 2003- ) and many of the "Law & Order" incarnations. Meanwhile, he portrayed a Mafioso who helps develop the gambling talent of a young boy who becomes the youngest player to ever with the World Series of Poker in "High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story" (2005). In "Last Holiday" (2006), Nouri played a congressman whose stay at a European resort is forever changed by an infectious woman (Queen Latifah) on a blowout vacation after learning she's about to die.