When Manesh was young, his father died; he was raised by his mother, from whom he feels he got his strength to make it in show business.
He went to the United States in the mid-70s, joined the Persian Theater Group, and traveled extensively throughout the US, Canada and Europe for eight years.
Manesh has appeared in recurring roles on the television shows Will & Grace, Scrubs, Andy Barker, P.I., Hot in Cleveland, Boston Legal, and, most notably, How I Met Your Mother, where he played taxi driver Ranjit. Though Ranjit was depicted as Bangladeshi in the series, Manesh delivered several lines in his native Farsi language.
He has also guest starred on many shows, including Burn Notice, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Joey, Persons Unknown, The X-Files, Scrubs, ER, JAG, NYPD Blue, Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life and Prison Break.
Manesh has acted in several movies, including True Lies, Stealing Harvard, The Big Lebowski, Kazaam, The Poseidon Adventure, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (with fellow Iranian-descended actor and friend Omid Djalili), Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero, and the Vampire western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.
He served as a judge at the 6th annual Noor Iranian Film Festival.
- Checkpoint (1987) .... Abe
- Guests of Hotel Astoria (1989) .... Dr. Parto
- True Lies (1994) .... Jamal Khaled
- Barb Wire (1996) .... Sheik
- Kazaam (1996) .... Malik
- Univers'l (1997)
- The Big Lebowski (1998) .... Doctor
- Word of Mouth (1999) .... Hertzog
- Wasted in Babylon (1999) .... Land Lord
- The Last Producer (2000) .... Cabbie
- Face the Music (2000) .... Indian Man
- Guardian (2001) .... Iraqi Colonel
- Showtime (2002) .... Convenience Store Owner
- Hip, Edgy, Sexy, Cool (2002)
- Stealing Harvard (2002) .... Toy Store Manager
- Hidalgo (2004) .... Camel Skinner
- Raise Your Voice (2004) .... Cabbie
- Surviving Christmas (2004) .... Janitor (uncredited)
- The L.A. Riot Spectacular (2005) .... Nephi
- Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005) .... Shaif Al-Rafi
- Car Babes (2006) .... Babu Gulab
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) .... Sri Sumbhajee
- Carts (2007) .... Fab
- The Onion Movie (2008) .... Announcer (uncredited)
- Pants on Fire (2008) .... Aram
- Crossing Over (2009) .... Sanjar Baraheri
- Year One (2009) .... Slave Trader
- The Things We Carry (2009) .... Manager
- Tom Cool (2009) .... Mr. Azu
- Pickin' & Grinnin' (2012) .... Clerk
- Commander and Chief (2012) .... Sheikh
- Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) .... Indian Man
- Afternoon Delight (2013) .... Taxi Driver
- All American Christmas Carol (2013) .... Car Salesman
- A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) .... Hossein 'The Junkie'
- Shirin in Love (2014) .... Nader
- Benjamin Troubles (2015) .... Genie
- Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero (2016) .... Mehdi the Butcher
- A Life Lived (2016) .... Danesh
- The Next Big Thing (2016) .... Mr. Shah
- Tiger (2018) .... Kulwant