Summer Bishil

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Summer Bishil
Bishil Summer 2251.jpg
Bishil in 2005
Born Summer Yasmine Bishil
(1988-07-17) July 17, 1988 (age 27)
Pasadena, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present

Summer Yasmine Bishil (born July 17, 1988) is an American actress. She first came to prominence for her role as Jasira in the 2007 film Towelhead.

Early life[edit]

Bishil was born in Pasadena, California and is the youngest of three children. Her American mother is half Mexican and her father is of Indian descent.[1][2] In 1991, when Bishil was three years old, the family moved to Saudi Arabia and then to Bahrain, where she and her brother attended British and American Schools.[2][3]

The 2001 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil prompted her family to return to the United States.[2] They moved to a Mormon community in San Diego where she attended a regular public high school for a week.[2][4] Because of the post-9/11 tension in the US, her schoolmates did not welcome her.[2] She stated that the return was not easy: "I hated it. I was called a whore on the first day of school, and somebody said they thought my dad funded terrorism. I just knew that nobody was ever going to want to be my friend there. I had panic attacks the first year of my life here." [4] The family later moved to Arcadia, where her mom home schooled her.[2][4]


Bishil started acting lessons at age 14. Within a year, she was signed to a contract with a manager and agency. Bishil's first role was on the short-lived Nickelodeon television show Just for Kicks, followed by appearances in several other children's shows before her break-through performance as the lead in Alan Ball's film, Towelhead in 2006, an adaptation of the novel of the same name.

Slate critic Dana Stevens said that "Her performance is the truest thing in a movie that, for all its good intentions, feels thoroughly phony and mildly embarrassing, like an extended PSA about inappropriate touching."[5] Bob Strauss, who writes for several Los Angeles newspapers, states that Bishil, " one of the finest natural film actresses to emerge in years."[citation needed] Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times in a September 12 review of the movie Towelhead, stated that, "...newcomer Summer Bishil turns in a gutsy, quietly riveting performance as Jasira."[citation needed]

In 2009, she filmed Wayne Kramer's project, Crossing Over, starring Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd.

She was chosen to portray Azula in M. Night Shyamalan's film The Last Airbender.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Towelhead Jasira Maroun
2009 Crossing Over Taslima Jahangir
2010 Mooz-lum Iman
2010 Public Relations Sara
2010 Last Airbender, TheThe Last Airbender Azula
2011 Pop Star Priscilla
2012 Blast Vegas Serena
Year Title Role Notes
2005 Days of Our Lives Stacey Episode #1.10164
2006 Just for Kicks Stacey Episode: "Premiere Episode: Part 2"
2006 Drake & Josh Tabitha Episode: "Josh Runs Into Oprah"
2006 Hannah Montana Rachel Episode: "Good Golly, Miss Dolly"
2006 Return to Halloweentown Aneesa TV film
2009 Three Rivers Karen Rollins Episode: "Good Intentions"
2010 Whole Truth, TheThe Whole Truth Michelle Penner Episode: "Young Love"
2011 90210 Leila Shirazi 4 episodes
2013 Lucky 7 Samira Cancelled TV series (8 Epi.)
2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Heba Salim 1 episode
2015 IZombie Eliza Marquette Episode: "Live Until You Die"
2015 The Magicians Margo (Janet) TV Series

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2008 Young Hollywood Awards One to Watch Towelhead[7] Won
2008 Independent Spirit Awards Best Actress Towelhead[8] Nominated


  1. ^ Summer Bishil Aims to Play Against Type
  2. ^ a b c d e f Summer Bishil- Biography
  3. ^ Jones, Michael, "Summer Bishil; 'Nothing is Private' starlet living the dream", Daily Variety, October 19, 2007
  4. ^ a b c In suburbia, a world of woes
  5. ^ Stevens, Dana (September 12, 2008). "Towelhead; It's no fun being a sexually curious, biracial teenager in Houston.". Slate. Retrieved September 14, 2008. 
  6. ^ Princess Azula Revealed At Last
  7. ^ Hollywood Life, Volume XIX, No. 1 Spring 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2008.
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 2008-12-08. 

External links[edit]