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Summer Bishil

Summer Yasmine Bishil[1] (born July 17, 1988[2]) is an American actress. She first came to prominence for her roles as Jasira in the 2007 film Towelhead and as Taslima in the 2009 film Crossing Over. She is also known for her role as Margo Hanson on the Syfy fantasy drama series The Magicians.

Summer Bishil

Summer Yasmine Bishil

July 17, 1988(age 31)

Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present

Early lifeEdit

Bishil was born in Pasadena, California[1][3] and is the youngest of three children. Her American mother is of Mexican and Caucasian descent and her father is of Indian descent.[4][5]In 1991, when Bishil was three years old, the family moved to Saudi Arabiaand then to Bahrain,[5][3][6] where she and her brother attended British and American schools.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks prompted her family to return to the United States.[5] They moved to a Mormon community in San Diego where she attended a regular public high school for a week.[5][6] Because of the post-9/11 tension in the U.S., her schoolmates did not welcome her kindly.[5] 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.”[6] The family later moved to Arcadia, where her mother home schooled her.[5][6]She took classes at Citrus College in Glendora, California.[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.

Bishil’s breakthrough performance[7]came as the lead in Alan Ball‘s film, Towelhead in 2007, an adaptation of the novel of the same name. Slatecritic Dana Stevens said, “Her performance is the truest thing in a movie that, for all its good intentions, feels thoroughly phony and mildly embarrassing, like an extended PSAabout inappropriate touching.”[8] Bob Strauss, who writes for several Los Angeles newspapers, states that Bishil, “…is one of the finest natural film actresses to emerge in years.”[9]Gary Goldstein in a September 12 Los Angeles Times review of the movie Towelhead, stated that, “…newcomer Summer Bishil turns in a gutsy, quietly riveting performance as Jasira.”[10]

In 2009, she filmed Wayne Kramer‘s project, Crossing Over, starring Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd,[11] a portrayal that received some favorable notice from Associated Presss Jay Reiner.[12] She was chosen to portray Azula in M. Night Shyamalan‘s 2010 film The Last Airbender, and was planned to be the focus of the planned but never-produced sequel.[13]

In 2013, Bishil was cast as Samira one of the lead roles on the short-lived ABC drama Lucky 7.[14][15] In late 2014, Bishil was cast in the role of Margo Hanson in the Syfy drama series The Magicians,[16] which is in its fifth season.


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2007 Towelhead Jasira Maroun
2009 Crossing Over Taslima Jahangir
2010 Mooz-lum Iman
2010 Public Relations Sara
2010 The Last Airbender Azula
2013 Pop Star Priscilla
2018 Under the Silver Lake The Girlfriend
Television roles
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 Television film
2009 Three Rivers Karen Rollins Episode: “Good Intentions”
2010 The Whole Truth Michelle Penner Episode: “Young Love”
2011 90210 Leila Shirazi 4 episodes
2013 Lucky 7 Samira Main role
2013 Blast Vegas Serena Television film
2014 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Heba Salim Episode: “Criminal Stories”
2015 iZombie Eliza Marquette Episode: “Flight of the Living Dead”
2015–present The Magicians Margo Main role

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result Refs
2008 Young Hollywood Awards One to Watch Towelhead Won [17]
2008 Independent Spirit Awards Best Actress Towelhead Nominated [18][19]