After small and generally unremarkable roles in such productions as the Disney Channel made-for-cable movie Return to Halloweentown (2006), actress Summer Bishil revealed the extent of her abilities via a complex, demanding, and multifaceted lead portrayal in screenwriter Alan Ball's contemporary drama Towelhead (2007). The film -- adapted from the controversial best-selling novel of the same name by Alicia Erian -- observes the tumultuous events that befall a young Arab-American teen on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq (heading into the Gulf War) -- including confrontations with racism, hypocrisy, and mistrust.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Born in the United States, but moved to Saudi Arabia when she was 3, and two years later the family relocated to Bahrain before returning to the U.S. when she was 14.
- While in Bahrain, she was educated at a school run by the U.S. Department of Defense.
- Had classmates in Bahrain that had armed bodyguards who were trained to kill people with knives.
- Chosen one of Variety's 10 Actors to Watch in 2007.
- Featured in a Vanity Fair photo shoot in August 2008.