Summer Bishil

Bishil in 2016, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Summer Yasmine Bishil

Place of Birth: Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: July 17, 1988

*father – Indian
*maternal grandfather – German, English, distant Dutch
*maternal grandmother – Mexican

Summer Bishil is an American actress. She is known for her roles in the films Towelhead, Crossing Over, Mooz-lum, The Last Airbender (2010), and Under the Silver Lake, and on television’s Return to Halloweentown, 90210, Lucky 7, and The Magicians. In Towelhead, she played the lead, a character of Lebanese descent growing up in the U.S. during the Gulf War in 1991. The film deals with racial attitudes toward Middle Eastern people in the U.S.

Her father is of Indian descent, and has Saudi Arabian citizenship. Her mother is of half European [German, English, and distant Dutch] and half Mexican ancestry. In 1991, her family moved to Saudi Arabia, and later Bahrain. They returned to the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks, living in San Diego and Arcadia, California.

Summer’s maternal grandfather is the son of Harry Thomas Rimer and Clara Mae Spears. Harry was the son of Harry Delvin Rimer and Julia Broomfield. Clara was the daughter of James William Spears and Lucy Coffman.

Summer’s maternal grandmother is the daughter of Manuel Rivera and Ramona Mejia.


Genealogy of Summer Bishil (focusing on her mother’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

18 Responses

  1. alexgxo says:

    Surprised Hollywood wanted to typecast her as Middle Eastern/West Asian. She looks very South Asian to me. It was quite evident in Towelhead, though I know some West Asians could pass as South Asian and vice-versa. And I know both peoples tend to be lumped together.

    I believe she tends to play characters of either South Asian/Indian or Middle East/West Asian/Arab ancestry.

  2. jonasbttencourt says:

    She looks like what we would call “morena clara” here in Brazil, indians generally look a lot like multiracial brazilians, and half indian, half white people generally look like brazilians who are mostly white with some non-white features and strong olive complexion, like these girl, are called “morena clara”(light brown), but there are places here where she would be white passing.

    • jonasbttencourt says:

      *like this girl

    • alexgxo says:

      Not all Indians are dark brown skinned. Many of the upper caste/Northern Indians are lighter with Eurocentric features. Some have blue eyes. Just look at Kashmiri Indian Salman Rushdie. If he said his name was Jim Smith and he was fully Anglo or any other European descent, you’d likely believe him. He could probably pass as “white” in Brazil.

      I think a lot of multiracial Brazilians look pseudo-Indian because of their darker/olive skin and sharper features from their Mediterranean heritage (Portuguese).

  3. No Name says:

    She looks like Jessica Alba. Both are beautiful Latinas.

  4. madman says:

    Her father has Saudi Arabian citizenship, but is of Indian descent.

  5. samadams7355 says:

    I know Summer’s family personally and her father is Saudi Arabian born in Mecca and attended school there until he graduated from high school. His parents are of Indian and Arab decent, they are not expat Indians working there. All her father’s family live in Saudi Arabia and are Saudi citizens. None have even traveled to India. Summers mother’s family has been in the U.S. since the 1700’s all this is documented. So anonymous1 I won’t call you a moron but get your information straight.

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