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Summer Glau

Summer Glau

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Also Known As: Summer Lyn Glau Died:
Born: July 24, 1981 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: San Antonio, Texas, USA Profession: actress, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Summer Glau was considered the Farrah Fawcett of the sci-fi world; a poster girl for die-hard fans of graphic novels, superheroes, and cyborgs. Playing erratic and troubled child prodigy River Tam in both the cult televison series "Firefly" (2002-03), about a renegade spaceship crew, as well as its big screen sequel, "Serenity" (2005) became the actress' breakout role. In 2008, Glau took sci-fi leading lady to the next level, as female Terminator Cameron Phillips/Allison Young on the FOX series, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (2008-09). Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christian Bale may have been the stars of the blockbuster film series, but on the small screen, Glau kicked and punched her way to proving she was one of the more viable female action stars of the medium.Summer Lyn Glau was born on July 24, 1981 in San Antonio, TX, where she grew up with her two younger sisters, Christie and Kaitlin. Her father was a general contractor and her mother was a schoolteacher. Glau was home-schooled between 3rd and 12th grade due to her receiving a scholarship with a dance company, in which she trained in ballet, tango and flamenco. Her dance career ended after a serious ankle injury, forcing the future...

Summer Glau was considered the Farrah Fawcett of the sci-fi world; a poster girl for die-hard fans of graphic novels, superheroes, and cyborgs. Playing erratic and troubled child prodigy River Tam in both the cult televison series "Firefly" (2002-03), about a renegade spaceship crew, as well as its big screen sequel, "Serenity" (2005) became the actress' breakout role. In 2008, Glau took sci-fi leading lady to the next level, as female Terminator Cameron Phillips/Allison Young on the FOX series, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (2008-09). Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christian Bale may have been the stars of the blockbuster film series, but on the small screen, Glau kicked and punched her way to proving she was one of the more viable female action stars of the medium.

Summer Lyn Glau was born on July 24, 1981 in San Antonio, TX, where she grew up with her two younger sisters, Christie and Kaitlin. Her father was a general contractor and her mother was a schoolteacher. Glau was home-schooled between 3rd and 12th grade due to her receiving a scholarship with a dance company, in which she trained in ballet, tango and flamenco. Her dance career ended after a serious ankle injury, forcing the future star to move to Los Angeles in 2002, where Glau stayed with friends first while she began the next phase of her career aspirations by auditioning for television commercials.

Perhaps due in part to her dance background, Glau's first television role was as a prima ballerina trapped in a time warp on the 2002 "Angel" (WB, 1999-2004) episode, "Waiting in the Wings." The show's creator Joss Whedon, who was also the mastermind behind the brilliant series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (WB, 1997-2003), knew Glau was destined to be a star. After asking her to audition and test for the role on the same day, he cast the actress two weeks later in the series "Firefly," starring as River Tam, a former child genius-turned-psychic on board the spaceship. Glau found the role to be quite challenging. "Playing River was difficult because I don't know what it's like to be a psychic and I don't know what it's like to be a government experiment and live on a spaceship and fly around in space," she said. "I think sci-fi actors have to have a very vivid imagination."

Even though "Firefly" only lasted one season - cancelled after only 11 of the 14 episodes produced aired - it still had a huge cult following. The demand for a feature film based on the series became a reality when "Serenity" - named after the renegade crew's spaceship - was released in theaters in September 2005. The film was well-received by critics, even garnering "Two thumbs up" from Roger Ebert. However, despite the loyal fan base, "Serenity" produced a less-than-stellar box office performance.

Never one to rest on the success of one project, Glau kept a busy schedule, taking on smaller roles in the film "Sleepover" (2004) as a high school student, the TV movie "The Initiation of Sarah" (2006), and a guest appearance on the crime screen drama "CSI" (CBS, 2000-). In 2006, Glau booked a recurring role as Crystal Burns in "The Unit" (CBS, 2006 -09), and as Tess Doerner, a paranoid schizophrenic, in "The 4400" (USA Network, 2004-07). The latter show's cancellation was especially heartbreaking for the actress, who said, "I enjoyed my time there immensely, and I thought it was an excellent show." Glau was not in the show's finale because she just started filming her next project, a TV series based on one of the biggest film franchises in history.

With a resume that included sci-fi based projects from "Firefly" to "The 4400," getting cast in the genre came easy for Glau. "Actors that are in sci-fi shows tend to make an easy transition into other sci-fi shows," she said. In January 2008, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" debuted, with Glau playing Cameron Phillips/Allison Young, a cyborg sent to protect John Connor (Thomas Dekker) and Sarah Connor (Lena Headey). The actress was able to revisit her dance background in the seventh episode of the series, "The Demon Hand," where her character ballet danced.

Glau said she loved filming the series' action scenes, but found humor was at the heart of her character. "She's very open, like a child," Glau said. "She absorbs the behavior around her and tries to understand it as best she can, and sometimes it ends up being extremely funny." Glau's role as a female Terminator - a role popularized in the 1984 and 1991 feature films by Arnold Schwarzenegger - instantly made Glau the crush of comic geeks and fan boys everywhere. The actress even guest-starred on the second season of "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS, 2007 -), playing herself in the episode "The Terminator Decoupling."

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Deadly Honeymoon (2010)
5.
 Mammoth (2006)
6.
 Serenity (2005) River
7.
 Sleepover (2004) Ticket Girl
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Milestones close milestones

2004:
Played a small role in her film debut, "Sleepover"
:
Began dancing professionally at the age of 12
:
Moved to Los Angeles to pursue dancing and acting career
2006:
Appeared in several episodes of "The Unit" (CBS) as a soldiers' girlfriend
2008:
Cast as Cameron Phillips, a Terminator infiltration unit sent back to protect John Connor and Sarah Connor in the FOX series, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"
2005:
Had a recurring role as Tess Doerner, a paranoid schizophrenic, in the CBS series "The 4400"
2009:
Joined the cast of FOX's "Dollhouse" playing Bennett, a Dollhouse employee who shares a past with Echo (Eliza Dushku)
2002:
Made her TV debut guest starring on a Joss Whedon directed episode of "Angel" (WB)
2009:
Nominated for the 2009 Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress: Action Adventure
2005:
Reprised her role as River in Joss Whedon's movie spin-off, "Serenity"
2002:
Series regular debut on Joss Whedon's short-lived FOX series "Firefly" as River Tam
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