Summer Glau (Actress) - Firefly
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Updated: 7/01/21

Name: Summer Glau

Birth Name: Summer Lyn Glau

Born: July 24, 1981 in San Antonio, Texas, USA

Claim To Fame: Summer Glau is an American actress best known for her roles in science fiction and fantasy television series; most notably as River Tam in Firefly (2002) and its continuation film Serenity (2005).

Family Life: Glau has been married to Val Morrison since 2014. Together they have two daughters.

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Info: Her mother is a schoolteacher, and her father a general contractor.

Grew up with her two younger sisters Kaitlin and Christie.

She is of Scots-Irish and German ancestry.

Glau received a scholarship to a ballet company and was home-schooled from grades 3 to 12 to accommodate her ballet training.

In addition to her classical ballet training, she studied tango and flamenco.

After a broken toe ended her dancing career, Glau headed to Los Angeles in 2002 to pursue an acting career.

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Trivia: Glau auditioned for the role of a Power Ranger (White Wild Force Ranger Alyssa Enrilé) in Power Rangers Wild Force but lost to actress Jessica Rey.

Glau's first television credit was a guest role as a ballerina on a 2002 episode of the television series Angel.

Joss Whedon later cast her in his critically acclaimed but short-lived TV series Firefly as River Tam, a role she reprised for the show's feature film sequel Serenity.

In 2006, Glau played Tess Doerner, a paranoid schizophrenic returnee in season two's premiere of The 4400, and became a recurring character from season three onwards.

In 2008, Glau was cast as Cameron Phillips on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a Terminator infiltration unit sent back to protect John Connor and Sarah Connor from Skynet.

The series' seventh episode "The Demon Hand" included several scenes in which Glau (in character as Cameron) dances ballet and, Glau also played Allison Young (Cameron's human doppelganger) in the episodes "Allison from Palmdale" and "Born to Run".

She had not actually seen the Terminator movies before being cast in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008).

It was speculated that Summer Glau's character in Firefly (2002) and Serenity (2005), River Tam, was one of Steven Moffat's influences behind the recurring Doctor Who (2005) character River Song, whom Alex Kingston played from 2008-2015.

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Where Are They Now: It would appear that Glau has taken a bit of a hiatus from appearing on-screen, but hopefully she will be back relatively soon. I'd like to see her make an appearance on or even join the cast of the Syfy original series Resident Alien, which stars her former Firefly co-star Alan Tudyk.


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