A native of San Antonio, Texas, Summer Lyn Glau (born July 24, 1981) is a classically trained [[{{Ballet}} ballerina]] who broke into acting in 2002 with a guest spot on ''Series/{{Angel}}'' (playing a ballerina). Her career has primarily been composed of [[ActionGirl active women]] and [[BrokenBird damaged girls]] (usually combined) in science fiction and fantasy series.

Her first role (the aforementioned ''Angel'' guest spot) got a standing ovation from the cast and crew after recording [[OneSceneWonder her single scene of dialogue]], and critical reviews for her performance as [[Series/{{Firefly}} River]] [[Film/{{Serenity}} Tam]] and [[Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles Cameron Phillips]] have been overwhelmingly positive. However, she has yet to get much mainstream recognition as her roles have largely been reserved to [[CultClassic TV shows and films that failed to perform on the business end]].

[[TheWikiRule Now with]] her own [[http://summerglauwiki.com/ wiki]].
!!Tropes associated with her works:
%%% Tropes are about work. Don't trope her personal life.
* BadassAdorable: Par for the course playing a DanceBattler. Also see WaifFu below.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Also in line with playing a BadassAdorable.
* BrainyBrunette: Quite a few of Summer's characters have above-average intelligence, such as River, Bennett, Orwell, Skylar, and even Cameron.
* CeilingCling: Done without any special effects.
* DanceBattler: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1BMqNYOyFU Literally]]. She is a classically trained ballerina.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: She has tendonitis in her heels and arthritis in her toes,[[note]]Not surprising, given her background as a ballerina. Ballet is a strenuous art that can mess up even the toughest feet; see ''Film/BlackSwan'' for a great example.[[/note]] so shoes are actually painful for her to wear. She has said that boots, specifically cowboy boots, are more comfortable for her.
-->"I think the thing I like about River is that she gets to be barefoot so much of the time. I donít like shoes very much."
* GenderBlenderName: Summer, River, Cameron, Orwell, Paige, Bennett, Skylar.
* HospitalHottie: Portrayed one in a cameo role for ''Grey's Anatomy''.
* OlderThanTheyLook: She's 36, but you'd be forgiven for believing she was at best in her early twenties.
* PhraseCatcher: After an infamous incident of Summer screwing up her lines during the filming of ''Firefly'', the other cast members -- most notably Creator/NathanFillion -- took to [[UnusualEuphemism yelling her name as an expletive]] whenever anything went wrong. Nathan is rumored to have taken the tradition on to his succeeding shows including ''Series/{{Drive}}'' and ''Series/{{Castle}}''.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: In her case, this is the sum of BadassAdorable + WaifFu.
* UnkemptBeauty: So much so that she appears multiple times on the page.
* WaifFu: Her [[Webcomic/{{xkcd}} "River Tam beats up everyone"]] scenes from ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' are [[MemeticBadass almost as well-known]] as [[CultClassic the movie itself]]. Despite her tiny frame, Summer Glau is pretty well-trained in multiple martial arts disciplines. When called on to convincingly beat up people several times her size (like in the aforementioned scene) she requires NoStuntDouble.

!!Summer Glau appears in:
* "Waiting in the Wings," an episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' where her [[OneSceneWonder one scene of dialogue]] got a standing ovation from the cast and crew.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' and ''{{Film/Serenity}}'', where she played River Tam, a crazy psychic waif on the run from the Alliance with her brother. [[StarMakingRole Skyrocketed her into popularity]] among geekdoms everywhere.
* VictimOfTheWeek Paige Pratt in the ''Series/ColdCase'' episode "Love Conquers All"
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5f_mmpAVTk "What's Eating Gilbert Grissom?"]]
* ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'': She [[http://xkcd.com/311/ beats up everyone]] and [[http://xkcd.com/581/ beats both Randall Munroe and Nathan Fillion in an electric skateboard race]].
* Film/SyFyChannelOriginalMovie ''Mammoth'', which featured a mammoth corpse reanimated by aliens that sucked the life force out of those it encountered.
* ''Series/TheUnit''
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'', where she plays Tess Doerner, another crazy psychic waif. She does [[CharacterDevelopment get better]], though.
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'': Notable also for making a ''Terminator'' into a sympathetic character while still going on [[AxCrazy violent, shotgun happy-rampages]]. She also played Allison Young, a not-very crazy, very-not-psychic resistance fighter who nonetheless proved to be as tough as Sarah Connor in terms of sheer {{Determinator}}-ability.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGrx43T8aWc That one episode of]] ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' where she [[AsHimself played]] herself.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', playing a genius-level Doll programmer named Bennett Halverson who has ... issues.
* ''[[LifetimeMovieOfTheWeek Deadly Honeymoon]]'', which is [[http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10740178/ apparently]] VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory.
* The {{Western}} ''Legend of Hell's Gate'' playing a girl named Maggie Moon.
* Creator/{{NBC}}'s superhero drama ''Series/TheCape'' in which she plays a cyber-sleuth blogger reporter known as [[ShoutOut Orwell]], who apparently becomes the title hero's sidekick and, like with River and Cameron, [[WaifFu is more dangerous than her size implies]].
* Appropriately-named horror/comedy movie ''Film/KnightsOfBadassdom''. Presumably, they were working with a much less awesome title before Summer was cast.
* The voice of ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} in the WesternAnimation/DCUniverseAnimatedOriginalMovies installment ''WesternAnimation/SupermanBatmanApocalypse''.
* ''Film/{{Sleepover}}''. She is credited as "Ticket girl".
* ''{{Series/Chuck}}'' as one of the "Greta" agents. ([[http://seat42f.com/images/stories/tvshows/Chuck/Season4/S0408/Chuck-Versus-The-Fear-Of-Death-Summer-Glau-1.jpg Not surprisingly]], one of the more AxCrazy Gretas.)
* ''Series/{{Alphas}}'' (guest starring) as a GadgeteerGenius named Skylar.
* Cameoed as a nurse on ''Series/GreysAnatomy''.
* ''The Initiation of Sarah (2006)'', where she played [[MagicalGirl Sarah]]'s {{Muggle}} sister Lindsay.
* A Hallmark Special ''[[http://www.hallmarkchannel.com/helpfortheholidays Help for the Holidays]]'', wherein she plays an elf out to restore a family's Christmas spirit.
* Isabel Rochev in ''{{Series/Arrow}}''. She got into a bit of WagTheDirector due to being unsatisfied with how small the role was, resulting in the story being changed mid-course to turn her into the supervillain Ravager (with the side effect of the original character intended for the role, Sara Lance, remaining a hero and ultimately getting a major role in another Arrowverse show).
* Appears in the ''Crackle.com'' series ''Sequestered''.
* Olivia Frampton in the "Comic Con Air" episode of ''Series/{{NTSFSDSUV}}''.