Iranian-American actress Bahar Soomekh, who has been living in Los Angeles since 4 years old, was first noticed as a guest star on two different roles on NBC original's adventure drama “JAG.” She then appeared in Paul Haggis' Academy Award-winning drama Crash (2004) and played Philip Seymour Hoffman's translator in the hit actioner Mission: Impossible III (2006). Moviegoers will watch the 5' 5'' tall actress playing a thirtysomethings doctor and mother who is kidnapped by Jigsaw (played by Tobin Bell) in the soon-to-be released Saw III, the third installment in the horror film series. She will also appear on ABC's new drama series, "Day Break" (starring Taye Diggs), which set to debut on November 15, 2006.
Childhood and Family:
In Tehran, Iran, Bahar Soomekh ("Bahar" means "spring" in Persian) was born on March 30, 1975, to a Persian Jewish family. After the Iranian revolution, 4-year-old Bahar followed her parents and sister moving to Los Angeles and has since lived there. She attended Sinai Akiba Academy and Beverly Hills High School where she joined the school orchestra playing the violin. After graduating at age 17, she studied environmental studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
In Saw III
While working at a corporate job, Bahar Soomekh took acting classes at night. She later left her job to pursue a full-time acting career and landed a guest role in a November 2002 episode of the CBS’s FBI drama "Without a Trace." That same month and year, she appeared as a guest in The Killer episode of the NBC original's adventure drama “JAG,” and later reappeared with a different role in its Fighting Words episode in April 2004. She was also seen in writer-director Laura Cayouette's 14-minute film Intermission (2004), a comedic peek behind closed doors into the overly busy lives of women.
Bahar made her big screen debut with a tiny part as Dorri in director Paul Haggis' Academy Award-winning drama about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, Crash (2004). The film, starring Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle and Matt Dillon, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2004, and had its worldwide release in 2005. It was nominated for six awards in the 78th Academy Awards (2006), and won three of them, including a surprise win of Best Picture, beating the favorite nominee, Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain.
After being involved in the critically acclaimed film, Bahar went to star in writer-director Kelly Monteith's comedy, A Lousy Ten Grand (2004). On the small screen, she had a role in a March 2005 episode of Fox’s award-winning series starring Kiefer Sutherland, "24," but her scene was deleted. She was also spotted as a guest in an episode of Fox’s ongoing crime-drama “Bones,” ABC’s cop drama "In Justice" and CBS’ action drama “The Unit."
More recently, Bahar played Philip Seymour Hoffman's translator in Mission: Impossible III (2006), the third film based on the television series with same name. In the film, directed by “Alias” creator and “Lost” executive producer J. J. Abrams, she shared the screen with such stars as Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames and Billy Crudup.
In the near future, Bahar will star in director Darren Lynn Bousman's Saw III, the third installment in the horror film series. In the film, which also stars Angus Macfadyen and Dina Meyer, Bahar will play Lynn Denlon, a doctor and a mother in her 30's who is kidnapped by Jigsaw’s (played by Tobin Bell) new apprentice Amanda (played by Shawnee Smith). Saw III began filming in May and is currently scheduled for a release on October 27, 2006.
Besides the movie, Bahar will also appear on ABC's new drama series, "Day Break," which set to debut on November 15, 2006. The one-hour drama will star Taye Diggs as Detective Brett Hopper.