Bahar Soomekh (Persian: بهار سومخ, born March 30, 1975) is an Iranian-American actress and environmental activist. She is perhaps best known for her roles in the films Crash, Mission: Impossible III, and Saw III.
Bahar was born in Tehran, Iran, to a devout Persian Jewish family. She moved with her parents and sister, Saba Soomekh, to Los Angeles, United States in 1979, to escape the Islamic Revolution of Iran. Bahar speaks fluent English, Persian, Spanish, and some Hebrew. She attended Sinai Akiba Academy and Beverly Hills High School, where she played the violin in the school orchestra. Bahar earned a BA in environmental studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1997. Bahar began working at a corporate job in sales while taking acting classes at night before quitting her job to pursue acting as a career.
In the beginning of her career, Soomekh guest starred on several television shows, including JAG and 24. Bahar has later appeared in several films, including Academy Award-winning movies Crash (2004) as Dorri. Bahar received more attention for playing Davian's Translator in Mission: Impossible III (2006) and for a leading role, as Dr. Lynn Denlon, in the horror film Saw III. That same year, People's magazine listed Soomekh as one of 100 Most beautiful people in the world. In the next five years, she mostly worked in television, most notably as Margo on the television series Day Break from 2006 - 2007. Soomekh also appeared in two pilots of television shows, The Oaks (2008) and Lost & Found (2009), which were not picked up, and had guest roles in Ghost Whisperer, Miami Medical, and Castle. Bahar will make a comeback to film with her latest movie Just Like a Woman opposite Sienna Miller, which is completed and it will be released in mid-2012.
Family and religion
Soomekh married Clayton Frech, a business manager, who converted to Judaism in order to marry her, in 2001. They have a son, Ezra, born in 2005 and a daughter in 2009. They celebrate Shabbat every Friday night with their family, attend synagogue frequently, and celebrate the Jewish holidays.
The teaching of tikkun olam, to heal the world, guides Bahar's life. She works on environmental and children's causes. Bahar also uses her name to be involved with organizations like the Green Cross and Rainforest Action Network. With her husband, she launced the T.O. Productions to make movies about environmental and social issues.
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