Shannon Elizabeth was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of a Syrian/Lebanese father and a mother who is English, Irish and German. When Shannon was in 3rd grade, her family moved to Waco, Texas, where most of her relatives already lived. As a girl, Shannon took dance lessons, including tap, ballet, and jazz. While attending high school, however, she was very interested in tennis. She even considered going pro, and making tennis her life. Also during high school, she was active in cheer leading, dance team, and the student council. As a senior, Shannon was in a music video shot in Waco. The music artists were local ones named "Hi-5", and the director of that video just happened to be Antoine Fuqua. After graduating, Shannon moved to New York City to model. She then traveled all over the world with her newfound career to places that included Japan, Italy, France, and Australia. After moving to Los Angeles years later, she signed on with Ford Models and, eventually, Elite. Shannon had always wanted to start her acting career and had just modeled in hopes that it could help lead her into the acting. About a year after moving to Los Angeles, she started taking acting classes with several different coaches. She got an agent eventually, and in 1999, she landed the iconic role of "Nadia" in the movie American Pie (1999).
Shannon has succeeded in the acting business, and she is now adding directing and producing to her resume. She just finished (2010) directing and producing the music video, "More Than Friends", by the rapper Tha Vill and British sensation Kele Le Roc. Shannon has also started her production company recently, called "Ganesh Productions", and it already has three films on her production slate. Her focus is on the film Fated (2015), which she will also direct and she hopes to get it into production in early 2011.