Emmanuelle Grey "Emmy" Rossum (born September 12, 1986)[1] is an American actress and singer-songwriter. She is best known for her acting as Fiona Gallagher in the television series Shameless. Rossum has starred in movies including Songcatcher (2000), An American Rhapsody, (2001) and Passionada (2002). Her role in Mystic River (2003) garnered her wider recognition. She starred in the science-fiction film The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and received critical acclaim for her performance in the leading role of Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera (2004). She has since starred in Poseidon (2006), Dragonball: Evolution (2009), Dare (2009) Beautiful Creatures (2013), Before I Disappear (2014), You're Not You (2014) and Comet (2014).

In 2007, Rossum released her debut album, Inside Out. She also released a Christmas EP the same year, titled Carol of the Bells. In 2013, she released a follow up album called Sentimental Journey.

She stars as Fiona Gallagher, the protagonist on the Showtime dramedy Shameless.

Early life

Rossum was born in Manhattan, New York City.[1] She is the only child of Cheryl Rossum, a single mother who worked as a corporate photographer.[2][3] Rossum's mother is Jewish (of Russian Jewish descent) and her father is Protestant (of English and Dutch ancestry).[4] Rossum has stated that her mother instilled in her the "Jewish code of ethics and morals".[5][6][7] Her parents separated while her mother was pregnant; as of 2007, she had met her father twice.[8][9] She was named after her great-grandfather, whose first name was Emanuel, using the feminine spelling Emmanuelle.[10] She is a relative, by marriage, of designer Vera Wang (Wang was married to Rossum's cousin).[11]

Upon singing "Happy Birthday" in all twelve keys,[12] Rossum was welcomed to join the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus by chorus director Elena Doria[13] at seven.[14] Over the course of five years, she sang onstage with the chorus and had the chance to perform with great singers such as Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. For anywhere from $5 to $10 a night, Rossum sang in six languages in 20 operas, including La bohème, Turandot, a Carnegie Hall presentation of La damnation de Faust, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.[15] She also worked under the direction of Franco Zeffirelli in Carmen. Rossum joked in interviews that her vocal talent and affinity for music developed because her mother always listened to classical music and operas while she was pregnant with her.

By 12, Rossum had grown too big for children's costumes. An increasing interest in pursuing acting led to taking classes with Flo Salant Greenberg[16] of The New Actors Workshop in New York City. She also worked with acting coach Terry Knickerbocker.[17] She hired an agent and auditioned for many acting roles. Rossum attended the Spence School, a private school in Manhattan,[18] for years, before dropping out to pursue career opportunities.[19] She received her high school diploma at 15 years old via online extension courses offered by Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY).[18] She later attended Columbia University.[20]

Acting career

Rossum's television debut was in August 1997, as the original Abigail Williams in the daytime soap opera As the World Turns. She also had a guest role as Caroline Beels in Snoops. Rossum was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 1999 for Best Performance in a TV Movie for her work in the made-for-TV movie, Genius.[citation needed] She then portrayed a young Audrey Hepburn in the ABC television film, The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000).[21] Rossum made her film debut at 14, in 2000's Songcatcher, as Deladis Slocumb, an Appalachian orphan. Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, the film won the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance.[citation needed] For her role, Rossum received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance[citation needed] and also had the opportunity to sing a duet with Dolly Parton on the Songcatcher soundtrack. Variety magazine named Rossum as "One of the Ten to Watch" in 2000.[22]

In Nola (2003), Rossum played the title character, an aspiring songwriter. In her first major studio film, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, Rossum starred as Katie Markum, the ill-fated daughter of small-business owner Jimmy Markum, played by Sean Penn.

Rossum had a breakthrough role[citation needed] as Laura Chapman in the Roland Emmerich eco-disaster film The Day After Tomorrow. She later returned to New York, where she was the last to audition, in full costume and make-up, for the role of Christine Daaé in the onscreen adaptation of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. After having nearly missed the audition due to a family engagement,[23] Rossum was asked to audition in person for Webber at his home in New York.[14] For her role as Christine Daae, Rossum received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a musical or comedy.[citation needed] She also received a Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Actress,[citation needed] along with a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor and other awards[citation needed]

Rossum at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards

In 2006, Rossum appeared in Poseidon, Wolfgang Petersen's remake of the disaster film The Poseidon Adventure. She played Jennifer Ramsey, the daughter of Kurt Russell's character. Rossum described the character as being proactive and strong in all situations, rather than a damsel in distress.[24] Rossum also appeared as Juliet Capulet in a 2006 Williamstown Theatre Festival production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.[25] In early 2009, Rossum appeared in Dragonball Evolution. Her next big screen venture was the indie Dare[26][27] which was an official selection of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. In November 2009, Rossum appeared in Broadway's 24 Hour Plays in which actors, writers, and directors collaborate to produce, and perform six one-act plays within 24 hours to benefit the Urban Arts Partnership. Rossum appeared in Warren Leight's "Daily Bread", directed by Lucie Tiberghien.[28]

In mid-2011, Rossum starred in DJ Caruso's social film, Inside. Sponsored by Intel and Toshiba, the online film aired in several segments, incorporating multiple social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The following year, in addition to filming the third season of Shameless, Rossum played a supporting role in Beautiful Creatures (2013), based on the young adult fantasy novel of the same name. She also starred in the drama You're Not You as Bec, an inexperienced nurse who looks after and befriends Kate (Hilary Swank), who suffers from the degenerative disease ALS. By June 2013, Rossum was cast as the female lead opposite Justin Long in the independent romantic comedy Comet.[29] Afterward she appeared in the film Before I Disappear in New York, based on the 2012 Oscar-winning short film, Curfew.[30]


In December 2009, Rossum joined the cast of the Showtime dramedy series pilot Shameless, based on the British series of the same name. The series co-stars William H. Macy.[31] Rossum plays the oldest sister of a large, motherless family, who acts as a guardian/surrogate mother to her five younger siblings.[32]

Music career

After her role in The Phantom of the Opera, Rossum was offered several deals to record classical albums, but refused, opting to create an album of contemporary, more mainstream music. "I was inspired to cut this album because I'm so frustrated listening to the radio these days," Rossum lamented. "There is so little emotional honesty."[12] Regarding the sound and style of her music, she said, "It's pop music, but not Britney Spears bubblegum pop. I want it to have a David Gray or Annie Lennox feel. I've been spending up to 12 hours a day in the studio."[12] Rossum cites Sarah McLachlan, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Faith Hill as some of her influences.[33] Rossum's album Inside Out was produced by Stuart Brawley. It was released on October 23, 2007 and peaked at 199 in the U.S. charts. For the promotion of the record, Geffen Records featured the song, "Slow Me Down," as part of the second volume of Hollywood Records' Girl Next compilation album, which was released on July 10, 2007. Later that year, she was chosen as Yahoo's "Who's Next" artist of the month and a "One to Watch" by MSN. In December 2007, Rossum released three Christmas songs on the EP Carol of the Bells. It was also this year that Rossum sang the national anthem at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway and performed at the first ever Perez Hilton Presents event at the El Rey Theatre in Hollywood. On October 27, 2007, Rossum again sang the national anthem at the New Jersey Devils's first home game of the 2007–08 NHL season, which was also the first game the team played in the newly constructed Prudential Center. She also performed at the Hollywood Christmas Celebration at the Grove in Los Angeles[34] and the Lighting of the Great Tree in Atlanta, Georgia.[35]

She joined Counting Crows, Augustana, and Michael Franti & Spearhead as a "special guest" for select performances of the "Traveling Circus and Medicine Show" tour in the summer of 2009.[36]

In 2010, Rossum sang a song called "Cruel One" on singer Alex Band's debut solo album We've All Been There. On the track she sings with Band, and Chantal Kreviazuk. The song is available on the album's deluxe edition.

Rossum released the Warner Bros. Records album Sentimental Journey on January 29, 2013. Unlike Inside Out on which Rossum wrote the songs herself, the album is a collection of covers of songs from the 1920s to 1960s. Sentimental Journey peaked at 92 on the U.S. Charts. It hit number one on the US Billboard Charts Top Jazz Albums.[37]

Rossum describes herself as a lyric soprano, while saying her voice is still developing.[15][38] She continues to train vocally at ZajacStudio, Inc, a studio run by soprano Joann C. Zajac.[39]

Charity work and public service campaigns

Rossum is a YouthAIDS ambassador.[40]

She is also the official spokesperson for "PiNKiTUDE" – a campaign to help raise breast cancer awareness.[41]

Additionally, Rossum is an environmentalist. She has appeared in several Public Service Announcements for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund.[42][43] She also works with Global Green USA to raise money for environmental protection and awareness of ecological issues.[44]

Rossum is also a vocal supporter of The Best Friends Animal Society, a leader in the no-kill movement that runs sanctuaries for homeless pets, and is one of the nation's largest animal rescue organizations.[45][46][47]

On May 26, 2009, Emmy Rossum attended a march in West Hollywood California protesting the California Supreme Court's ruling to uphold Proposition 8.[48]

Personal life

Rossum married music executive Justin Siegel on February 17, 2008, but publicly presented themselves as in a relationship but unmarried.[49] He filed for divorce on September 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences,[50] and the divorce was finalized on December 28, 2010.[49][51] In October 2009, Rossum was reported to be dating Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz, with whom she had toured during the summer of 2009.[52] Rossum and Duritz broke up in September 2010.[53] In August 2015, Rossum became engaged to writer/director Sam Esmail after two years of dating.[54]

Rossum has celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body cannot tolerate any foods containing gluten. She revealed her condition on MTV News after being given a cupcake on-camera to celebrate her 22nd birthday; she was able to eat only the frosting.[55]

Rossum has stated that she is "a spiritual person, but I'm not especially religious."[20]


Rossum in March 2011
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Genius Claire Addison
2000 Songcatcher Deladis Slocumb
2000 It Had to Be You Young Girl
2001 American Rhapsody, AnAn American Rhapsody Sheila - age 15
2001 Happy Now Nicky Trent / Jenny Thomas
2002 Passionada Vicky Amonte
2003 Nola Nola
2003 Mystic River Katie Markum
2004 Day After Tomorrow, TheThe Day After Tomorrow Laura Chapman
2004 Phantom of the Opera, TheThe Phantom of the Opera Christine Daaé
2006 Poseidon Jennifer Ramsey
2009 Dragonball: Evolution Bulma
2009 Dare Alexa Walker
2011 Inside Christina Perasso
2013 Beautiful Creatures Ridley Duchannes
2014 Before I Disappear Maggie
2014 You're Not You Bec
2014 Comet Kimberly
2017 A Futile and Stupid Gesture Kathryn Walker Filming
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Grace & Glorie Luanne Television film
1997 As the World Turns Abigail Williams
1997 Law & Order Alison Martin Episode: "Ritual"
1998 Will of Their Own, AA Will of Their Own Young Sarah Television miniseries
1998 Only Love Lily Television film
1999 Snoops Caroline Beels 2 episodes
1999 Genius Claire Addison Television film
2000 Audrey Hepburn Story, TheThe Audrey Hepburn Story Young Audrey Hepburn Television film
2001 The Practice Allison Ellison Episode: "The Candidate"
2011–present Shameless Fiona Gallagher Main role, 72 episodes

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2000 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot – Supporting Young Actress Genius Nominated
2001 Film Independent Spirit Award Best Debut Performance Songcatcher Nominated
2004 National Board of Review Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress The Phantom of the Opera Won
2005 Saturn Award Best Performance by a Younger Actor Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award Best Young Actress Won
Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award Best Breakthrough Performance Nominated
Satellite Award Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical Nominated
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress Won
MTV Movie Award Breakthrough Female The Day After Tomorrow Nominated
2009 Hamptons International Film Festival Breakthrough Performer (Rising Stars) Dare Won
Savannah Film and Video Festival Young Hollywood Award Herself Won
2011 IGN Award Best TV Actress Shameless Nominated
OFTA Television Award Best TV Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Gold Derby TV Award Drama Lead Actress Nominated
PRISM Award Performance in a Comedy Series Nominated
2014 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Gold Derby TV Award Comedy Lead Actress Nominated
OFTA Television Award Best TV Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Young Hollywood Awards Fan Favorite Actor – Female Herself Nominated
Young Hollywood Awards You're So Fancy Nominated
Catalina Film Festival Avalon Award Won
Northeast Film Festival Best Supporting Actress in a Feature Before I Disappear Won
2015 Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Series Shameless Nominated
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Premium Cable TV Actress Nominated



Title Album details Peak chart positions
New Age
Inside Out 199 - 2
Sentimental Journey 92 1 -
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays

Title Album details
Carol of the Bells
  • Release date: November 27, 2007
  • Label: Geffen Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
CAN Digital
2007 "Slow Me Down" 37 Inside Out
2012 "Pretty Paper" Sentimental Journey

Music videos

Year Title Director
2007 "Slow Me Down" Thomas Kloss[56]
"The Great Divide"
"Inside Out"
"Falling" Adam Egypt Mortimer[57]


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  2. ^ Hicks, Chris (April 11, 2004). "DVD pleases 'Passionada' director". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Retrieved May 1, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Emmy Rossum biography from E! Online". Retrieved May 1, 2008. 
  4. ^ Interfaith Celebrities: "Interfaith Celebrities: Take Me Out to the Ballpark with Emmy Rossum" By Nate Bloom April 26, 2011
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  11. ^ "Vera Wang Princess Fragrance, and what was in those gift boxes for celebrities". Femail.com. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
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  13. ^ "Children's Chorus Auditions". Retrieved May 1, 2008. 
  14. ^ a b "In Step With: Emmy Rossum". Parade Magazine. December 19, 2004. 
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  45. ^ "NKLA ADOPTION WEEKEND". http://lac-live.commonmediainc.com/. Niche Media LLC. Retrieved 26 December 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
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  47. ^ "Emmy Rossum: Today. Come join me and adopt your new best friend! Together we can #SaveThemAll!". Topic Panda. 
  48. ^ "Emmy Rossum Pictures – CA Court To Issue Ruling On Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriages". Zimbio. May 26, 2009. Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
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  56. ^ "Thomas Kloss resume" (PDF). Retrieved October 23, 2012. 
  57. ^ Gavin Kelly resume Adam Egypt Mortimer

External links