Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum

Singer (1986–)
American actress Emmy Rossum sang her heart out in the movie musical 'The Phantom of the Opera' in 2004 and made a name for herself on Showtime's 'Shameless.'

Who Is Emmy Rossum?

Born on September 12, 1986, actress Emmy Rossum spent her childhood singing at New York's Metropolitan Opera. By age 11, she was on television, and by adolescence, in movies. Rossum combined her vocal and acting talents to become a star at 18 in the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Her encore to this musical was taking on the edgier, sexier role of Fiona Gallagher on the Showtime series Shameless for nine seasons.

Early Years

Born in New York City on September 12, 1986, Emmanuelle "Emmy" Grey Rossum was raised solely by her mom, Cheryl Rossum, a corporate photographer. Her father, a banker, was absent from her life. Despite not having siblings, she became a part of a much bigger family after joining the Children's Chorus of the Metropolitan Opera at the age of seven. The youngster found herself singing alongside the likes of Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. The only drawback was that her career interfered with her education. After having to drop out of the prestigious all-girls Spence School in Manhattan, Rossum completed her high school education online instead, in a program funded by Stanford University.

Movies and TV 

Like many fledgling actresses, the classically trained singer got her television start on a daytime soap: At age 11, Emmy Rossum was featured on As the World Turns. A few more guest appearances on various dramas paved the way for her portrayal of a teenage Audrey Hepburn in the ABC Original Movie The Audrey Hepburn Story in 2000.

'Mystic River'

Rossum moved from the tube to an independent flick that same year, portraying an Appalachian orphan in Songcatcher. She was recognized for her work with a Spirit Award nomination. In 2003, when she finally broke into feature films, it was in a big way, with co-stars like Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn in the Clint Eastwood–directed movie Mystic River. The apocalyptic thriller The Day After Tomorrow was next, in 2004.

'The Phantom of the Opera'

Next, Rossum lit up the screen in a role beyond perfect for her, as the opera-singing ingenue the 2004 film version of The Phantom of the Opera. Andrew Lloyd Webber personally picked her when she was just 16 to pair up with Gerard Butler, who played the phantom. It proved a smart selection; not only did she shine in this musical, the actress earned a Golden Globe nomination, as well as the National Board of Review's award for Best Female Breakthrough Performance and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actress — both in 2004 — for her role in the production.

That success was a springboard for Rossum to release two albums: Inside Out, in 2006, featuring songs she wrote; and Sentimental Journey, filled with standards, several years later.


Rossum returned to television in 2011, playing the antithesis of the demure role that made her famous in The Phantom of the Opera. On the critically acclaimed Showtime series Shameless, she starred as Fiona Gallagher, the eldest of six kids, who plays parent to her younger siblings as well as her drunken, dysfunctional dad (William H. Macy.) It's a racier role with plenty of nudity, which Rossum defends for making the show more realistic.

In August 2018, Rossum announced via a lengthy Facebook post that she was leaving Shameless after nine seasons. Calling the opportunity to play Fiona "a gift," she hailed her castmates and the show's creators, noting how close they had grown during their time together. "Try not to think of me as gone," she wrote, "just think of me as moving down the block." Her final Shameless appearance came in the season 9 conclusion on March 10, 2019.

'Beautiful Creatures' to 'Cold Pursuit'

During her Shameless run, Rossum also took on the role of siren Ridley Duchannes in the supernatural drama/romance Beautiful Creatures (2013). In 2014, she starred in the drama Before I Disappear, the indie rom-com Comet and alongside Hilary Swank in You’re Not You.

After a break from the big screen, Rossum returned in 2018 for A Stupid and Futile Gesture, playing the wife of comedy writer Douglas Kenney. The following year, she played a detective in the Liam Neeson revenge flick Cold Pursuit.

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