Childhood & Early Life
Cameron Monaghan was born in Santa Monica, California, on August 16, 1993. He was the only child of a single mother named Diane Monaghan, who worked as an insurance claims specialist. Her work took Diane to Florida, and Cameron spent the next few years of his life there.
Cameron was an extremely extroverted child when he was 3 years old, and that led his mom to believe that he might make a good career as a model. She got his portfolio made and sent it to various modeling agencies.
At the age of 5, he appeared in his first magazine catalogue. Soon, he developed an interest in acting in dramas and films. His mother made sure Cameron participated in school plays to hone his acting kills. Cameron appeared in his first TV commercial at the age of 7.
As a child, he attended the ‘Addison Mizner Elementary School’ and appeared in many theater productions while he studied there. Some of his famous shows were ‘Stuart Little,’ ‘Winnie-the-Pooh,’ and ‘The Pumpkin King.’
By the time he was in middle school, his future goals were sorted. He wanted to become an actor and had already started to get some real work. Thus, he was homeschooled for most of his high-school days. Meanwhile, he also learned to play the guitar.
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In 2002, at the age of 9, he made his acting debut with a small-budget independent film named ‘The Wishing Stone.’ He then made appearances in independent films such as ‘Brothers in Arms’ and ‘Desperate Hippies.’
In 2003, he made his TV debut with the TV film ‘The Music Man.’ The director believed that Cameron suited the role perfectly.
The following year, Cameron got the first major break of his career when he was selected to play the role of a child with special needs in the series ‘Malcolm in the Middle.’ His role started as a recurring role but was made a regular part as the series progressed. Cameron earned a lot of critical appreciation for his role in the series and won the ‘Young Artist Award’ for the ‘Best Performance in a Television Series - Recurring Young Actor.’
In 2005, he appeared in small roles in the series ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ and ‘Threshold.’ The same year, he appeared in a small recurring role in the series ‘Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,’ where he played the role of ‘Palmer Noid.’
As he entered his teenager years, he started appearing in more TV series. Some of them were ‘Criminal Minds,’ ‘The Mentalist,’ ‘Monk,’ and ‘Three Rivers.’ However, he mostly appeared in single-episode roles.
In 2009, he received yet another major career break when he bagged a role in the TV film ‘Safe Harbor.’ The ‘Hallmark’ film was a major success and raked in top ratings that year. Cameron’s role, too, was appreciated.
Cameron played some minor roles in films such as ‘Dream Machine,’ ‘Dog Gone,’ and ‘Disarmed.’ He appeared as ‘Timmy’ in the film ‘Brothers in Arms.’ The independent film was dedicated to spaghetti westerns and gave Cameron enough opportunity to exhibit his acting skills on the big screen.
Another major break came his way when he was offered one of the key roles in the film ‘Click.’ The film featured him in the role of a young bratty child named ‘Kevin O’Doyle.’ It also starred Adam Sandler and Kate Beckinsale. The film was received well by some critics, while it was thrashed by others. It performed moderately well at the box office.
In 2009, he appeared in the drama film ‘Another Harvest Moon.’ The film featured Cameron as a teenager named ‘Jack.’ It was received well by both critics and audiences.
In 2010, Cameron bagged a career-defining role in the series ‘Shameless.’ The comedy–drama series featured him as ‘Ian Gallagher,’ a gay teenager from a highly dysfunctional family. This role brought him national fame, and his performance was rated as extraordinary.
Cameron received several nominations for his portrayal of ‘Ian.’ He soon started getting offers to play significant roles in many films and series. In 2011, he was seen playing one of the key roles in the teen comedy ‘Prom.’ Despite the film’s bad reception in both critical and commercial spheres, he benefitted from it. This was his first full-fledged adult role. Following this, he began to be considered for more serious roles.
In 2015, he bagged the role of ‘Jerome Valeska’ in the ‘CW’ series ‘Gotham.’ The series was based on the characters that appear in ‘DC Comics,’ and ‘Jerome’ was a tribute to the iconic ‘DC’ supervillain ‘The Joker.’ Cameron has received immense accolades for his portrayal of the character.
Riding high on the commercial and critical success of the series, Cameron was offered the main lead in the series ‘Mercy Street.’
His film career is growing steadily with significant roles in films such as ‘The Year of Spectacular Men,’ ‘Vampire Academy,’ ‘Amityville: The Awakening,’ ‘Giver,’ and ‘The Mall.’