Emmanuelle Grey "Emmy" Rossum (born September 12, 1986) is a Jewish American actress and singer-songwriter. She has starred in films such as The Day After Tomorrow, Poseidon, The Phantom of the Opera and Dragonball Evolution.

Early life

Rossum was born in New York City, New York,[1] the only child[2][3] of Cheryl, a single mother who worked as a corporate photographer and an investment banker. She was named after her grandfather, whose first name was Emanuel. However, she was given the name Emmanuelle, using the feminine spelling.[4] Her parents divorced when her mother was pregnant. Rossum was raised by her mother and has only met her father twice. Her family is Jewish.[5] She is the niece of Vera Wang, to whom she is related by marriage.

Upon singing "Happy Birthday" in twelve different keys,[6] Rossum was welcomed to join the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus by chorus director Elena Doria.[7] Over the course of five years, she sang onstage with the chorus and had the chance to perform with other opera greats, such as Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. For $5–10 a night, Rossum sang in six different languages, in twenty different operas, including La bohème, Turandot, a Carnegie Hall presentation of La damnation de Faust and A Midsummer Night's Dream.[8] 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 age 12, Rossum had grown too big for the children's costumes. An increasing interest in pursuing acting led to taking classes with Flo Salant Greenberg[9] of The New Actors Workshop in New York City. She also hired an agent, and subsequently, auditioned for many acting roles.



The year 1997 saw Rossum's television debut with a guest appearance on Law & Order as Alison Martin. In 1999, she had a recurring role as the original Abigail Williams in the long-running 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 nomination in 1999 for Best Performance in a TV Movie for her work in the made-for-tv movie Genius. Following that movie, she portrayed a young Audrey Hepburn in the ABC TV movie The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000).

Rossum made her big screen debut 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. For her role, Rossum received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance 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. In Nola (2003), Rossum played the title character, who was 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. As Katie, Rossum was said to have "projected an aura of innocence that made her character's tragic death memorable and heartbreaking."[5]

Following Mystic River, Rossum had a breakthrough role as Laura Chapman in the Roland Emmerich eco-disaster film The Day After Tomorrow. She later returned to New York City, where she was the last to audition, in full costume and make-up, for the coveted role of Christine Daae in the on-screen adaptation of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Following an international search for talent, and having nearly missed the audition on account of a family engagement,[10] Rossum was asked to audition in person for Webber at his home in New York. After seeing her audition, Webber felt she proved her ability to play the young opera singer who becomes the object of the phantom's obsessive love. For her role as Christine Daae, Rossum received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a musical or comedy. She is the youngest actress ever to be nominated for that particular award.[11] She also received a Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Actress, along with a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor and other awards.

In 2006, Rossum appeared in Poseidon - Wolfgang Petersen's high-budget remake of the disaster film The Poseidon Adventure. She played Jennifer Ramsey, the daughter of Kurt Russell's character, Robert Ramsey. As Jennifer, she is described as a 19-year-old heroine because she is not a damsel in distress, and is very proactive and strong in all situations.[12] Rossum also appeared as Juliet Capulet in a 2006 Williamstown Theatre Festival production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.[13]

In early 2009 Rossum appeared in Dragonball Evolution. Rossum described her action role in Dragonball as the hardest thing she's ever done.[14]. Her next big screen venture was the indie Dare[15][16] which was an official selection of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

In December 2009 Rossum joined the cast of the Showtime drama series pilot "Shameless". The series is based on the hit British series of the same name. The pilot costars William H. Macy, Allison Janney and Justin Chatwin[17].

Singing and recording

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. Rossum said, "I was inspired to cut this album because I'm so frustrated listening to the radio these days. There is so little emotional honesty".[6] 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".[6] Rossum cites Dolly Parton, Madonna, Cher and Barbra Streisand as some of her influences.

Rossum's album, entitled Inside Out, was produced by Stuart Brawley. It was released on October 23, 2007.

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.

On June 24, 2007, Rossum sang the national anthem at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway .

On September 30, 2007 Rossum performed at the first ever Perez Hilton Presents event at the El Ray Theater in Hollywood

On October 27, 2007, Rossum sang the national anthem at the New Jersey Devils' first home game of the 2007–08 NHL season, which was also the first game the team played in the newly-constructed Prudential Center.

In November 2007 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.

Rossum describes herself as a lyric soprano, though she admits her voice is still developing.[18]

In summer 2008 Rossum announced that she was in the process of writing and recording her second album.[19]

In the summer 2009, Rossum joined Counting Crows, Augustana, and Michael Franti & Spearhead as a "special guest" at select performances of the "Traveling Circus and Medicine Show" tour.

Personal life

Rossum is a 2001 graduate of the Spence School, a private school in Manhattan.[20] 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).[20] She currently attends Columbia University.[21]

Rossum is a YouthAIDS ambassador.[11] She is also the official spokesperson for "PiNKiTUDE" - a campaign to help raise breast cancer awareness.[22]

Rossum is gluten-intolerant. She revealed to MTV News that she is allergic to wheat after MTV News gave her a cupcake on-camera to celebrate her 22nd birthday; she was only able to eat the frosting.[23]

Rossum was married to music executive Justin Siegel for a year and a half before he filed for divorce in 2009. [24] Rossum is currently dating Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz.[25]


Year Film Role Notes
2000 Songcatcher Deladis Slocumb Supporting Role
It Had to Be You Young Girl Minor Role
2001 An American Rhapsody Sheila (at age 15) Minor Role
Happy Now Nicky Trent / Jenny Thomas Supporting Role
2002 Passionada Vicky Amonte Supporting Role
2003 Nola Nola Lead Role
Mystic River Katie Markum Minor Role
2004 The Day After Tomorrow Laura Chapman Lead Role
The Phantom of the Opera Christine Daae Lead Role
2006 Poseidon Jennifer Ramsey Supporting Role
2009 Dragonball: Evolution Bulma Lead Role
Dare Alexa Walker Lead Role
Film Made for Television
Year Title Role Channel
1996 Grace & Glorie Luanne Columbia Broadcasting Company
1998 Only Love Lily Columbia Broadcasting Company
1999 Genius Claire Addison Disney Channel
2000 The Audrey Hepburn Story Young Audrey Hepburn American Broadcasting Company
Year Title Role Notes
1998 A Will of Their Own Young Sarah Mini-series
Television Guest Appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1997 Law & Order Alison Martin "Ritual" (Season 8, Episode 10)
1999 Snoops Caroline Beels "Separation Anxiety" (Season 1, Episode 6)
"Blood Lines" (Season 1, Episode 11)
As the World Turns Abigail Williams #1 "Unknown Episodes"
2001 The Practice Allison Ellison "The Candidate" (Season 6, Episode 1)

Awards and nominations


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Saturn Award Best Performance by a Younger Actor The Phantom of the Opera
NBR Award Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress The Phantom of the Opera
2005 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards Best Young Actress The Phantom of the Opera
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress The Phantom of the Opera
2009Savannah Film Festival Young Hollywood Award Dare


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Independent Spirit Award Best Debut Performance Songcatcher
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot - Supporting Young Actress Genius
2005 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy The Phantom of the Opera
Online Film Critics Society Awards Best Breakthrough Performance The Phantom of the Opera
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy The Phantom of the Opera
MTV Movie Awards Breakthrough Female The Day After Tomorrow


  • Inside Out (Geffen Records, 2007)
  • Carol of the Bells (Geffen Records, 2007)
  • TBA (Geffen Records, 2009/2010)


  1. Hicks, Chris (2004-04-11). "DVD pleases 'Passionada' director". Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  2. "Emmy Rossum Biography (1986-)". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  3. "Emmy Rossum biography from E! Online". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  4. Emmy Rossum Q&A
  5. 5.0 5.1 Bloom, Nate (2004-06-11). "Celebrity Jews". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Joffe, Jessica. “Emmy Rossum: Hollywood's newest It Girl.” Glamour: September 2006. p 326-7, 392
  7. "Children's Chorus Auditions". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  8. Emmy Rossum : Biography
  10. Morales, Wilson (December 2004). "Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom Of The Opera: An Interview with Emmy Rossum". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Population Services International: Youthaids Ambassadors". Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  12. Jacobs, Evan. "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Emmy Rossum Talks About Remaking The Poseidon Adventure". Retrieved 2008-05-12. 
  13. Simonson, Robert (2006-08-02). "Austin Lysy and Emmy Rossum Are Romeo and Juliet at Williamstown, Aug. 2-13". Playbill News. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  14. Parade MagazineEmmy Rossum Compares New Role to Childbirth
  15. Bartyzel, Monika (2008-06-04). "Emmy Rossum Accepts the 'Dare'". Cinematical. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  16. "Emmy Rossum". Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  18. "Emmy Rossum Interview at Emmy-Rossum". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Emmy Rossum Picture, Profile, Gossip, and News". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  21. Emmy Rossum:Rising Star Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
  22. "Actress Emmy Rossum to Act as Official Spokesperson of PiNKiTUDE". Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  23. "Emmy Rossum Races For The Cure And Gets A Birthday Surprise From MTV News. She is best friends with Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester.". Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  24. "Emmy Rossum's Husband Files for Divorce". American Superstar Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Emmy Rossum. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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