At the age of nine, actor Cameron Monaghan made his television feature debut as Winthrop Paroo, the cute-as-a-button Iowa boy who bonds with Professor Harold Hill (Matthew Broderick) in the 2003 versi...
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Born Cameron Riley Monaghan in Santa Monica, CA on Aug. 16, 1993, he was the only child of a single mother, Diane Monaghan, an insurance claims specialist who relocated to Boca Raton, FL shortly after the birth of her son. Monaghan fell in love with acting through films and television, and after informing his mother of his interests, began auditioning for roles in local theater productions and television projects. After making his onscreen debut in several commercials, Monaghan began appearing in children's theater productions. In 2002, he saw the national touring production of "The Music Man" and fell in love with both the show and the role of Winthrop Paroo in particular. Upon discovering that ABC was producing a television feature based on the musical for "The Wonderful World of Disney" (ABC, 1954-2008), he submitted an audition tape for the role of Winthrop. Despite having never taken acting or singing class, the nine-year-old Monaghan won the part, and made his television feature debut opposite Broadway mainstays Matthew Broderick and Kristen Chenoweth.
Minor roles in short features preceded his recurring turn as Chad, the deeply eccentric schoolmate of Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) on "Malcolm in the Middle." The role seemed to set him on a path of playing unpleasant young men for the next few years, including an obnoxious young neighbor of Adam Sandler in the comedy-fantasy "Click" (2006) and the aggravating Palmer Noid, better known as "the kid who takes pants" on "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide." In 2007, he played the studious Bob Andrews in "The Three Investigators and the Secret of Skeleton Island," a German-made feature based on the long-running and popular series of young adult mysteries about the Three Investigators, a trio of preteen sleuths. A second feature, "The Secret of Terror Castle," was released in 2009 and aired on American television the following year.
As he grew from adolescence into his teenage years, Monaghan was a frequent guest star on television series like "Monk" (USA, 2002-09) and "Fringe" (Fox, 2008- ); the latter of which featured him as a malevolent teen with incredible mental powers. In 2011, Monaghan earned his breakout role as Ian Gallagher, a tough Chicago teen whose thorny exterior hid his homosexuality on "Shameless." The series earned both critical praise and brickbats for its portrayal of a family gone haywire, with Monaghan's character receiving numerous raised eyebrows for a story arc in which he had regular homosexual relations with his married, Muslim boss. However, Monaghan was also feted by the gay press for portraying a teenager who lacked the tired stereotypes so common to gay characters on television.
While working on "Shameless," Monaghan returned to features with "Prom," Disney's live-action comedy-drama about high schoolers in the grip of prom fever. Monaghan played Corey, a socially awkward teen who aided his best friend Lucas (Nolan Sotillo) in winning the heart of his lab partner (Danielle Campbell), only to lose his friend in the process. Despite heavy promotion on teen-friendly television networks, the film was only a minor hit with moviegoers. Monaghan then returned to his work on "Shameless" and regular rotation as a guest star on other programs.
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