Cameron Riley Monaghan was born on August 16, 1993, and is an actor. Beginning his professional career as a child model at the age of three, and child actor at the age of seven, he is perhaps best known for his role as Ian Gallagher on the Showtime comedy-drama Shameless , as well as for his feature film roles, as Kevin O'Doyle in Click, Corey Doyle in Prom, and Mason Ashford in Vampire Academy.
He was born in Santa Monica, California, the only child of Diane Monaghan, an insurance claims specialist who made the decision to have a child as a single mother. He and his mother relocated at Boca Raton, Florida shortly after his birth. Recognizing that Monaghan was an exceptionally outgoing child, his mother sent his pictures to modeling agencies when he was three. He appeared on the cover of his first catalog at the age of five, and appeared in his first regional commercial at the age of seven.
He attended Addison Mizner Elementary School and began to develop his acting skills by appearing in the Little Palm Children's Theatre's production of Stuart Little, Winnie-the-Pooh, and The Pumpkin King, as well as appearing as Alex in the small independent film The Wishing Stone, which was filmed in the Lake Worth, Florida area.
He first came to national attention in 2003 for his role as Winthrop Paroo opposite to Tony-winners Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Broderick in the ABC television adaption of The Music Man. When recounting the decision to cast the 9-year-old Monaghan, director and executive-producer Jeff Bleckner explained, "There are some people, when you put them up on film, they sort of pop off the screen at you. That's how it was with Cameron. From the second we saw him, he was it. We were looking for anybody who had that wonderful appeal. And Cameron had it."
In 2004, Monaghan began a recurring role as Chad, one of Dewey's special needs classmates on the Fox comedy series Malcolm in the Middle, which earned him the Young Artist Award as Best Young Television Actor in a Recurring Role. The following year, he began a recurring role as Palmer Noid on the Nickelodeon situation comedy Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Subsequent guest-starring television roles followed, including appearances on Criminal Minds, Numb3rs, The Mentalist, Monk, Three Rivers, Fringe, The Glades, and Terriers.
In 2005, he transitioned to theatrical film roles, appearing as Timmy in the independent western Brothers in Arms. The following year he appeared as Kevin O'Doyle, the bothersome next-door neighbor to Adam Sandler in the fantasy comedy Click. A series of subsequent feature film roles followed, including appearances in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Dog Gone, Safe Harbor and Another Harvest Moon, as well as portraying the boy detective Bob Andrews in the Three Investigators film series.
He announced that he will leave the series in the ninth season, with the seventh episode being his last.
In April 2010, he was cast as a principal ensemble cast member of the Showtime comedy-drama Shameless. On the series, which premiered in January 2011, he portrays Ian Gallagher, the gay teenage son in a large dysfunctional Chicago family. Sara Hughes of The Independent commented his portrayal for providing "one of the more nuanced depictions of a gay teenager to be seen on US TV." Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe described his performance as "extraordinary." And the gay-interest media outlet AfterElton.com cited his portrayal of Ian in naming him to its list of "2011's Break-Out TV Actors."
Current with his role on Shameless, Monaghan has continued to appear in a variety of episodic television roles. In 2011, he guest starred as Nick Peyton, a teenage boy accused of murdering his Marine father, on the CBS crime series NCIS. That same year he appeared as Jonathan McKenna on the TNT mystery series Rizzoli & Isles. In 2012, he guest starred as Eddie Sandow, a 19-year-old who creates a hostage situation after his father is accused of sexual assault on the NBC crime series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He had a recurring role as twin brothers Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska on the Fox series Gotham, the latter of which went on to become Batman's iconic arch-nemesis, the Joker.
In addition to his television credits, he has continued to appear in a variety of feature film roles. In 2011, he co starred as high school sophomore Corey Doyle in the Disney teen drama Prom. In 2012, he portrayed Jake, the son of an attractive YMCA director in the sports themed comedy 2nd Serve. In 2014, he starred as Adam McCormick, a small-town high school athlete who becomes consumed by the death of one of his classmates in the independent drama Jamie Marks is Dead. That same year, he appeared as Mason Ashford, the best friend and romantic interest to Rose in the fantasy adventure film Vampire Academy.
He lives in the Los Angeles area where he has resided since he was approximately ten years old. When questioned about his childhood roots in Southern Florida, he explained "most of my family doesn't live there anymore. I have a couple of relatives that live in Northern Florida. My hometown is much more south, so there's no real reason to be going back there anymore."
He has expressed an interest in music, and plays guitar, drums, harmonica, and ukulele, as well as teaching himself to play keyboard. His athletic interests include boxing, bicycling, running, snowboarding, and skiing. He is a former student of kickboxing, Taekwondo, and XMA.
When questioned about his sexual orientation, he has self identified as heterosexual. In February 2013, responding to inquiries regarding his sexuality on Twitter, he tweeted, "This is the only time I will answer this here: No, I'm not gay. Yes, I play a gay character. No, the question should not be relevant." Adding, "Thanks for the kind words, everyone. It feels a bit odd to 'come out' as a straight guy."