Cameron Riley Monaghan (born August 16, 1993) is an American actor and model. Beginning with his professional career as a child model at the age of three, and child actor at the age of seven, Monaghan is best known for his role as Ian Gallagher on the Showtime comedy-drama seri es Shameless. He has also appeared as Jerome Valeska in the Fox crime series Gotham. Monaghan was born in Santa Monica, California, the only child of Diane Monaghan, an insurance claims specialist and single mother. He and his mother relocated to Boca Raton, Florida shortly after his birth. Recognizing that Monaghan was an exceptionally outgoing child, his mother sent his picture 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 seven.
Monaghan first came to national attention in 2003 for his role as Winthrop Paroo opposite Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Broderick in the ABC television adaptation of The Music Man. 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, Monaghan 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.
In April 2010, Monaghan was cast as an ensemble cast member on the Showtime comedy-drama series Shameless. On the series, which premiered in January 2011, Monaghan portrays Ian Gallagher, the gay bipolar teenage son of a large dysfunctional Chicago family. Sarah Hughes of The Independent commended Monaghan’s 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 Monaghan’s performance as “extraordinary.” And the gay-interest media outlet AfterElton.com cited Monaghan’s portrayal of Ian in naming him to its list of “2011’s Break-Out TV Actors”. In February 2014, Showtime announced it had renewed the series for a fifth season, scheduled to begin airing in 2015. For his work in the fifth season, Monaghan received a Critic’s Choice Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The seventh season began airing in October 2016. The eighth season, consisting of 12 episodes, went into production in May 2017; it premiered on November 5, 2017.
Since 2015, he has appeared in the television series Gotham as Jerome Valeska, a character based on the Joker, the archenemy of Batman.