Cameron Monaghan

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 version of "The Music Man" (ABC). For many young actors, such a sweet role might set the path for their future careers, but Monaghan bucked the trend by tackling some truly offbeat young characters - from the manic Chad on "Malcolm in the Middle" (Fox, 2000-06) to a fifth-grade oddball and bully on "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" (Nickelodeon, 2004-07). His star-making turn as Ian Gallagher on "Shameless" (Showtime, 2011- ) was a more mature and complex version of those roles; a gay teen who hid his sexuality behind an aggressive and combative exterior, Monaghan won praise for his thoughtful and often daring performance, which was roundly considered worthy of Emmy consideration by television critics. The positive reviews and solid work seemed to indicate that Monaghan was well on his way to an even richer career in features and on television.