Miranda Cosgrove

The success of Miley Cyrus in the new millennium paved the way for a handful of young stars to try to steal away her teen idol crown. Among the heirs to the throne included soft-spoken and precocious Miranda Cosgrove, who starred on Nickelodeon's "Drake & Josh" (2004-07) and "iCarly" (2007-12). On the latter, Cosgrove portrayed Carly Shay, a teen who produces her own Internet show from her attic. On April 2008, Columbia Records signed the rising star, making her a bona fide recording artist after the release of the "iCarly" soundtrack that same year. The show's theme song and album's first single, "Leave it All to Me" charted on the Billboard Hot 100. A leading role as Margo in the enormously successful "Despicable Me" (2010) and its sequels also made Cosgrove an animated film star. With her success on television and films followed by the music business as well - plus possessing an irresistible girl-next-door quality - it was no wonder Cosgrove gave Cyrus and the other Disney princesses a run for their money. Miranda Taylor Cosgrove was born on May 14, 1993 in Los Angeles. She was at a local mall with her parents, singing and dancing in a restaurant, when an agent approached and asked if they would be interested in signing her up at a modeling and commercial agency. Because Cosgrove was only three at the time, her parents took considerable time to consider the pros and cons of placing their child in the entertainment industry. They decided on letting her do some commercial work, starting with a Mello Yello commercial when Cosgrove was four. She started auditioning for theater around eight, and by the time she was nine, the actress had nabbed her first TV series role. Cosgrove, who cited Anne Hathaway and Rachel McAdams as her acting role models, was cast as Megan Parker, the sweet yet mischievous younger sister on "Drake & Josh," a role that made her a household name among the 'tween set. That same year, the young star acted alongside Jack Black in the hit comedy "School of Rock" (2003). She played Summer Hathaway, the adorable yet Type A overachieving manager of the student rock band formed by Black's character. While enjoying the success of "Drake & Josh," Cosgrove found time to do other projects on the big screen. She was one of 18 kid stars in the 2005 remake of the family comedy classic, "Yours, Mine and Ours" starring Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo. Finding consistent work outside of "Drake & Josh," Cosgrove then played Karen Sussman in the coming-of-age family comedy, "Keeping Up with the Steins" (2006). Cosgrove was also nominated for a Young Artist Award four years in a row between 2004 and 2008 for her film and TV projects. After four successful seasons, "Drake & Josh" ended in 2007, yet Nickelodeon already had Cosgrove's next project lined up. She was cast in the starring role of "iCarly," about a girl who lives with her older brother and stars in a web show that she runs out of her attic. With the help of Carly's friends Sam (Jennette McCurdy) and Freddie (Nathan Kress), the series incorporated real videos made by fans which showcased their unique and silly talents. "It's a show within a show because fans send in tapes and we show it on air," the actress said. "iCarly" was one of the most watched shows in Nickelodeon history. It was also a hit on the real Internet, with the site iCarly.com receiving more than 11 million hits in the first quarter of 2008. Fans also uploaded more than 100,000 videos to the site, all in hopes that theirs would be aired on TV. In 2008, Cosgrove reprised her role as Megan and reunited with her former co-stars Drake Bell and Josh Peck in two TV films based on their former hit show: "Drake & Josh: Best Christmas Ever" and "Drake & Josh in New York!" Music producer and recording artist Bell also helped Cosgrove write songs for her burgeoning music career, including the iCarly theme, "Leave it All to Me." Cosgrove's mainstream breakthrough came with animated hit "Despicable Me" (2010), in which she co-starred alongside Steve Carell and the irresistible Minions. Its success led to the sequels "Despicable Me 2" (2013) and "Despicable Me 3" (2017) as well as various short films and TV specials in which she reprised the role. A starring role in direct-to-video animated film "A Mouse Tale" (2015) kept Cosgrove working in voice roles, while the lead in Canadian-made horror film "Intruders" (2015) brought her back before the cameras.