Jennifer Morrison

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Jennifer Morrison
Jennifer Morrison SDCC 2014.jpg
Morrison at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con
Jennifer Marie Morrison

Alma materLoyola University Chicago
  • Actress
  • director
  • producer
Years active1994–present

Jennifer Marie Morrison is an American actress, director, producer, and former child model. She is mainly known for her roles as Dr. Allison Cameron in the medical-drama series House (2004–2012) and Emma Swan in the ABC adventure-fantasy series Once Upon a Time (2011–2018). She has also portrayed Zoey Pierson, one of Ted Mosby's love interests, on the comedy series How I Met Your Mother, Winona Kirk, mother of James T. Kirk in the 2009 science-fiction film Star Trek, and Tess Conlon in the 2011 sports drama film Warrior. She made her feature-film directorial debut with Sun Dogs (2017).

Early life[edit]

Morrison was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois. She is the oldest of three children; her sister, Julia, is a singer-songwriter and music band therapist, and her brother, Daniel, is a high-school band director.[1] Her father, David, is a retired music teacher and high-school band director who was named Teacher of the Year by the Illinois State Board of Education in 2003.[2]

Morrison attended South Middle School, and then graduated from Prospect High School (where her parents worked) in 1997. She was an All-State clarinet player in the school's marching band, sang in the choir, and was a cheerleader in the school pep squad.[3] She attended Loyola University Chicago, where she majored in theatre and minored in English, graduating in 2000. She studied at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.[4]


Beginnings and film roles (1992–2010)[edit]

Morrison at the Fox Broadcasting Company upfronts in 2008

Morrison started her career as a child model, appearing in print advertisements for JCPenney and Montgomery Ward, and commercials for Rice Krispies and Mondo. She was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Kids with basketball star Michael Jordan in May 1992.[5] Morrison made her feature-film debut at the age of 14 in the 1994 film Intersection, and later appeared as Samantha in Stir of Echoes (1999). Morrison's first leading role came in the 2000 film Urban Legends: Final Cut, and she has since gone on to appear in films including Grind (2003), Surviving Christmas (2004), and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005).

In 2004, Morrison won the role of immunologist Dr. Allison Cameron on House. She played the role for the first six seasons of the show, from 2004 to 2009. Morrison's character left in the 2009 episode "Teamwork",[6] but returned in the 2010 episode "Lockdown" to conclude Cameron's story. Morrison returned for the series finale "Everybody Dies" in 2012. In 2006, Morrison starred in and produced the independent film Flourish.[7] She is also one of the producers who found Glee during its early draft and brought it to attention of writer Ryan Murphy, who adapted it into a television series. Morrison did not stay involved creatively, but is credited as an associate producer on the first season for her involvement in finding it and helping it get into the right hands.[8]

In 2007, Morrison appeared as Kirce James in the computer game Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, a character who frequently interacts with the player during the course of the GDI campaign.[9] Her film projects that year included Big Stan and The Murder of Princess Diana, a television film based on the book of the same name by Noel Botham. Produced by Lifetime and Working Title Television, Morrison portrays an American journalist who witnesses the car crash that took the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. In 2009, Morrison returned to the big screen, appearing in the opening scene of J. J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot as James T. Kirk's mother, Winona. After her contract on House was not renewed, it was announced in December 2009[10] that Morrison had won the role of Kate Keller, Helen Keller's mother, in the Broadway-bound revival of The Miracle Worker.[11]

Once Upon A Time and television (2011–present)[edit]

Morrison attending the 2012 People's Choice Awards

In the fall of 2010, Morrison appeared as a guest star in the fourth episode of NBC's Chase. She played the role of Faith, a single mother-turned-fugitive, who embarks on a bloody killing spree across Texas with her little daughter.[12] She then joined the cast of CBS's How I Met Your Mother as recurring character Zoey Pierson, a mischievous architecture nerd and love interest of main character Ted Mosby's, and "the biggest female character we've maybe ever added to the show in Ted's life", according to executive producer Craig Thomas.[13][14][15]

In 2011, Morrison appeared in Warrior, a film about two estranged brothers who enter a mixed martial arts tournament and are forced to confront their struggling relationship with each other and with their father. Morrison plays the wife of Joel Edgerton's character, struggling to keep her family together.[8] Starting in October 2011, Morrison had a starring role in ABC's Once Upon a Time. She played the role of Emma Swan, a bail-bonds collector who turns out to be the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming.

In April 2016, Morrison launched her own film production company, Apartment 3C Productions,[16] named after the apartment she shared with her friends during her time at Loyola University Chicago.[17] She directed her first feature film, Sun Dogs, under this label during the summer of 2016.[16] In December 2017, Netflix announced it had acquired worldwide streaming rights to the film.[18]

In March 2017, it was announced that Morrison was cast as Stephanie in an off-Broadway revival of the play The End of Longing.[19] The performance lasted from May 18 to July 1, 2017.[20] On May 8, 2017, Morrison announced via social media that she would not be returning to Once Upon a Time as a series regular for season seven, while also noting that she had agreed to return as a guest for one episode.[21][22] That episode was the season's second, which aired in October 2017.[23] However, she ultimately returned for the series finale, which aired in May 2018.[24]

Morrison co-starred in Amityville: The Awakening as Candice. Originally shot in 2014, the film was released on Google Play on October 12, 2017, with a limited theatrical release on October 28, 2017.[25] In 2017, she made her feature film directorial debut with Sun Dogs, starring Michael Angarano, Melissa Benoist, and Allison Janney.[26] In June 2019, Morrison was confirmed to join the cast of This Is Us in a recurring role for the fourth season as Cassidy Sharp, an alcoholic and Marine veteran grappling with her return to civilian life.[27][28][29][30] She returned to guest star in season 5 and 6.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Morrison began dating her House co-star Jesse Spencer in 2004.[32] Spencer proposed to Morrison at the Eiffel Tower on December 23, 2006, but in August 2007, they called off their engagement.[33] Morrison started dating Prison Break star Amaury Nolasco in 2009; the relationship reportedly lasted three years.[34] In summer 2012, Morrison and Sebastian Stan began dating, having met on the Once Upon A Time set. They dated for a year, breaking up in mid-2013.[35] She began dating Gerardo Celasco in 2019.[36]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Intersection Meaghan Eastman
1994 Miracle on 34th Street Denice
1999 Stir of Echoes Samantha Kozac
2000 Urban Legends: Final Cut Amy Mayfield
2001 The Zeros Joyce
2002 Design Sonya Mallow
2002 Nantucket Alicia
2002 100 Women Annie
2003 Grind Jamie
2004 Mall Cop Chris
2004 The Sure Hand of God Lily Bowser
2004 Surviving Christmas Missy Vanglider
2004 Lift Sarah Short film
2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Jade
2006 The Script Christie Short film
2006 Flourish Gabrielle Winters Producer
2007 Big Stan Mindy
2009 Star Trek Winona Kirk Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2009 Table for Three Leslie Green
2011 Warrior Tess Conlon
2012 Stars in Shorts Agent Rachel Mintz Segment: "Prodigal"
2012 Knife Fight Angela
2013 Some Girl(s) Sam
2013 Alpha Alert Lt. White
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness Winona Kirk (voice)
2015 To Dust Return Sharon Reynolds Short film
2015 Mattresside Angelica Short film
2016 The Darkness Joy Carter
2016 Albion: The Enchanted Stallion The Abbess
2017 Amityville: The Awakening Candice
2017 Sun Dogs Marie Director, producer
Mammoth Film Festival Award for Best Picture
Mammoth Film Festival Award for Grand Jury Award
Savannah Film Festival Award for Best Narrative Feature
2018 Assassination Nation Margie Duncan
2018 Back Roads Callie Mercer
2018 Alex & the List Katherine Stern Burbank International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
2018 Superfly Detective Mason
2019 The Report Caroline Krass
2019 Batman: Hush Selina Kyle / Catwoman (voice)[37]
2019 All Creatures Here Below Penny
2019 Bombshell Juliet Huddy


Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Chronicle Gwen Episode: "Let Sleeping Dogs Fry"
2001 Touched by an Angel Melissa Episode: "Most Likely to Succeed"
2001–2002 Dawson's Creek Melanie Shay Thompson 2 episodes
2002 Any Day Now Mandy Singer Episode: "In Too Deep"
2002 The Random Years Megan Episode: "Pilot"
2002 Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie Callie Television film
2004–2012 House Dr. Allison Cameron Main role (Season 1–6); Guest star (Season 8)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2009)
2007 The Murder of Princess Diana Rachel Visco Television film
Nominated - Online Film & Television Association Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries
2009 The Super Hero Squad Show Wasp 3 episodes; voice role
2010 Chase Faith Maples Episode: "Paranoia"
2010–2014 How I Met Your Mother Zoey Pierson 13 episodes
2011 Bringing Ashley Home Ashley Phillips Television film
Prism Award for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries
2011 Five Sheila Television film; segment: "Charlotte"
2011–2018 Once Upon a Time Emma Swan Leading role (Season 1–6); Special guest star (Season 7)
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite On-Screen Chemistry (shared with Colin O'Donoghue) (2014)
Nominated - Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award for Favorite TV Actress (2015)
Nominated - People's Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress (2015–2017)
Nominated – Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award for Favorite Family TV Actress (2016)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress, Sci-Fi/Fantasy (2015, 2017)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Liplock (shared with Colin O'Donoghue) (2015–2017)
2019–2022 This Is Us Cassidy Sharp Recurring role (Season 4, 6);[38] Guest role (Season 5)
2023 Will Trent Abigail Bentley-Campano Episode: "Pilot"[39]


Year Title Notes
2017 Warning Lables Short
Nominated - Tribeca Film Festival Award for Best Narrative Short
2017 Sun Dogs Director, producer, actress
Won - Mammoth Film Festival Award for Best Picture
Won - Mammoth Film Festival Award for Grand Jury Award
Won - Savannah Film Festival Award for Best Narrative Feature
2018 Fabled TV series
2019 Euphoria Episode: “'03 Bonnie and Clyde” [40]
2021 One of Us Is Lying Episode: "Pilot"
2021 Dr. Death Episodes: "Dock Ellis", "An Occurrence at Randall Kirby's Sink"

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist Notes
2002 "Too Bad About Your Girl" The Donnas
2003 "Shut Up" Nick Lachey
2015 "What I Want" Will Butler
2015 "Demon Days (Do It All Again)" Wild Wild Horses Also director

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Kirce James


Year Title Role Venue
2010 The Miracle Worker Kate Keller Circle in the Square Theatre
2017 The End of Longing Stephanie Lucille Lortel Theatre


  1. ^ "Sequins & Suspenders". Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  2. ^ "Band Teacher Marches on As 2003 Teacher of the Year". Illinois State Board of Education. March 22, 2003. Archived from the original on March 23, 2014. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  3. ^ Spencer, Amy (September 10, 2014). "Jennifer Morrison rules the red carpet". New York Post. New York City: News Corp. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  4. ^ Wiser, Paige (February 27, 2012). "Once Upon a Time's Jennifer Morrison tells Her Story". Michigan Avenue. Atlanta, Georgia: Modern Luxury Media. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "Vintage Michael Jordan". SI Kids. May 1992. Archived from the original on November 5, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
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  7. ^ Riley, Jenelle (February 23, 2006). "Jennifer Morrison With 'Flourish'". Backstage. New York City: Backstage, LLC. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
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  11. ^ The Broadway League. "The official source for Broadway Information". IBDB. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
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  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 9, 2010). "'House' Alumna Jennifer Morrison Joins CBS Comedy 'How I Met Your Mother'". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  15. ^ Keck, William (September 26, 2010). "Keck's Exclusives: Is Jennifer Morrison HIMYM's Mother?". New York City: CBS Corporation. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  16. ^ a b Lincoln, Ross (April 22, 2016). "Jennifer Morrison Launches Apartment 3C Productions; Directorial Debut 'Sun Dogs' Is First Project". Deadline Hollywood. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  17. ^ Taras, Rebecca (June 13, 2014). "Jennifer Morrison: Life Outside The Once Upon A Time Fairy Tale". Refinery29. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
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  24. ^ Webb Mitrovich, Matt (March 21, 2018). "'Once Upon a Time': Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas and Emilie de Ravin Return for Series Finale". TVLine. Los Angeles, California: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  25. ^ Davies, Trevor (September 22, 2017). "The oft-delayed Amityville: The Awakening finally has a release date and will stream for free on Google Play". Critical Hit. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  26. ^ Abrams, Natalie (April 4, 2018). "Sun Dogs: Jennifer Morrison finds surprising comedy in deep directorial debut". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
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  28. ^ Morrison, Jennifer. "THIS IS US!!! #thisisus @nbcthisisus". Instagram. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
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  40. ^ "Breaking News - HBO Drama Series "Euphoria," Starring Zendaya, Debuts June 16". The Futon Critic. Retrieved June 19, 2019.

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