Katherine McNamara

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Katherine McNamara
Katherine McNamara - November 2014 (cropped).jpg
McNamara in November 2014
Katherine Grace McNamara

(1995-11-22) November 22, 1995 (age 23)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materDrexel University
Years active2007–present

Katherine Grace McNamara[1] (born November 22, 1995[1][2]) is an American actress. She is known for her role as Harper Munroe on the MTV comedy series Happyland, and for her lead role as Clary Fray on the Freeform fantasy series Shadowhunters.

Early life and education[edit]

McNamara was born in Kansas City, Missouri, the only child of Ursula and Evan McNamara, who served in the U.S. military.[3] She was raised in Lee's Summit, Missouri,[4] and moved to Los Angeles, California in 2011.[5]

While growing up, McNamara was an advanced student in certain subjects, resulting in her being part-homeschooled; she received her high school diploma at age 14.[6] At age 17, McNamara graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Drexel University, completing much of her course work online.[4] As of November 2015, she is studying for a Master of Science degree in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University.[7]


McNamara began her acting career on Broadway, appearing in A Little Night Music with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury.[8] She began guest starring on television series including Drop Dead Diva and 30 Rock. McNamara has appeared in theatrical movies such as New Year's Eve, and appeared in the Disney Channel original movie Girl vs. Monster playing the role of Myra Santelli. She co-starred in the film remake of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, playing the role of Tom's girlfriend Becky Thatcher.[9] McNamara also appeared in the independent films Contest[10] and A Sort of Homecoming.[11]

She appeared on three episodes of the Disney XD series Kickin' It, in which she had a recurring role as Claire, Kim's rival, and in two episodes of the Disney Channel series Jessie, playing Bryn Brietbart, a rival to Emma Ross. She also appeared in an episode of the Nickelodeon series The Thundermans. McNamara was cast in the MTV series Happyland as Harper Munroe, a resident of the park who pursues a boy despite the fact that she already has a boyfriend.[12] It was announced that McNamara would playing the recurring role of Kat on the third season of The Fosters in 2015.[13]

It was announced on May 6, 2015 that McNamara would be playing the lead character Clary Fray in Shadowhunters, the Freeform television adaptation of Cassandra Clare's best-selling book series The Mortal Instruments.[14][15] Her first musical release, an original single titled "Ember", was included in the show's second-season finale.[16] McNamara appeared in The Maze Runner film sequel, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, as Sonya, a co-leader of Group B.[17] She reprised the role in the 2018 sequel, Maze Runner: The Death Cure.[18] In September 2018, McNamara was cast in the recurring role as Maya, a scrappy street fighter and thief in the seventh season of Arrow.[19]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Matchmaker Mary Mary Carver
2009 Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency Emma Marsh
2011 Sam Steele and the Crystal Chalice Emma Marsh
2011 New Year's Eve Lily Bowman Segment: "Mother & Daughter Story"
2012 Last Ounce of Courage Caroler
2013 Contest Sarah O'Malley
2013 Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn Becky Thatcher
2015 A Sort of Homecoming Rose
2015 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Sonya
2015 Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls Lilith Direct-to-video film
2016 Little Savages Tiffany
2016 Is That a Gun in Your Pocket? Sandy Keely
2016 Natural Selection Paige Thomas
2018 Maze Runner: The Death Cure Sonya
TBA El Tonto TBA Post-production[20]


Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Suite Life of Zack & Cody Brian McNamara's daughter Cameo
2010 The Haunting Hour: The Series Jodanna Episode: "Worry Dolls"
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Jasmine Episode: "Flight"
2011 30 Rock Meagan Episode: "TGS Hates Women"; uncredited[citation needed]
2011 Drop Dead Diva Ann Logan Episode: "Ah, Men"
2012 Glee Bunhead #1 Episode: "Makeover"
2012 Sketchy Iris Episode: "This Is 14"
2012 Madison High Cherri O'Keefe Unsold television pilot[21]
2012 Girl vs. Monster Myra Santelli Television movie (Disney Channel)
2012–2013 Kickin' It Claire 3 episodes
2013 Touch Evie Woods Episode: "Reunions"
2013 Jessie Bryn Breitbart Episodes: "Kids Don’t Wanna Be Shunned", "Diary of a Mad Newswoman"
2013 The Thundermans Tara Campbell Episode: "Dinner Party"
2013 The Surgeon General Lily Sherman Unsold television pilot[22]
2014 Happyland Harper Munroe Main role
2014 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Angela Ward/Tangerine Episode: "Long Road Home"
2014 Unforgettable Young Carrie Wells Episode: "Reunion"
2014 A Wife's Nightmare Jackie Television movie (Lifetime)
2014 Workaholics Haley Episode: "Beer Heist"
2014–2016 Transformers: Rescue Bots Priscilla Pynch Voice role; 6 episodes
2015 The Fosters Ekaterina 3 episodes
2016–present Shadowhunters Clary Fray Main role
2016 The Grinder Ginger Episode: "From the Ashes"; uncredited[citation needed]
2016 Indiscretion Lizzy Television movie (Lifetime)
2018 Arrow Maya / Blackstar Recurring role (season 7)[19]
2018 Happy Together Sarah Episode: "Home Insecurity"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Breakout Star Shadowhunters Nominated [23]
2018 TV Scoop Awards Best Drama Actress Shadowhunters Nominated [24]
Best Couple (with Dominic Sherwood) Shadowhunters Nominated [25]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Actress Shadowhunters Nominated [26]
People's Choice Awards Female TV Star Shadowhunters Won [27]


  1. ^ a b "Obituaries for Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006". LaCrosse Tribune. November 14, 2006. Archived from the original on 2015-12-26. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  2. ^ Katherine McNamara [@Kat_McNamara] (November 22, 2014). "Birthday baking in prep for tomorrow! Cake for breakfast, anyone? #bakerproblems" (Tweet). Retrieved January 26, 2016 – via Twitter.
    Katherine McNamara [@Kat_McNamara] (November 22, 2014). ""@LarryPoindexter: @Kat_McNamara Happy Birthday adopted daughter!" Thanks, Dad! :)" (Tweet). Retrieved January 26, 2016 – via Twitter.
    Katherine McNamara [@Kat_McNamara] (November 22, 2014). "What I woke up to this morning..." (Tweet). Retrieved January 26, 2016 – via Twitter.
    Katherine McNamara [@Kat_McNamara] (June 4, 2015). ""Ginger hair, don't care since 1995... #tbt"" (Tweet). Retrieved June 24, 2017 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Steve Walker (December 2, 2010). "Lee's Summit Teen Reflects on Broadway Debut". KCUR-FM. Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  4. ^ a b Robert Trussell (October 19, 2013). "Lee's Summit native Katherine McNamara's star is on the rise". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on 2017-06-22. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  5. ^ Rob Owen (January 11, 2016). "Kansas City's Katherine McNamara takes the lead in new sci-fi TV series 'Shadowhunters'". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on 2017-07-06. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
  6. ^ Katherine McNamara (March 18, 2015). "Embrace your brains — ladies, don't be afraid to show your smarts". HelloGiggles. Archived from the original on July 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Maxwell Losgar (November 30, 2015). "Meet Katherine McNamara, the Star of The Mortal Instruments TV Reboot, Shadowhunters". Teen Vogue. Archived from the original on 2016-01-03. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  8. ^ "Variety Youth Impact Report 2015 - UP NEXT: Katherine McNamara". Variety. September 1, 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-01-01. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  9. ^ Justin Kroll (July 8, 2011). "Players". Variety. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Gregg Kilday (July 1, 2012). "Kenton Duty, Katherine McNamara, Dan Flaherty Join Cast of Bullying Film 'The Contest'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2016-01-31. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  11. ^ Aaron Couch (January 30, 2014). "Katherine McNamara Joining Debate Drama 'A Sort of Homecoming'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  12. ^ Nellie Andreeva (September 5, 2013). "MTV Comedy Pilot 'Happyland' Sets Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  13. ^ Elizabeth Wagmeister (April 14, 2015). "'The Fosters' Adds 'Maze Runner' & 'Nashville' Actors to Season 3". Variety. Archived from the original on 2016-02-10. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  14. ^ Whitney Friedlander (May 6, 2015). "Katherine McNamara to Star as Clary in ABC Family's 'Shadowhunters'". Variety. Archived from the original on 2016-01-26. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  15. ^ Kate Stanhope (May 6, 2015). "ABC Family's 'Mortal Instruments' Drama to Star 'Happyland' Alum". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2016-01-31. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  16. ^ Highfill, Samantha (August 14, 2017). "Shadowhunters finale: Katherine McNamara talks Clary's shocking decision". Entertainment Weekly. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on 2017-08-15. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  17. ^ "Katherine McNamara Books 'The Maze Runner 2' & 'Indiscretion'". Deadline Hollywood. December 22, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-12-24. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  18. ^ Bell, Anya (May 7, 2017). "'Shadowhunters' Season 2 Star Katherine McNamara Confirms Return In 'Maze Runner 3', Sonya Joins Dylan O'Brien In Cape Town". Celebeat. Archived from the original on 2017-08-17. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Ausiello, Michael (September 21, 2018). "Arrow Season 7: Shadowhunters' Katherine McNamara Joins Cast". TV Line. Archived from the original on 2018-09-22. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  20. ^ "Katherine McNamara Boards Charlie Day's 'El Tonto'; Brandon Wilson Joins Warner Bros.' 'Torrance'". Deadline Hollywood.
  21. ^ Nellie Andreeva (February 17, 2011). "Disney Channel's Music-Driven 'HSM' Offshoot 'Madison High' Gets Pilot Order". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 2016-07-13. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  22. ^ "Development Update: Sunday, May 12 - Odds & Ends". The Futon Critic. May 12, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2016. The drama - about a fictional Surgeon General of the United States (Jason Isaacs) and the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps - likewise won't be going to series at the network.
  23. ^ Allison Crist; Kimberly Nordyke (July 31, 2016). "Teen Choice Awards: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  24. ^ Lauren Piester (June 12, 2018). "TV Scoop Awards 2018: Vote for the Best Drama Actor and Actress". E! News. Archived from the original on 2018-06-23. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  25. ^ "TV Scoop Awards 2018: Vote for the Best Couple and Sexiest Moment". E! News. June 15, 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-06-23. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  26. ^ Omar Sanchez (June 14, 2018). "Teen Choice Awards: 'Black Panther,' 'Riverdale,' Childish Gambino Among First Group of Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2018-06-16. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  27. ^ Lauren Piester (November 11, 2018). "Katherine McNamara Wins Female TV Star At the People's Choice Awards After Insane Fan Dedication". E! News. Retrieved November 11, 2018.

External links[edit]