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Emmy Rossum - Biography & Career

A New Yorker by birth and in spirit, Emmanuelle Grey Rossum was born on September 12, 1986 with a serious set of vocal chords. She had her performance debut at Manhattan's grand Metropolitan Opera at age 6.

Growing up, Emmy lived, drank and breathed opera, and had acted in over 20 productions in six different languages by the time she turned 18. At the same time, she earned a top-tier education at New York's prestigious Spence School for girls, Gwyneth Paltrow's alma mater.

Even your average opera ignoramus knows that Luciano Pavarotti and Placido Domingo are musical heavyweights. Well, Emmy held her own beside them at some of the world's elite theaters, including Carnegie Hall, where she sang in The Damnation of Faust.

Emmy also enjoyed the privilege of working under renowned stage and film directors early in her career -- Franco Zeffirelli and Tim Albery among them.

Sassy and telegenic, people soon discovered that Emmy was great behind the camera as well. Emmy stuck some soap in her opera and began acted in the long-running daytime drama, As the World Turns.

Moving on to TV movies, Emmy starred in the 1999 Disney Channel feature Genius, a performance for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award. The following year, she channeled Audrey Hepburn's spirit in her portrayal of the young actress in another TV movie, The Audrey Hepburn Story.

It wasn't long before Emmy graduated to the big screen. Songcatcher (2000) saw her playing an Appalachian orphan. Emmy spent months preparing for the role by training to sing country folk tunes. Her efforts in this endeavor were so successful that she was later mistaken for a real country singer. Songcatcher also earned her a nomination for Best Debut Performance at the Independent Spirit Awards.

It was only up for Emmy from there. She appeared in An American Rhapsody (2001), Happy Now (2001) and the romantic comedies Passionada (2002) and Nola (2003). These gigs placed her alongside names like Nastassja Kinski, Sofia Milos, Scarlett Johansson and Mary McDonnell.

In 2003, Emmy starred with the real heavyweights in Mystic River, playing the slain daughter of tough guy Sean Penn. She got her break at a major blockbuster in 2004, playing Laura Chapman in The Day After Tomorrow.

Emmy can next be seen in 2004's The Phantom of the Opera, in which she plays the lead female role of Christine.