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Visual Kat McNamara

Katherine McNamara Biography 

Katherine McNamara is an actress and singer who is perhaps best known for her role as ‘Clary Fray’ in the Freeform series “Shadowhunters.” The fantasy show, based on a series of young adult books, drew a massive fanbase and garnered multiple People’s Choice Award and Teen Choice Award wins. The series aired its final episode on May 6th, 2019. 

McNamara is also well known for starring in the CW’s “Arrow” as ‘Mia Smoak (aka Blackstar)’. Initially only referred to as Blackstar, Mia is an underground cage fighter from a possible future. The reveal of Mia’s true identity as the daughter of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak was described as the best twist of Season 7. The 8th and final season ended in January of 2020.

Up Next, McNamara will be seen in comedy “El Tonto” opposite Kate Beckinsale and Jason Sudeikis. She will also be heard as the voice of “Cat” in “The Adventures of Bunny Bravo.”

Most recently, McNamara can be seen in comedy-horror film, “Untitled Horror Movie” which released in June 2021. The film was shot entirely during lockdown with writing, pre-production and the filming process taking place remotely. McNamara can also be seen in 2021 films, “Finding You,” opposite Vanessa Redgrave, and “Trust” alongside Victoria Justice. In December of 2020, McNamara starred as character “Julia Lawry” in CBS All Access’ mini-series, “The Stand,” based on the Stephen King novel. The star-studded cast included James Marsden, Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgård and Amber Heard. 

McNamara began her career on Broadway at the age of 13 as ‘Fredrika’ in “A Little Night Music,” starring opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury. Her other roles include ‘Esther Jane’ in the pre-Broadway world premiere of “A Christmas Story, the Musical!” as well as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Crucible,” “Inherit the Wind” and “Galileo.” She has also been cast in a number of Equity workshops/readings, including “PAN” with Laura Osnes, which was created by the “In the Heights” creative team.

In 2018 Katherine reprised her role as ‘Sonya’ in the third installment of “The Maze Runner” trilogy, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” alongside Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scodelario. She originated the role in the second film “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.”

McNamara now divides her acting talents between television and film. Notable television credits include “CSI,” “Unforgettable,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Drop Dead Diva,” “30 Rock,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” MTV “Happyland,” “Workaholics,” “Unforgettable,” “Jessie,” “Good Morning America,” PBS’s “Sondheim! The Birthday Concert,” and the highly acclaimed Freeform series “The Fosters.”

McNamara made her big screen debut in Warner Bros.’ “New Years Eve,” in which she portrays ‘Lily.’ She also starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie “Girl Vs. Monster” opposite Olivia Holt, which attracted more than 5 million viewers, as well as the independent film “Contest” as ‘Sarah O’Malley’ opposite Kenton Duty. The film dives into the dark world of high school bullying and found a home on Cartoon Network as part of their anti-bullying initiative. Other film projects include “Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn” opposite Joel Courtney and Jake T. Austin, Disney’s family-friendly “Little Savages,” Universal’s film by R.L. Stine, “MONSTERVILLE: Cabinet of Souls,” “A Sort of Homecoming” opposite Laura Marano, “Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?” with Cloris Leachman, “Natural Selection” with Anthony Michael Hall, “A Wife’s Nightmare” with Jennifer Beals and “Indiscretion” with Mira Sorvino and Cary Elwes.

The triple threat has added music to her resume as well. McNamara plays the guitar, piano, and enjoys singing and songwriting. She has shared her passion for music with the world by releasing songs “Making a Monster” which can be heard in episode 1 of “The Stand.”  She has also released “Ember” (2017), which was featured in the “Shadowhunters” Season 2 finale, and “Glass Slipper” (2017). In addition, she has several songs featured in films, including her original song “Chatter” (2013) on the “Contest” soundtrack.

McNamara also has a passion for all forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, waltz and hula.

At the age of 14, McNamara graduated with honors from high school and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Business with an emphasis in Finance from Drexel University’s Le Bow School of Business at the age of 17. She is now pursuing a Master of Literature at the John Hopkins University as part of their Advanced Academics graduate degree program. 

McNamara is committed to giving back to the community. She is a champion for the United Nations Foundation’s girl empowerment campaign, Girl Up, a spokesperson for Stomp Out Bullying, an avid supporter of the MS Society and the Lollipop Theater Network, a lifetime Girl Scout and a volunteer for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She is also a regular attendee of Children's Mercy Hospital's Big Slick celebrity weekend in support of pediatric cancer research and treatment programs.

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, McNamara currently resides in Los Angeles.

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