Family & Companions
As gifted as she was quirky, Shannyn Sossamon followed her independent spirit to build a fascinatingly diverse acting career. Born Oct. 3, 1978 in Honolulu, HI, Shannon Marie Kahololani Sossamon added the distinctive spelling of "Shannyn" as a teenager growing up in Nevada, where her exotic beauty and rebellious nature helped her stand out. After high school, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a dance career, but occasionally booked a commercial or a TV bit part. Sossamon's focus only centered on acting after a casting director discovered her DJ-ing at Gwyneth Paltrow's birthday party. She landed her star-making role as Heath Ledger's fiery love interest, Lady Jocelyn, in "A Knight's Tale" (2001), earning nominations for three MTV Movie Awards and two Teen Choice Awards. Sossamon scored follow-up successes in the abstinence comedy "40 Days and 40 Nights" (2002) and the Bret Easton Ellis adaptation "The Rules of Attraction" (2002), but made her biggest media splash when, the following year, she famously named her firstborn Audio Science. Although she began her career as a leading lady, Sossamon increasingly sought out quirky character roles in such projects as "Wristcutters: A Love Story" (2006) and "The Holiday" (2006), although she did find time to topline the horror flick "One Missed Call" (2008). The actress found a steadier home on television, earning series regular roles as a ghost on "Dirt" (FX, 2007-08), a vampire on "Moonlight" (CBS, 2007-08) and a gallery owner on "How to Make it in America" (HBO, 2010-11).
By Jonathan Riggs
Cast (Feature Film)
Spotted by a casting agent while helping a friend DJ Gwyneth Paltrow's birthday party
Made feature acting debut in "A Knight's Tale," opposite Heath Ledger; directed by Brian Helgeland
Co-starred in "Forty Days and Forty Nights," opposite Josh Hartnett
Cast in the ensemble "Rules of Attraction"; Roger Avary's adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' 1980s-set novel
Reunited with director Helgeland and co-star Ledger for "The Order"
Co-starred with Kip Pardue and Ashlee Simpson in "Undiscovered"
Appeared in "Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang," opposite Robert Downey Jr.; premiered at the Cannes Film Festival
Had a small role in Nancy Meyers' "The Holiday" as Jack Black's girlfriend
Co-starred with Patrick Fugit in the controversal indie film, "Wristcutters: A Love Story"
Co-starred in "One Missed Call," a remake of the Japanese horror film "Chakushin Ari"