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Emily VanCamp Biography


Home > Actresses > V > VanCamp, Emily > Biography


Birth Name: Emily VanCamp
Born: 05/12/1986
Birth Place: Port Perry, Ontario, CA


Born Emily Irene VanCamp in Port Perry, Ontario, Canada, on May 12, 1986, her first love was dance, which she began pursuing at the age of three. Nine years later, her training paid off when she was accepted into the L'Ecole Superieure de Danse de Quebec, the official training program of the prestigious Grands Ballet Canadiens. But her passion shifted gears when one of her three older sisters was cast in a film as a ballerina. Upon visiting the film set, VanCamp quickly fell in love with the environment, and decided to become an actress. She was just 13 when she landed her first onscreen role in a pair of episodes of the kids' suspense series "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" (YTV/Nickelodeon, 1990-2000). Her natural acting ability and maturity at a young age led to supporting roles in a series of diverse and decidedly grown-up projects produced by or filmed in Canada, including the Emmy-nominated "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis" (2000) in which she played Jackie at age 13, the lesbian-themed drama "Lost and Delirious" (2001), and the psychological thriller miniseries "Dice" (2001). Her first job as a series regular on Kevin Williamson's supernatural drama "Glory Days" (The WB, 2002) lasted just nine episodes, but the network clearly saw her talent as something they wanted in their stable. It was not long after that she was cast as Amy Abbott on "Everwood."

VanCamp's headstrong Amy was at the center of a juicy love triangle for much of season one and two of "Everwood." Her boyfriend, Colin, was in a coma, and the town's new doctor, Andrew Brown (Treat Williams), was a world-class surgeon, so she gravitated towards him and his son Ephram (Gregory Smith) in the hopes that he could help Colin. But over the course of the season, Amy and Ephram began to develop ill-timed feelings for one another as Dr. Brown's surgical skills helped to revive Colin. For the next two seasons, the relationship endured considerable ups and downs before reaching an impassable roadblock in the third season. Despite her age, VanCamp proved well-equipped to handle her character's emotional arcs - which included dalliances with drugs, casual sex, an estrangement from her family, and her mother's illness - and emerged from the show with a body of work that put the full range of her talent in an excellent showcase. Her performance also proved to be a favorite among the show's sizable audience of young female viewers (as well as a number of older men and women), who saw fit to nominate her three times as Choice Actress in a Drama for the Teen Choice Awards between 2003 and 2005; she and Smith were also nominated for Best Chemistry in 2005.

While shooting "Everwood," VanCamp had a supporting role in "The Ring Two" (2005), the much-anticipated sequel to Gore Verbinski's 2002 remake of the 1998 Japanese horror film "Ringu." VanCamp's character, Emily, who survives an attack by the murderous ghost Samara, was a minor role, though the character got more screen time in "Rings" (2005), a short film about the events and characters that lead up to "The Ring Two." The film enjoyed a successful opening weekend, but its final box office tally fell far short of the first film's ticket sales. Shortly thereafter, VanCamp joined the ensemble cast of the family-drama "Brothers and Sisters" (ABC, 2006-2011). Like "Everwood," "Brothers and Sisters" was produced by Greg Berlanti and explored the convoluted relationships between a family and their friends, lovers, and coworkers. Here, the Walker family, led by matriarch Sally Field, was the focus, and Rachel Griffiths, Calista Flockhart, Balthazar Getty, Matthew Rhys, and Dave Annable her children. VanCamp played Rebecca Harper, a Walker half-sibling whose mother was the mistress of the family's late patriarch (Tom Skerritt). Over the course of the show's first two seasons, Rebecca struggled to find acceptance within the Walker family, as well as inappropriate relationships with a teacher, and later, half-sister Rebecca's (Griffiths) husband Joe, which leads to their divorce. A triangle between Rebecca, half-brother Justin (Annable), and Lena Branigan (Emily Rose), secretary to her half-brother Tommy (Getty), also developed in the second season.

Shortly after DNA testing revealed that Rebecca was, in fact, not the daughter of the deceased Walker patriarch, it was clear that VanCamp's character had run her course, and by the show's fifth season, she was phased out of the "Brothers and Sisters" storyline. Still hoping to make an impact in feature films, VanCamp appeared as a member of a self-destructive South Boston Irish-Catholic family in the gritty drama "Black Irish" (2007), followed by a turn as one of four friends trying to find sanctuary amidst a deadly worldwide pandemic in the post-apocalyptic thriller "Carriers" (2009). While both met with respectable reviews, neither made much of a dent in theaters. The small screen continued to provide the young actress with opportunities, including a project alongside her former "Everwood" co-star, Treat Williams in the inspirational education drama "Beyond the Blackboard" (CBS, 2011). VanCamp landed the biggest role of her career later that year as one of the leads on the potboiler drama "Revenge" (ABC, 2011- ). In the guise of wealthy Hamptons socialite Emily Thorne, VanCamp's true character plotted and schemed against the empirical Grayson clan, particularly its frosty matriarch, played with relish by Madeline Stowe, who she blamed for the destruction of her father. An admitted guilty pleasure in the eyes of many critics, the show was deemed one of the more respectable new scripted network dramas in a relatively anemic field.




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