Katherine McNamara, born on November 22, 1995, is an American actor best known for playing the character of Clary Fray in the supernatural drama “Shadowhunters.” She has also appeared on CW’s “Arrow” as Mia Smoak and “The Stand” as Julie Lawry. Her film appearances include Lily Bowman in “New Year’s Eve” and Rosa in “A Sort of Homecoming.” Sonya in “Maze Runner” and Amy in “Trust.” McNamara also had a brief singing career, making songs for the projects she acted in. From 2020 to 2021, she released three songs: ‘What do We Got to Lose,’ ‘Making a Monster Out of Me,’ and ‘Love Me Like That’ on streaming platforms.
Katherine McNamara was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to parents Ursula and Evan McNamara. She grew up in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and later moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to pursue her acting career. McNamara was a talented student, advanced in certain subjects, and thus partly homeschooled. She gained her high school diploma at the age of 14. By 17, McNamara had graduated summa cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Drexel University. She began acting on stage at a very young age in Kansas City. She later participated in movies filmed in the city, like “Matchmaker Mary” (2008).
In 2010, she appeared in the Broadway revival of “A Little Night Music” alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones. Around this time, McNamara also began making appearances on several television shows like “30 Rock,” “Drop Dead Diva,” and “Law & Order: SVU,” and films like “New Year’s Eve,” “Girl vs. Monster,” “Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn,” and “Contest.” She also briefly appeared on the Disney XD series “Kickin’ It,” the Disney Channel series “Jessie,” Nickelodeon’s “The Thundermans,” and M.T.V.’s “Happyland.” In 2015, McNamara announced that she would play the role of Kat in the third season of “The Fosters.” The same year, she was cast to play Clary Fray in ABC Family’s “Shadowhunters,” based on the bestselling book series “The Mortal Instruments” by Cassandra Clare. McNamara also became part of the film adaptations of “The Maze Runner” trilogy, playing the character of Sonya in “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” and “Maze Runner: The Death Cure.” In September 2018, she was cast to play the role of Mia Smoak in the seventh season of CW’s “Arrow.” Smoak is the daughter of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak, who travels to the past. The character became a series in the show’s eighth and final season. She later reprised her role in the five-episode-long “Armageddon” storyline in the eighth season of CW’s “The Flash.” 2019 saw McNamara as Julie Lawry in the limited series adaptation of Stephan King’s “The Stand.” She has also hosted the horror podcast “The Burned Photo” and “Return to the Shadows,” a “Shadowhunters” rewatch podcast. In March 2022, she was cast to play the role of Abby Walker in “Walker: Independence,“ a prequel to “Walker.” She also had a brief singing career, creating songs for the projects she’s acted in.
McNamara is also known for her philanthropy. She has participated in anti-bullying efforts, the United Nations’ Girl Up campaign, and Covid-19 relief efforts. In 2020, she also participated in a live-reading of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” with Acting for a Cause.
McNamara appears in “Matchmaker Mary.”
McNamara moves to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career.
McNamara gets her first television leading role on “Happyland.”
She plays the role in “Shadowhunters.”
Why We Love Katherine McNamara
McNamara has been acting for a while. Her natural talent shines through on screen!
Her projects are fun to watch
She is talented, and McNamara’s projects are also fun to watch. We always have a blast watching “Arrow” and “Shadowhunters.”
She is a philanthropist
McNamara seems to believe in giving back to society. We love how she participates in philanthropic projects and donates to causes she believes in.
5 Surprising Facts
She’s an only child
McNamara has no brothers or sisters.
She likes boxing
McNamara boxes in her free time whenever she has a chance.
She’s a baker
She enjoys baking cakes and cookies for her friends and family.
She enrolled in a master’s degree program
She enrolled in an online master’s degree in literature program at Johns Hopkins University.
She dyed her hair for “Shadowhunters”
She dyed her naturally blonde hair auburn for the role of Clary Fray.
Katherine McNamara FAQs
Is Katherine McNamara naturally blonde?
Yes, she is a natural strawberry blonde.
Who plays Blackstar in “Arrow?”
McNamara took on the role in season seven of “Arrow.”
Is Blackstar Oliver's daughter?
Yes, she’s Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak’s daughter.
Katherine McNamara’s birthday dates