Shannyn Marie Kahololani Sossamon was born on October 3, 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The family moved to Reno, Nevada when Sossamon was a year old. There, she displayed a talent for physical expression, attending a dance studio regularly throughout her youth. After she finished her secondary school education at Galena High School, however, a 17-year-old Sossamon pulled up stakes again. This time, it was to move to move to the place where she would find her career: Los Angeles.
Shannyn Sossamon Height: 1.72M (5ft 7.7inch), Weight: 53.8Kgs
Sossamon began her entertainment career not in dance but in modeling and DJ work. While booking jobs in L.A. clubs, she also took on modeling contracts for brands like American Eagle Outfitters and Unionbay Clothing. She went on to TV commercials (the Gap) and later, music videos, including ones by Daft Punk and Cher.
Sossamon’s path to true fame opened after while she was helping another DJ at a party. In 1997, the 19-year-old was noticed by casting director Francine Maisler. Maisler went on to cast Sossamon as Lady Jocelyn, the love interest of Heath Ledger in The Knight’s Tale. While the film was not the biggest critical success, it was nevertheless popular at the box office, and made Ledger and Sossamon names to look out for among young cinemagoers. It also earned Sossamon several MTV Movie Award and Teen Choice Award nominations.
Sossamon’s exotic looks—a product of her Dutch, English, Filipino, French, German, Hawaiian and Irish heritage—gained her further attention in the 2002 film, 40 Days and 40 Nights. She later played Lauren Hynde in The Rules of Attraction, where she finally began to get positive reviews for her acting. While more modest in its earnings than Sossamon’s first two box-office hits, the film was also considered a financial success.
Sossamon’s next film was released in 2003. Reuniting with actor Heath Ledger, she starred in The Order. The film was not as successful as Sossamon’s earlier films, however. This was followed by what Sossamon herself has described as “a complete stop” to her career. This was due to her pregnancy with her son with children’s book author Dallas Clayton. Their child was named Audio Science Clayton.
Sossamon was quiet for most of 2004, with only an appearance on TV show Law and Order for the year. On the personal front, Sossamon ended her relationship with Dallas Clayton in the same year. She followed this up with B-movie Devour in 2005 and a cameo in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. She also appeared in the films Undiscovered and Chasing Ghosts.
Her next film showed Sossamon going into the indie side of the business—and to wide critical acclaim at that. She was one of the leads in Goran Dukic’s film Wristcutters: A Love Story. This was followed by a role in the commercially-successful Nancy Meyers film The Holiday. She also appeared in the TV shows Moonlight and Dirt as well as the horror film Catacombs the next year. This was followed by another horror film, One Missed Call (a remake of the Japanese movie) in 2008. She also released her only recording with L.A. indie rock band Warpaint at this time, titled Exquisite Corpse.
Sossamon delved more deeply into indie films in 2009 onwards. She appeared in the movies Life Is Hot in Cracktown, Our Family Wedding, The Heavy, Road to Nowhere, The Day, and The End of Love. She also appeared in a short film, The Cyclist.
In 2012 she had another son, named Mortimer. Since then, she has appeared in a number of TV shows, including Mistresses, M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines, and Sleepy Hollow. She also appeared in Sinister 2 in 2015.