Shannon Marie Woodward was born on December 17, 1984, in Phoenix, Arizona. As a child, she moved with her family to Florida, where she attended Olympic Heights Community High School. There she began acting and later caught the attention of a casting director for Nickelodeon’s Clarissa Explains It All. Besides acting, Shannon plays guitar and sings. Currently, she resides in Los Angeles, California. She has been in a long term relationship with British actor, Andrew Garfield.
While living in Florida with her family, Shannon starred in several local community plays. Her first on-screen acting job came in 1991 when she played the occasionally recurring role of Missy on cable network Nickelodeon’s Clarissa Explains It All. According to the Internet Movie Database, she would reprise this role two more times during the show’s five season run.
After her sitcom debut, Shannon won small parts in a trio of made-for-TV movies. First, alongside Clarissa star Melissa Joan Hart in the 1995 made-for-tv drama Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare. Then in 1995 she played Lucy her second made-for-TV film, Tornado!, which also starred Bruce Campbell, Shannon Sturges, and Ernie Hudson. Finally, in 1997 she played an uncredited role in the CBS miniseries True Women alongside the also uncredited Hilary Duff and Hayley Duff as well as Rachael Leigh Cook, Angelina Jolie, Annabeth Gish, and Dana Delany.
Between 2000 and 2005, Shannon played a number of minor roles in various television shows including The Drew Carey Show, Grounded For Life, Malcolm in the Middle, Crossing Jordan, Without a Trace, Psych, and Boston Public.
Shannon’s big-screen debut came in the 2005 when she played Emma Sharp, the daughter of Texas Ranger Roland Sharp (Tommy Lee Jones), who is assigned to protect a group of University of Texas cheerleaders who were witness to a murder in the action comedy Man of the House, which also starred Cedric the Entertainer.
In 2007, Shannon got her big break in the series The Riches, which aired for two seasons (2007–2008) on cable network FX. She played the role of Di Di Malloy, the teen daughter and middle child in an American family of Irish Travellers. In the series, Di Di, along with her parents Dahlia and Wayne (Minnie Driver, Eddie Izzard), and her brothers Cael and Sam (Noel Fisher, Aidan Mitchell) find themselves personally conflicted after stealing the identity of a wealthy couple and trying to assimilate into “buffer” culture in an upscale gated community in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
After The Riches ended, Shannon played the role of Leah in the supernatural teen horror film The Haunting of Molly Hartley.
Shannon’s return to TV was the 2009 pilot Limelight, about a New York City school for performing arts. The series was not picked up. That same year, Shannon played a recurring role on NBC’s ER as Kelly Taggart, sister of nurse Samantha “Sam” Taggart. She also starred in another teen thriller The Shortcut.
Most recently, in 2010, Shannon completed filming the independent drama Girlfriend, co-starring Jackson Rathbone and Amanda Plummer; and she starred in another pilot – this time for a FOX sitcom Raising Hope, which also stars Cloris Leachman and Martha Plimpton which is picked up and currently airing it’s first season.