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Jennette McCurdy
Jennette McCurdy 2012.jpg
McCurdy at the 2012 Hall of Game Awards
Jennette Michelle Faye McCurdy

(1992-06-26) June 26, 1992 (age 30)
  • Actress
  • writer
  • director
  • singer
  • podcaster
Years active 2000–present
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
  • Capitol Nashville
  • EMI
Associated acts

Jennette Michelle Faye McCurdy (born June 26, 1992) is an American writer, director, podcaster, singer and former actress. McCurdy's breakthrough role as Sam Puckett in the Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly (2007–2012) earned her various awards, including four Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. She reprised the character in the iCarly spin-off series Sam & Cat (2013–2014) before leaving Nickelodeon. McCurdy also appeared in the television series Malcolm in the Middle (2003–2005), Zoey 101 (2005), Lincoln Heights (2007), True Jackson, VP (2009–2010), and Victorious (2012). She produced, wrote, and starred in her own webseries, What's Next for Sarah? (2014), and led the science-fiction series Between (2015–2016).

McCurdy independently released her debut single, "So Close", in 2009. She released her debut EP, Not That Far Away, in 2010, followed in 2012 by the Jennette McCurdy EP and the Jennette McCurdy album. The lead single, "Generation Love", reached number 44 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs.

In 2017, McCurdy quit acting and decided to pursue a career in writing and directing. In early 2020 she performed a one-woman show, I'm Glad My Mom Died, in Los Angeles and New York City; further dates were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, she began hosting an interview podcast, Empty Inside. In 2022, she released a well-reviewed best-selling memoir, I'm Glad My Mom Died, describing her career as a child star and the uneasy relationship she had with her deceased mother.

Early life

McCurdy was raised in Garden Grove, California, in a relatively poor Mormon family, though she ultimately left the religion in her early adulthood. Her mother, Debra McCurdy, home-schooled her and her three older brothers. The man she grew up believing was her father, Mark McCurdy, worked two jobs. After Debra's death, McCurdy learned that she was not his child.

Television, film, and music career

2000–2006: Career beginnings

In 2000, at the age of eight, McCurdy started her acting career on Mad TV. She then appeared in several television series, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Malcolm in the Middle, Lincoln Heights, Will & Grace, Zoey 101, True Jackson, VP, Law and Order SVU, Medium, Judging Amy, The Inside, Karen Sisco, Over There, and Close to Home. In 2003, she acted in the film Hollywood Homicide. In 2005, she was nominated for a Young Artist Award for "Best Performance in a Television Series – Guest Starring Young Actress" for her performance in Strong Medicine. She also appeared in a commercial for Sprint.

2007–2012: iCarly and music

Jennette McCurdy 2008
McCurdy aged 16 in 2008

From 2007-2012, she starred as Sam Puckett in the Nickelodeon TV series iCarly. In 2008, she was nominated for a Young Artist Award for her work on iCarly and her performance as Dory Sorenson in the TV movie The Last Day of Summer. She was nominated for a 2009 Teen Choice Award in the Favorite TV Sidekick category for her work on iCarly. She played Bertha in Fred: The Movie, a movie based on a YouTube series about Fred Figglehorn.

In June 2008, McCurdy announced that she was working on her debut album. The first single, "So Close", was released on March 10, 2009. On May 19, her cover of the Amanda Stott song "Homeless Heart" was released. It was released in honor of McCurdy's recently deceased friend Cody Waters, who died at the age of nine from brain cancer, and 20% of the proceeds were donated to the Cody Waters Foundation. She met Waters through St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In mid-2009, McCurdy was offered a record deal from both Big Machine Records and Capitol Records Nashville. McCurdy signed to Capitol Nashville. On April 16, 2010, samples of selected songs from McCurdy's upcoming debut country album were released online. The song clips were released for fans to vote for which one they believed should be McCurdy's first radio single. "Not That Far Away" received the most votes, and was released to country radio on May 24, 2010, and iTunes on June 1.

ICarly actors at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (cropped)
McCurdy at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in 2012

McCurdy's debut EP, Not That Far Away, was released on August 17, 2010. Her second single, "Generation Love", was released as a digital download on March 22, 2011, followed by its release to radio on April 25, 2011. McCurdy released a second EP, Jennette McCurdy, on February 8, 2012 at the clothing retailer Justice. Jennette McCurdy, her debut album, was released on June 5. Shortly after the release, McCurdy confirmed that she had left Capitol Nashville citing conflicts of a new series in which she was cast. In 2022, McCurdy described her music career as "a much-regretted country music blip".

2013–2015: Sam and Cat and Between

McCurdy starred alongside Ariana Grande in the Nickelodeon series Sam & Cat, reprising her role as Sam Puckett, with Grande reprising her role as Cat Valentine. The series' plot centers on the girls becoming roommates and starting their own babysitting business. It premiered on June 8, 2013. In 2014, McCurdy was absent from the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Explaining her absence, McCurdy stated that Nickelodeon put her in an "uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation" where she had to look out for herself, and McCurdy and Grande were having disagreements with the network over their respective salaries, and that McCurdy accused Nickelodeon of paying Grande more money. The network placed Sam & Cat into hiatus. The network initially stated that the hiatus was planned and that the series was not cancelled. On July 13, 2014, Nickelodeon announced that after only one season, Sam & Cat was cancelled. In an interview on Entertainment Pop, McCurdy mentioned that she later made up with Grande.

Jennette McCurdy on the set of iCarly
McCurdy, c. 2009, wearing the signature attire of Sam Puckett, her character in iCarly

On August 13, 2014, McCurdy launched the online show What's Next for Sarah? She served as the star of the series as well as the writer of the show, along with duties as executive producer and editor. She says that the show is based loosely on her life and that the character she plays, Sarah Bronson, is based on her. In 2015, she began starring in the Netflix drama series Between.

2016–2018: Later work and retirement from acting

In August 2016, McCurdy signed a deal with digital production company Canvas Media Studios to develop projects and further utilize her social media connections with fans. She also starred as Claire in the psychological thriller film Pet.

Between was not renewed for a third season, and while critics acknowledged McCurdy as "one of the few cast members who can act", she expressed on her website that she felt ashamed of 90% of her résumé. She eventually decided to quit acting and to pursue writing and directing in 2017:

"I never got the chance to be cast in a project I was proud to be part of. Now I have a better chance of making things I'm proud of than getting cast in things I'm proud of."

Once a very active user of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, she deleted all her past social media posts and set all her past videos and vlogs to "private" on YouTube and Vimeo.

In 2018, McCurdy wrote and directed her first short film, Kenny, a dramedy inspired by the death of her mother; the film also featured an all-female crew. Kenny was featured in The Hollywood Reporter and on Short of the Week. She has since released three more short films, which she also wrote and directed: The Grave; The McCurdys, a semi-autobiographical short based on her childhood; and Strong Independent Women, a short that deals with eating disorders. In late 2018, she announced that she hoped to direct more films.

Writing and live performance

In 2011, McCurdy began writing a series of articles for The Wall Street Journal. She has written eight pieces for the paper, on topics ranging from Shirley Temple to body shaming and a corporate culture that she perceives as smoke and mirrors. She has also written for Seventeen magazine and The Huffington Post.

McCurdy composed an article titled "Off-Camera, My Mom's Fight With Cancer", which was published in The Wall Street Journal in June 2011. It describes in detail her mother Debra's ongoing battle with cancer and how her family coped with the situation. The article also features advice from McCurdy on living with an ill parent. On September 20, 2013, her mother died, after being first diagnosed with cancer 17 years earlier.

In 2020, McCurdy created and starred in a one-woman tragicomedy show, I'm Glad My Mom Died, in various theaters in Los Angeles and New York. She later had to set her show into hiatus after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. For the first time since she opened up publicly about her eating disorder in 2019, she posted a new video on YouTube where she sings about her personal implications by finding herself in quarantine due to the outbreak. In July 2020, McCurdy posted a video on her YouTube channel and social media where she sings about starting a podcast called Empty Inside. She revealed on the podcast, during an interview with actress Anna Faris, that she had retired from professional acting. McCurdy stated she had been pushed into acting as a child by her mother, and soon became her family's primary source of income. She became "ashamed" of the roles she had played in the past, and after seeking therapy in the late 2010s, McCurdy decided to quit acting. When iCarly was revived that same year for Paramount+, McCurdy declined to reprise her role of Sam Puckett. In September 2021, McCurdy resumed performing her tragicomedy show in Los Angeles.

On August 9, 2022, McCurdy released a memoir, I'm Glad My Mom Died, under Simon & Schuster. The book was ranked number one on The New York Times Best Seller list for eight weeks following its release.

Following the success of I'm Glad my Mom Died, McCurdy signed a two-book deal with Penguin Random House's Ballantine Books label.

Personal life

Relationship with her mother

She has described the close relationship she had with her abusive mother as "the heartbeat of my life". When McCurdy was two to three years old, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent several surgeries, chemotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant. In 2010, her mother's cancer returned, and in 2013, she died; McCurdy was 21 years old.

In an interview with People magazine, she said, "My mom's emotions were so erratic that it was like walking a tightrope every day." According to McCurdy, her mother pushed her into acting when she was six years old to both financially support her family, and because her mother had wanted to become a performer herself. She stated that her mother was "obsessed with making [her] a star" and detailed how her mother contributed to her eating disorder by introducing her to calorie restriction at age 11. McCurdy stated in an interview that she did not receive all of her payment from acting as a minor, because her Coogan account was not properly filed.


McCurdy dated American basketball player Andre Drummond in 2013.

Mental health

In March 2019, McCurdy publicly revealed in a Huffington Post article that, from age 11, she suffered from anorexia, and later bulimia. In the article, McCurdy describes her mother's and the entertainment industry's aiding of eating disorders, seeking help after her sister-in-law noticed the disorder, and various health scares, such as losing a tooth from regurgitating stomach fluids that wore down her tooth enamel and passing out on Miranda Cosgrove's bathroom floor from dehydration.



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Golden Dreams Girl in car
2001 Shadow Fury Anna Markov
2002 My Daughter's Tears Mary Fields
2003 Hollywood Homicide Van Family Daughter
Taylor Simmons Amanda Simmons
2004 Breaking Dawn Little Girl
2005 See Anthony Run Lucy Short film
2009 Minor Details Mia
2011 The Death and Return of Superman Eradicator Folks Short film
2013 Snowflake, the White Gorilla Petunia Voice role
2014 Almost Heroes 3D Sue Voice role
2015 Climate Change Denier's Anthem Singer Short film
2016 The Last Virgin in LA Brittany Short film
Pet Claire
Bling Sue Voice role
2017 Security Deposit Leah Short film
8 Bodies TJ Short film; also director, executive producer, and writer
Wine and Cheese Jen Short film; also director, executive producer, and writer
2018 The First Lady Peggy Short film


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Mad TV Cassidy Gifford Episode 6.1
2002 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Jackie Trent Episode: "Cats in the Cradle"
2003–2005 Malcolm in the Middle Daisy / Penelope Played two different characters; episodes "If Boys Were Girls" and "Buseys Take a Hostage"
2004 Karen Sisco Josie Boyle Episode: "No One's Girl"
Strong Medicine Hailey Campos Episode: "Selective Breeding"
Tiger Cruise Kiley Dolan Television film
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Holly Purcell Episode: "Contagious"
Medium Sara Crewson Episode: "Coded"
Judging Amy Amber Reid Episode: "My Name is Amy Gray"
The Inside Madison St. Clair Episode: "Everything Nice"
Over There Lynne Episode: "Situation Normal"
Zoey 101 Trisha Kirby Episode: "Bad Girl"
2006 Will & Grace Lisa Episode: "Von Trapped"
Close to Home Stacy Johnson Episode: "Escape"
Against Type Meredith Television film
2007 The Last Day of Summer Dory Sorenson Television film
Lincoln Heights Beckie Recurring role; 3 episodes
2007–2012 iCarly Sam Puckett Main role; 93 episodes
Melanie Puckett Episode: "iTwins"
2009–2010 True Jackson, VP Pinky Turzo Guest role; 2 episodes
2010 Fred: The Movie Bertha Television film
The Cleveland Show Girl No. 1 Episode: "Little Man on Campus"; voice role
Glenn Martin, DDS Mazy Episode: "Courtney's Pony"; voice role
2010–2015 The Penguins of Madagascar Becky Guest role; 2 episodes, voice role
2011 Cupcake Wars Herself Guest judge; Episode: "Jennette McCurdy Country Cupcakes"
Big Time Rush Training Fan Episode: "Big Time Concert"
Best Player Christina "Prodigy" Saunders Television film
iParty with Victorious Sam Puckett Television film
2012 Victorious Ponnie / Fawn Liebowitz Episode: "Crazy Ponnie"
Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures Devon Episode: "Epic Break-Up"
Camp Orange Herself Co-host (season 8)
2013 Ben and Kate Bethany Episode: "Gone Fishin'"
Swindle Savannah Westcott Television film
2013–2014 Sam & Cat Sam Puckett Main role; 35 episodes
Melanie Puckett Episode: "#Twinfection"
2014 The Birthday Boys Kendra Taylor Episode: "Love Date Hump"
2015 Comedy Bang! Bang! Allie Dawson Episode: "Simon Helberg Wears a Sky Blue Button Down and Jeans"
2015–2016 Between Wiley Day Main role; 12 episodes
2016 Robot Chicken Skipper / Nany / Nurse Episode: "Joel Hurwitz"; voice role
The Eric Andre Show Herself Episode: "Jack Black / Jennette McCurdy"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2009 iCarly Sam Puckett Voice role
2010 iCarly 2: iJoin the Click!

Music videos

Year Title Artist(s) Role
2000 "The Way You Love Me" (Remix) Faith Hill
2003 "Safely Home" Wild Horses
2007 "Leave It All to Me" Miranda Cosgrove (featuring Drake Bell) Sam Puckett


Year Title Role Notes
2014 What's Next for Sarah? Sarah Bronson Main role; 4 episodes; also creator, executive producer, and writer
2015 Between the Lines: Pretty Lake High – Yearbook Assignment Wiley Day Episode: "Wiley"
2016 Adam and Wiley's Lost Weekend Wiley Day Main role; 6 episodes


Year Title Notes
2017 The McCurdys Film; also writer
2018 Kenny Short film; also writer and director
The Grave Short film; also writer and director
2019 Strong Independent Women Short film; also writer and director


  • Jennette McCurdy (2012)

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
2005 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Television Series – Guest Starring Young Actress Strong Medicine Nominated
2008 Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special – Supporting Young Actress The Last Day of Summer Nominated
Best Performance in a TV Series – Supporting Young Actress iCarly Nominated
2009 Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Supporting Young Actress Nominated
Outstanding Young Ensemble in a TV Series Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Sidekick Nominated
2010 Young Artist Awards Outstanding Young Performers in a TV Series Nominated
Australian Kids' Choice Awards LOL Award (shared with cast) Won
2011 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Sidekick Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV: Female Scene Stealer Nominated
Choice Music: Female Country Artist Herself Nominated
Australian Kids' Choice Awards LOL Award ICarly Won
Meus Prêmios Nick Brazil Funniest Character Won
2012 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Sidekick Won
2013 Australian Kids' Choice Awards Aussie's Fave Nick Star Herself Nominated
2014 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress Sam & Cat Nominated

See also

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