Isabelle Fuhrman
Isabelle Fuhrman (Headshot).jpg
Fuhrman in 2010
Born (1997-02-25) February 25, 1997 (age 25)
Years active2001–present

Isabelle Fuhrman (born February 25, 1997) is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Esther in the horror film Orphan (2009) and its prequel Orphan: First Kill (2022), which has led some publications to label her as a "horror icon" for her performance.[1] She also portrayed Clove in the dystopian adventure film The Hunger Games (2012).

Early life

Isabelle Fuhrman was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Elina Fuhrman (née Kozmits), a journalist, author, wellness activist, and founder of the vegan soup company Soupelina, and Nick Fuhrman, a one-time Wisconsin political primary candidate (U.S. House of Representatives) and business consultant.[2][3] Her father, who is of Irish descent, was adopted by a Jewish family. Her mother is a Russian Jewish immigrant, from Soviet Moldova.[4][5] She has an older sister, Madeline (born August 21, 1993). She and her family moved to Atlanta in 1999 when her mother joined CNN.[6] For high school, she attended the Buckley School, a private school in Sherman Oaks. Fuhrman also briefly attended RADA, and briefly attended The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia.[7] Fuhrman graduated from Stanford University Online High School in 2015.[8][9]


Fuhrman's acting career began at the age of seven, when a casting director from Cartoon Network spotted her waiting for her older sister Madeline and cast her for one of the shows, Cartoon Fridays.[10] Fuhrman made her big screen debut just a few years later in the 2007 drama Hounddog. The same year, Fuhrman was chosen to star in the movie Orphan alongside Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard.[11][12] Fuhrman was cast after an exhaustive nationwide search of young actresses to portray the lead in the Warner Bros. collaboration between Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way and Joel Silver's Dark Castle Entertainment.[13][14]

Fuhrman's other credits include Grace O'Neil in the pilot episode of the 2006 television series Justice, and a number of national commercials for such brands as Pizza Hut and K-Mart. Her performance as Gretchen Dennis (also known as Girl Ghost) opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt in a 2008 episode of Ghost Whisperer earned her a Young Artist Award nomination. Fuhrman also appeared in comedy skits on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.[12]

In 2011, Fuhrman played Angie Vanderveer in the dark comedy Salvation Boulevard (based on the novel by Larry Beinhart), with an ensemble cast that included Pierce Brosnan and Marisa Tomei, and which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.[15] Also in 2012, Fuhrman voiced genetically enhanced assassin Victoria in Hitman: Absolution.

In 2012, Fuhrman played Clove, a career tribute who tries to kill the main character, Katniss, in the film The Hunger Games.[16] Originally, she auditioned to play Katniss Everdeen but was too young to play the part as she was 14 at the time. She was called back to audition for Clove, and successfully got the part.[17] On May 15, 2012, it was announced that Fuhrman would be starring in the remake of the 1977 horror classic, Suspiria;[18] however, it was later announced that the production was stuck in legal woes and that the film would be delayed or cancelled.[19]

On May 24, 2013, Fuhrman was cast as Max in Kevin Connolly's next movie, Dear Eleanor,[20] a film scheduled for release in 2015. That following year, Fuhrman was cast in the film Cell, an adaptation by Stephen King.[21] In 2015, she was cast in a "major recurring role" on the Showtime drama series Masters of Sex, playing Tessa, the daughter of Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan).[22] Fuhrman was also cast as the lead in the independent drama Hellbent.[23]

In 2021, Fuhrman won Best Actress in a US Narrative Feature at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival for her "explosive" performance in Lauren Hadaway's directorial debut (which also won Best US Narrative Feature at Tribeca 2021) The Novice. Her performance and the film have summoned critical acclaim, Oscar awards buzz, with critics calling Fuhrman's turn "a Daniel Day-Lewis transformation" and "the year's best performance." [24] Fuhrman was nominated for Lead Actress at the Independent Film Awards.

In 2020, it was announced Fuhrman would reprise her role as Esther in an Orphan prequel.[25] The film, titled Orphan: First Kill, was released in August 2022, with Fuhrman's performance once more being praised.[26]

Charitable work

Fuhrman was approached by Save the Children, in 2010, to be a celebrity advocate for their "Caps for Good" project. She and several volunteers with Save the Children have helped knit hundreds of baby caps in an effort to reduce the death rate of newborns in developing countries.[27] Fuhrman is on the advisory board of the Love & Art Kids Foundation, a Los Angeles based non-profit organization.[28]



Year Title Role Notes
2007 Hounddog Gwendolyn (Grasshopper)
2009 Orphan Esther
2010 Sammy's Adventures: The Secret Passage Hatchling Shelly (voice)
2011 Salvation Boulevard Angie
From Up on Poppy Hill Sora Matsuzaki (voice) English dub
2012 The Hunger Games Clove
2013 Don't Let Me Go Michelle
After Earth Rayna Uncredited
2014 All the Wilderness Val
The Snow Queen 2 Alfida (voice) English version
2016 Cell Alice Maxwell
Dear Eleanor Max the Wax
1 Night Bea
Ink Ink Short Film
2018 Hellbent Danni Frost Complete
Down a Dark Hall Izzy
The Delta Girl Magnolia Short Film
Good Girls Get High Morgan
Otherland Rose Short Film
Tracks Martha Short Film
2020 Tape Pearl
2021 The Novice Alex Dall
The Last Thing Mary Saw Eleanor
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions Claire Extended cut version
2022 Orphan: First Kill Esther / Leena Klammer
TBA Sheroes Ezra Post-production
TBA Unit 234 Laurie Saltair Post-production
TBA Horizon Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Justice Grace O'Neil Episode: "Pilot"
2008 Ghost Whisperer Gretchen Dennis Episode: "Pieces of You"
2009 Children of the Corn Additional Voices Television film
2010 Pleading Guilty Carrie
2011 The Whole Truth Lyric Byrne Episode: "Perfect Witness"
Adventure Time Shoko Episodes: "The Vault" and "Together Again"; voice role
2015 Masters of Sex Tessa Johnson Recurring role, 8 episodes

Video games

Year Title Voice role Notes
2007 Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey Heroine
2012 Hitman: Absolution Victoria
2016 Let It Die Mushroom Magistrate
2016 Sid Meier's Civilization VI Quote Technology quote


Year Title Role Theatre Notes
2017 All the Fine Boys Emily Pershing Square Signature Center February 14th - March 26th, 2017
2019 Mac Beth Macbeth Lucille Lortel Theatre May 7th - June 9th, 2019

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
2009 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series – Guest Starring Young Actress Ghost Whisperer Nominated
2009 Dublin Film Critics' Circle Awards Best Actress – 4th place Orphan Won
2009 Fright Meter Awards Best Actress Orphan Won
2010 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Actress Orphan Nominated
2014 Behind the Voice Actors Awards Best Vocal Ensemble in an Anime Feature Film/Special From Up on Poppy Hill Nominated
2016 Madrid International Film Festival Best Lead Actress Don't Let Me Go Nominated
2021 Tribeca Film Festival Best Actress in a Leading Role The Novice Won
2022 Independent Spirit Awards Best Female Lead The Novice Nominated


  1. ^ "This Day in Horror: Happy Birthday Isabelle Fuhrman". February 25, 2020.
  2. ^ " Madison WI news sports entertainment". Retrieved July 23, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Page 13, Wisconsin State Journal, November 8, 1990". Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  4. ^[bare URL]
  5. ^ "Orphan / Trivia".
  6. ^ Moe, Doug (October 18, 2001). "She doesn't fear the unknown". The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin). Capital Newspapers. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "Isabelle Fuhrman". Twitter. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  8. ^ "Isabelle Fuhrman: 'The Hunger Games" Knife Assassin". Yahoo movies. March 26, 2012. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  9. ^ Tishgart, Sierra (March 21, 2012). "Isabelle Fuhrman on Playing Clove in The Hunger Games, Dressing for the Red Carpet, and Pulling Pranks on Set". Teen Vogue. Archived from the original on September 5, 2017. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  10. ^ Block, Jenny (July 26, 2012). "Isabelle Fuhrman's Sister Madeline Is Kickstarting Her Music Career". Huffingtonpost. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  11. ^ Mayberry, Carly (December 10, 2007). "Warners horror: 'Orphan' adopts young Fuhrman". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 11, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Isabelle Fuhrman- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  13. ^ Stephenson, Hunter (August 3, 2009). "Will Esther Become a New Horror Icon? Orphan Has Makings of a Cult Sleeper". Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  14. ^ "Warner Bros. Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment Present ORPHAN". Business Wire. July 14, 2009. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  15. ^ LaPorte, Nicole (January 29, 2011). "Isabelle Fuhrman Shines in 'Salvation Boulevard'". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  16. ^ Vary, Adam (March 23, 2012). "'The Hunger Games': Isabelle Fuhrman on becoming Clove, and what she wants to see in 'Catching Fire' and 'Mockingjay'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  17. ^ Wilkinson, Amy (March 22, 2012). "'Hunger Games' Actress Isabelle Fuhrman Wanted To Play Katniss". MTV News. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  18. ^ "The Hunger Games and Orphan Star Isabelle Fuhrman Set for Suspiria | Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central". May 15, 2012. Archived from the original on August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  19. ^ Sara, Castillo (January 28, 2013). "Looks Like 'Suspiria' Remake Slashed". Archived from the original on March 10, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  20. ^ Tomasi, Rollo (May 24, 2013). "Dear Eleanor (2014): Isabelle Fuhrman cast in Eleanor Roosevelt Film". FilmBook. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  21. ^ McNary, Dave (February 6, 2014). "Berlin: Isabelle Fuhrman, Stacy Keach Join Stephen King Adaptation 'Cell'". Variety. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (April 17, 2015). "Isabelle Fuhrman Joins 'Masters Of Sex'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 12, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  23. ^ McNary, Dave (February 18, 2015). "Isabelle Fuhrman, Martin Henderson to Star in 'Hellbent' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  24. ^ "Novice, the".
  25. ^ "Isabelle Fuhrman will reprise her role in Orphan in an upcoming prequel". December 11, 2020.
  26. ^ "Orphan: First Kill (2022)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  27. ^ "Teen Star Isabelle Fuhrman: Knitting Caps For Good". Craft Ideas Weekly. December 21, 2010. Archived from the original on February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  28. ^ "Love & Art Children's Foundation | children's art |".

External links