There are a lot of shows that we’re obsessed with here at The Richest. Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black and Friends, spring to mind. And of course we always enjoy throwbacks, like Baywatch and Saved by the Bell. But there’s a television series out there that hasn’t garnered enough attention from us – Showtime’s Shameless. So we thought that we’d put our best foot forward and right our wrongs. The show has a huge cult following, and deservedly so. It follows the ups and downs of the Gallagher family. They are a blue collar, white trash bunch of Irish American folk living on the South Side of Chicago. They struggle with paying bills, doing the right thing in the face of adversity, and most of all fighting with each other. There’s mental illness, substance abuse, and most of all chaos – all mixed with a healthy dose of comedy.
If you are a fan of the show, then you will love this list. It counts down all the skeevy characters of Shameless and shows what they look like in real life. The transformations are astounding. Usually actors look better on-camera than off, but Shameless is not your typical series, and these are not your typical actors. And if you aren’t familiar with the show, this is a good place to start before you begin binge-watching. Either way, you’ll never look at these chain smoking, Old Style drinking, unemployed Gallaghers the same way again.
15 Mandy #1 (Jane Levy)
True fans of Shameless still can’t get over the casting change from Mandy #1, played by Jane Levy, to Mandy #2, played by Emma Greenwell. They are both great actresses and each interpreted the role with their own special style; but Levy was first and so people are very attached to her. On the show, Levy is skeevy is the nth degree. Her hair is matted and multi-colored, her eyes are always rimmed with enough soot to choke a coal miner, and her pierced nose says “Don’t mess with me.” Her outfits are also skanky. She always wears mini-skirts with ripped tights and mid-rise boots, no matter how cold it is on the South Side of Chicago. In real life, Levy is a stunner. She has delicate features, pearlescent skin and poses gracefully. What a transformation! We wonder how long it took her in the makeup chair to get “ugly” for the role. At least she can walk down the street without getting recognized.
14 Mandy # 2 (Emma Greenwell)
Mandy #2, played by Emma Greenwell, is just as trashy looking as Mandy #1. She has hard facial features, unforgiving dark hair with a blunt cut, and the color palette of her clothing screams drab and depressed. She’s tall and thin, which makes her look underfed and overworked. While she’s a dedicated girlfriend to Lip Gallagher, she’s a hard sell looks-wise. So fans are often shocked to see how pretty she is in real life. Greenwell looks gorgeous as a blonde. That change alone brightens her complexion and demeanor. And with the right clothing, her thin figure is morphed into a curvy one. Who knew she had hips, a bulging bust line and plump cheeks? What a pleasant surprise! With those looks, we’re pretty sure she and Lip hooked up in real life.
13 Sammi (Emily Bergl)
Who didn’t lose their heart to Sammi, Frank Gallagher’s illegitimate, drug-addicted, alcoholic daughter? Fans love to hate her, because not only is she bat sh*t crazy, she’s also crazy like a fox. That’s a dangerous combination that offers excellent fodder for the show. Sammi’s a wily one, but pretty she is not. It’s safe to say that she doesn’t wash her hair, her body, or her clothing. If Shameless was broadcast in smell-o-vision, we’d be holding our noses every time she was on screen. She probably smells like a mix of urine, a Drakkar Noir knock-off and Funyons. In reality, the actress that portrays her is named Emily Bergl and is as pretty as a picture. She has angelic features, including a bright smile, sparkling brown eyes and bouncy hair. Even her figure is soft and feminine. When we look at her, we would never associate Bergl with Frank in any way – and that’s a very good thing.
12 Ethel (Madison Davenport)
Ethel is one of Shameless’s more unique characters. She was removed from her home by social services as she was in a predatory marriage with a much older man. She had several sister-wives, and one young son – all by her mid-teens. She was placed as a foster child at the home of V and Kev. Ethel is the epitome of plainness with her old fashioned hairstyle, homespun dresses and lack of culture. No one would ever consider her attractive. Which is why it was all the more exciting when she ran away with a local thug (Malik) and stole her foster parents’ marijuana. When we see Ethel in real life, we can better understand what Malik saw in her. Madison Davenport played Ethel, and she is quite lovely. She has a heart-shaped face, clear skin and flowing chocolate brown hair. Her body is shapely, and her smile can light up the room. Davenport gives hope to Mormon girls everywhere.
11 Mickey (Noel Fischer)
Mickey is a hard sell as a character. In his early appearances, there’s nothing to like about him. He’s a punk and thug, a drunk and a druggie. And his looks don’t help at all. His hair is dark, which is a stark contrast to his pale skin which makes him look sickly. His skinny frame is exacerbated by the dingy wife beater shirts he wears. And he just looks dirty. If the camera got close enough, we’d see dirt underneath his nails, tartar between his teeth, and wax in his ears. Over time, audiences were bewildered to learn that he is actually a sensitive guy, and can be counted on even in the harshest of times. What really blows audiences away, though, is what the actor who plays him (Noel Fischer) looks like in real life. He looks like the kind of guy you’d want to bring home to mom. He has perfectly coiffed strawberry blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes and measured mannerisms. Talk about a 180!
10 Karen (Laura Slade Wiggins)
Karen, Karen, Karen. What a hot mess. We don’t even know where to start. So all we will say is that her physical appearance tends to mirror her mental state of mind. When the show starts, she looks like a typical girl-next-door type. But once her frailties start to show, she dyes her hair black, gets a god-awful nose ring, and even a hideous tattoo that says “whore” on her forearm. Karen eventually runs away from home, and when she does her hair is blonde again, but she wears it in a messy style that mimics her emotional unsteadiness. Once she’s hit by a car and suffers a traumatic brain damage, we see her with her head shaved which signifies her ultimate undoing. Meanwhile, Laura Slade Wiggins (the actress who played Karen) looks squeaky clean. She has a bubbly smile, perky breasts and – most of all – gorgeous hair! Our only complaint is the in real life she doesn’t turn up the heat enough. We’d love to see her in flirtier outfits which show off her figure.
9 Jody (Zach McGowan)
Jody is an interesting character, played by actor Zach McGowan. At the outset he’s a funny mix of douche-y and dopey. He has a background of being an emotionless sex addict who seems like the perfect match for Karen. Over time, fans learn that he’s eerily sensitive and loyal. Karen initially brought Jody home to scare her family, but in the end he scared her by turning out to be a good guy. It’s hard to recognize his good qualities, though, because the audience is so distracted by his ridiculous looks. His long hair and tank tops are just comical, and his eyebrow scar just seems put-on. Jody has all the things a guy needs to be hot, but falls short in his execution. Savvy fans of McGowan’s, though, will tell you that this guy is sexy with a capital S. Need proof? Just check out his work on Black Sails. He rocks the pirate look better than Errol Flynn and probably gets just as many chicks. He’s buff, he’s mysterious, and he’s all man.
8 Jackie (Alessandra Balazs)
Jackie was a friend of Fiona’s from Patsy’s Pies. She looked just like a recovering drug addict – because she was. Her hair was pulled back more often than not, which highlighted a sloping brow, thin chin and dead eyes. When she wasn’t on the clock she was busy sucking on cigarettes, making sour expressions and complaining about how terrible her life had turned out. The actress that landed this role is named Alessandra Balazs, and in real life she is the exact opposite of the unfortunate Jackie. Her father is a hotelier and her mother is the former CEO of Ford Modeling. She’s dated a bunch of eligible bachelors, including Russel Brand. Balazs fits right in with the glitterati because she’s so beautiful. Her skin glows, her lips are pink and pouty, and her body is toned.
7 Queenie (Sherilynn Fenn)
Queenie is Frank Gallagher’s old love interest. She’s an earthy grandma, a rolling stone and sensual beyond belief. But let’s face it, she looks her age. Queenie resembles a clone of an aging Debbie Harry. Her white blonde hair does her no favors, she’s packed on the pounds, and her face is filled with expression lines. Her hippie-dippie clothing often makes her look like a bag lady, which is decidedly unattractive. Add to that the fact that she plays a grandmother on Shameless, and it’s safe to say that few were turned on by her. The role was originally intended for 80s icon Kelly LeBrock, but went to actress Sherilynn Fenn instead. Fenn was hot stuff in the 80s and 90s, as evidenced by her younger pic. In those days, she was pin thin with ample breasts, bedroom eyes and full lips. She is most well-known for starring on Twin Peaks and for dating Johnny Depp. Fenn and Depp were hot and heavy, and were even engaged at one point in time. We can see what piqued his interest.
6 Svetlana (Isidora Goreshter)
Svetlana is one of everybody’s favorite characters on Shameless. She’s a sassy Russian that will do anything to get ahead in life, whether it is servicing gentlemen, entering into a marriage of convenience or tending bar. She’s frequently detached, is always calculating, and never has remorse. Audiences tune in to see what she’s going to do next. Svetlana’s look has evolved over the seasons, from a trashy illegal to a foxy lady to a hipster. And that makes us wonder what style Isidora Goreshter has off-camera. It turns out that she’s quite the beauty. Close-up shots reveal that she has gorgeous green eyes, chiseled cheekbones and angelic lips. She has such charisma that the Internet is rife with rumors of her hooking up with Shailene Woodley.
5 Linda (Marguerite Moreau)
Margeurite Moreau plays Kash’s wife, Linda, on Shameless. We don’t get to see much of her face on the show since she wears a head scarf consistent with her Muslim beliefs. But what we do see isn’t impressive. Linda is dowdy with her minimal makeup, covered hair and layered clothing. She’s frequently seen bossing Kash around and emasculating him, which partially explains why he ultimately leaves her for another man. Meanwhile, Moreau is quite fetching in real life. At 39 years old she still looks fresh-faced and has a trim figure.
4 Amanda (Nichole Bloom)
Lip’s former girlfriend Amanda is played by Nichole Bloom. On Shameless, Amanda is half hipster, half nerd, and all trouble. On the outside she’s the sort of girl that no one would look twice at. Her sweaters are drab, her glasses are geeky, and she suffers from resting b*tch face. Add to that the fact that she is constantly harping about something, and fans of the show find her unattractive on the inside as well. In contrast, Bloom is a very pretty girl. She has a petite frame, porcelain skin and shiny brown hair. Her eyes twinkle, her mouth is seductive and she knows how to work it in front of the camera. Who knew?!
3 Lip (Jeremy Allen White)
We’re going to come right out and say it: Lip Gallagher is hard to look at. His hair is always a mess, his eyes are frequently bloodshot, and his clothing looks straight out of the rummage bin from the Salvation Army. Add to that the fact that he smokes like a chimney, is frequently drunk, and speaks profanely, and it’s hard to find much to like about him. He’s the type of person that is assaulting to all the senses. But Lip has won over faithful fans time and time again. He’s witty, down to Earth, and smart as hell. And the fact that he’s good in the sack has many girls dreaming about him. Jeremy Allen White plays the role, and off-camera he’s actually a good looking guy. In the right light his facial features are sharp, his eyes are deep, and his hair is combed. Lip cleans up well! With honest to goodness looks like his, his career is sure to go places.
2 Debbie (Emma Kenney)
Debbie is Fiona Gallagher’s little sister, who has a big attitude. She’s had trouble finding her way in life. She has daddy issues, difficulty finding friends, and ultimately winds up as an unwed teen-age mother. She is often frustrated by her looks, as she pales in comparison to other girls. She’s short, has a pear-shaped body and a homely face. Her family can’t afford to buy her the finer things in life, so she can’t compensate for her flaws through traditional female means like designer clothing, nice makeup and glittering jewelry. Fans feel bad for her – and even more so for her baby daughter. Emma Kenney is a talented actress who plays the role perfectly. That said, no one was prepared for how good looking she is off-set. With just a little bit of makeup and the right lighting, Kenney is able to show off her best features.
1 Fiona (Emmy Rossum)
Fiona is the star of the show, and of the Gallagher family. She holds everything together, even if she doesn’t always do the right thing. Funny, smart and cunning, she is the whole package. But fans of hers are often frustrated by how skeevy she tends to look. She rarely wears makeup, usually don’t brush her hair, and dresses in drab duds that most girls would keep in the back of their closets. Emmy Rossum portrays Fiona perfectly, so people often forget how beautiful she truly is. Her cascading brown hair complements her big brown eyes. Her petal pink lips stand out against her milky white skin. And her body is the ideal mix of soft and toned.