Shannon Purser

Shannon Purser (born June 27, 1997) is an American actress. She made her acting debut as Barbara "Barb" Holland in the Netflix drama series Stranger Things (2016–2017), for which she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.[2]

Shannon Purser
Shannon Purser by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Purser at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Born (1997-06-27) June 27, 1997 (age 24)
Alma materKennesaw State University
Years active2016–present

Purser made her film debut in the supernatural horror film Wish Upon (2017),[3] and starred in the romantic comedy Sierra Burgess Is a Loser (2018). She also portrays the recurring role of Ethel Muggs in the CW teen drama series Riverdale (2017–present).[4]

Early lifeEdit

Purser was born on June 27, 1997, in Atlanta, Georgia.[1][5] In 2016, Purser was attending Kennesaw State University. She formerly worked at a movie theater in her hometown of Roswell, Georgia,[6] but quit in order to focus on acting.[7]


Purser made her acting debut in the Netflix science fiction drama series Stranger Things. She portrayed the character Barbara Holland, an intelligent and outspoken girl, who is the best friend of Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer). Despite her only being a minor character, several outlets called Barb one of their favorite characters.[8][9] This role brought Purser to international fame,[10][11] and earned her a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.[12]

Purser portrays Ethel Muggs in The CW's teen drama series Riverdale.[13] In 2018, she played the titular role in the film Sierra Burgess Is a Loser.[14] She had a minor role in the comedy film Life of the Party, which ended up being cut.[3][15] Purser played Annabelle Bowman, a member of the drama troupe at Stanton High, in the drama Rise, and read the audiobook of Leah on the Offbeat.

Personal lifeEdit

Purser is an amateur visual artist and musician. She has spoken about living with OCD,[16] and regularly advocates for mental health and anxiety-awareness.[5] On April 18, 2017, Purser came out as bisexual in a Twitter post.[17]



Year Title Role Notes
2017 Wish Upon June Acosta
2018 Sierra Burgess Is a Loser Sierra Burgess


Year Title Role Notes
2016–2017 Stranger Things Barbara "Barb" Holland 7 episodes
2017–present Riverdale Ethel Muggs 13 episodes
2018 Rise Annabelle Bowman 10 episodes
2018–2019 Final Space Shannon Thunder (voice) 4 episodes
2020 Room 104 Megan 1 episode
Equal Del Martin Docuseries, 1 episode

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2017 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Stranger Things Nominated [18]


  1. ^ a b Radloff, Jessica (August 17, 2016). "Why Shannon Purser A.K.A. Barb Had to Quit Her Movie Theater Job Because of Stranger Things". Glamour. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  2. ^ Chaney, Jen (July 27, 2016). "Stranger Things' Shannon Purser on Playing Barb". Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Gardner, Chris (7 September 2016). "Barb Takes Hollywood: 'Stranger Things' Breakout Meets Casting Directors and Lands a Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  4. ^ Osborn, Alex (August 30, 2016). "Stranger Things Actress Shannon Purser Joins Riverdale". IGN. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Radloff, Jessica. "Shannon Purser Biography, Celebrity Facts and Awards". TV Guide. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  6. ^ Mulkerin, Tim (July 29, 2016). "She has worked on the stage for several years, and this was her first TV role. The breakout star from 'Stranger Things' still has a surprisingly normal day job". Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  7. ^ Strong, Mary (August 20, 2016). "'Stranger Things'; Shannon Purser Quits Her Day Job". Inquisitr.
  8. ^ Coates, Tyler (August 1, 2016). "This 19-Year-Old Unknown Actress Just Became an '80s Cult Icon". Esquire. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Moylan, Brian (July 25, 2016). "Praise Barb, Stranger Things' Best Character". Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  10. ^ Radlof, Jessica (August 17, 2016). "Why Shannon Purser A.K.A. Barb Had to Quit Her Movie Theater Job Because of Stranger Things". Glamour.
  11. ^ Hogan, Michael (December 17, 2016). "Shannon Purser: 'People have actually had Barb's face tattooed on their bodies'". The Guardian. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Mitovich, Matt (July 13, 2017). "Emmy Nominations: SNL, Westworld, FEUD and Stranger Things Lead Pack, Freshman Hit This Is Us Scores 11 Nods". TVLine.
  13. ^ Evry, Max (August 30, 2016). "Riverdale Cast Adds Shannon Purser and Robin Givens". Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  14. ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 5, 2017). "'Stranger Things' Shannon Purser To Star In 'Sierra Burgess Is A Loser'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  15. ^[bare URL]
  16. ^ Purser, Shannon (4 May 2018). "Shannon Purser: What I Wish I Knew About My OCD Years Ago". Teen Vogue (in American English). Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  17. ^ Moniuszko, Sara (April 19, 2017). "'Stranger Things' star Shannon Purser comes out as bi, addresses queerbaiting". USA Today. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  18. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (July 13, 2017). "Barb From 'Stranger Things' Scores Unexpected Emmy Nomination". Variety.

External linksEdit