Emmy Rossum Is Leaving 'Shameless': 'The Last 8 Years Have Been the Best of My Life'
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Emmy Rossum announces she's leaving Showtime's "Shameless" after eight years playing Fiona Gallagher.

Emmy Rossum is saying goodbye to Fiona Gallagher and "Shameless."

The star of the Showtime television series announced she's leaving the show via a lengthy and heartfelt social media post Thursday morning.

"It's a hard thing to put into words -- feelings -- but I'm going to try," she began.

"This business is always an adventure, full of travel and opportunities to tell stories," she wrote. "Usually as an actor, every few months, you travel to a new place, start a new project, build a new character, learn new rhythms, new inside jokes with your crew, make new friends."

"Until 'Shameless' came into my life eight years ago, I led that kind of transient, wonderful life of an actor," she continued. "And I never realized how much I actually craved the kind of continuity that this show has given me and given all of us in the crew. Season after season, I'm amazed that our same crew comes back. And it's not just because it's a wonderfully written, wonderfully layered show. There are these real connections, real friendships that bring us back season after season after season."

Rossum went on to explain that she's actually an only child and always craved the "big, messy" family she grew to love on the Showtime series. "Being ensconced in that messy Gallagher family love is something I'd always dreamed of," she said, adding that watching her co-stars -- many of whom were children when the show began -- grow up right before her very eyes has been an unexpected perk of being part of the show.

"I taught Emma to shave her legs. I was there when Ethan learned to drive. Shanola and Jeremy and Joan and Bill danced at my wedding in New York last year," Rossum said. "Our fearless leader, John Wells, thankfully held Sam and me up on those rickety chairs during the hora. I've spent the Jewish holy days in temple with David Nevins and his wonderful wife and kids. It really feels like a family."

"The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift," she later wrote. "There are few characters -- female or otherwise -- as layered and dynamic. She is a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated. She is injured, vulnerable, but will never give up. She is living in an economic depression, but refuses to be depressed. She is resourceful. She is loyal. She is brave."

Rossum also detailed the "joyous relief and disbelief" she experienced when she landed the role of Fiona Gallagher during her third audition.

"Quite simply, the last eight years have been the best of my life," she said, adding that the show and its viewers will continue on without her because "there is much more Gallagher story to be told."

"Shameless" -- an American comedy-drama television series adapted from the British series of the same name -- debuted on Showtime on January 9, 2011. Featuring an ensemble cast led by William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, the show follows the Gallagher family as they navigate through life in the South Side of Chicago.

The show returns for the first half of its ninth season on September 9, with a mid-season finale in October. New episodes will continue in January, though it's unclear how many of those episodes Rossum will appear in at this time.

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