American actress Rose McGowan began her career in 1990 with an uncredited role in the science fiction thriller film ‘Class of 1999’ and an episode of Fox sitcom series ‘True Colors’. In 1992, she appeared in a minor role in Les Mayfield directed comedy movie ‘Encino Man’, and thereafter bagged the lead role in Gregg Araki directed black comedy thriller movie ‘The Doom Generation’ (1995). The movie earned her recognition as well as a nomination at the ‘11th Independent Spirit Awards’ for Best Debut Performance. The following year, she was seen in Wes Craven directed horror mystery film ‘Scream’ wherein she played the role of Tatum Riley. The film emerged a winner both at the box office as well as in terms of critical praise. On Rotten Tomato, the film has an approval rating of 79% and on IMDB, a rating of 7.4/10. The film’s success led to 4 film sequels (one more upcoming) and a television series. In the 1999 film ‘Jawbreaker’, she portrayed the lead character of Courtney Shayne, a high school student who tries to hide her involvement in the murder of another student. This Darren Stein directed dark comedy drama was unsuccessful both critically and commercially, though later television airing and home videos turned it into a successful film. At the ‘MTV Movie Awards’, she was nominated in the category of Best Villain.
Throughout 1990s, Rose McGowan acted in several other movies (including independent films too) like the comedy 'Bio-Dome' (1996), the comedy crime thriller 'Lewis & Clark & George' (1997), the romance comedy drama 'Going All the Way' (1997), the sci-fi comedy drama 'Nowhere'(1997), the comedy drama ‘Kiss & Tell’ (1997), the sci-fi horror thriller 'Phantoms' (1998) and the drama film 'Southie' (1998). Additionally, she was also seen in a couple of short films – Karin Thayer directed 'Seed' (1997) and Jamie Babbit 'Sleeping Beauties' (1999).
In 2001, she was roped in to play the lead role of Paige Matthews in the WB supernatural drama series ‘Charmed’. The series, about three witches who use their powers to protect people from evil forces, had her in the role of one of the three witches. She joined the show from the start of season four and continued with it for the next five years till its final 8th season in 2006 (112 episodes). The series was a massive success and became one of the longest running female-led television series of the time and even attained a cult status. It gave Rose McGowan’s career the much-needed boost. Her performance in the series bagged her the role of actress-singer Ann-Margret in the CBS biographical miniseries ‘Elvis’ (2005) as well as a minor role in the mystery crime drama film ‘The Black Dahlia’ (2006).
Her other television work from 2000 to 2006 include an episode of ABC sitcom ‘What About Joan?’ (2001), a television movie ‘The Killing Yard’ (2001) and a docuseries 'Intimate Portrait' (2003, as herself). Her film releases of the period include ‘Ready to Rumble’, ‘The Last Stop’ (both 2000), ‘Strange Hearts’, ‘Monkeybone’ (both 2001), ‘Stealing Bess’ and ‘Roads to Riches’ (both 2002).
In 2007, she acted in the double feature horror film ‘Grindhouse’. The movie combined director Robert Rodriguez’s segment ‘Planet Terror’ and Quentin Tarantino's segment ‘Death Proof’. While in the former, she played the lead role of a dancer turned zombie fighter Cherry Darling, in the latter, she had a minor role (Pam) as a victim of a psychopathic stuntman. Though the film received positive reviews from critics, it did not perform well at the box office. Rose McGowan received a nomination at the ‘Saturn Awards’ in the Best Supporting Actress category (for Cherry Darling). Her next film was the Kari Skogland directed crime drama film ‘Fifty Dead Men Walking’ (2008). In 2008, she was awarded the Midnight Outstanding Achievement Award at the ‘San Francisco International Film Festival’. Till 2010, she acted in a couple of more movies – ‘Machete’ and ‘Dead Awake’ (both 2010); hosted one series film-focussed tv show ‘The Essentials’ (2008) and worked in an episode each of tv series ‘Dogs 101’ (2008, as herself) and ‘Women in Chains’ (2010) as well as 5 episodes of the medical drama series 'Nip/Tuck' (2009).
Continuing her work, Rose McGowan acted in tv series ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ (1 episode, 2011) and ‘Once Upon a Time’ (2013–2014, 2 episodes) and played the roles of Mary Winkler in the biographical television film ‘The Pastor's Wife’ (2011), Marique in the big budgeted fantasy action-adventure movie ‘Conan the Barbarian’ (2011) and Dr. Sonny Blake in the independent horror mystery movie ‘Rosewood Lane’ (2011). In the year 2014, she made her directorial debut with the short film ‘Dawn’ which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received appreciation from the critics as well as a nomination for the Short Film Grand Jury Prize. The same year, she was roped in to play the role of an experienced hunter Josie Acosta in the third season of the action-thriller television series ‘Chosen’.
She was next seen in feature films ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ (2016) and ‘The Sound’ (2017) as well short films/video shorts like 'The Weight of Blood and Bones' (2015), 'The Caged Pillows' (2016, voice), 'Heresy' (2016), ‘Woman's Womb’ (2017, voice), ‘Nicholas Kirkwood: Resistance’ (2018) and 'Indecision IV' (2018, as herself). Additionally, she lent her voice in an episode of the animated tv series ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ and appeared as herself in the docu series ‘Citizen Rose’ (2018) as well as various documentaries like ‘This Changes Everything’ (2018) ‘Rose McGowan: Being Brave’ (2019), ‘The Power of Women Series’ (2019), ‘Me Too: The Movement’ (2019), ‘Served: Harvey Weinstein’ (2020) and ‘When We Speak’ (2022).