Apr. 18th, 1976
Smithtown, New York, USA
Melissa Joan Hart's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Melissa Joan Catherine Hart (born April 18, 1976) is an American actress, writer, television director, television producer, singer and businesswoman. Hart is known for her title roles in the television series Clarissa Explains It All (1991–94), the live action version of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996–2003), and Melissa & Joey (2010–present).
Hart was born in Smithtown, New York, on Long Island, the first child of Paula, a producer and talent manager, and William Hart, a carpenter, shellfish purveyor, clam hatchery worker, and entrepreneur. She grew up in nearby Sayville. Her parents had four other children after Melissa: Trisha, Elizabeth, Brian, and Emily. Her parents were divorced in the early 1990s, and she moved with her mother and siblings to New York City. In 1994 her mother married television executive Leslie Gilliams, and her father remarried also (Lisa Hart).
Melissa Hart was named after the Allman Brothers song "Melissa", while her middle name, Joan, came from her maternal grandmother. She chose Catherine as her confirmation name when she was in the eighth grade. As a teen she became self-conscious of her right side lazy eye lid but as acting jobs kept coming in, she realized that it was not going to affect her career at all.
Hart is the eldest of eight children with six sisters, and one brother. Sisters Trisha, Elizabeth and Emily Hart, brother Brian, and half-sisters Alexandra Gilliams and Samantha Gilliams have all acted. Her youngest half-sister Mackenzie Hart is not in show business.
Her acting career started at the age of four, when she did a commercial for a bathtub toy called Splashy. Her mother, 'Paula Hart', has been her agent from the beginning. From then on, she appeared regularly in commercials, making 25 of them before the age of five.
Hart attended New York University. However, she did not complete her degree, because she earned the title role for the 1996 TV movie Sabrina the Teenage Witch. This was followed by the television series of the same name which lasted seven seasons on ABC and The WB. She later collaborated on an animated version that featured Hart voicing the two aunts Hilda and Zelda, and Hart's younger sister Emily Hart starring in the title role. In between times, she also guest-starred on the series Touched by an Angel and starred in several TV movies.
In 1998, Hart landed a small part in the movie Can't Hardly Wait, and then started filming Next to You, starring alongside Adrian Grenier. Hart asked her friend 'Britney Spears' to do a remix of her song "(You Drive Me) Crazy" and add it to the movie's soundtrack. To capitalize on the song's success as a top-ten hit the title of the movie was changed to Drive Me Crazy and Hart joined Spears in the music video for that song. Around the same time, Spears was given a guest role in an episode of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch where she played herself.
After the end of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Hart directed her first movie, a 15-minute live-action short film called Mute (2005), starring her sister Emily. Hart guest-starred on an episode of Law & Order: SVU that aired on October 9, 2007 titled "Impulsive" as a teacher accused of statutory rape. In late 2007, she directed the "Anger Cage" video for her husband Mark Wilkerson's band Course of Nature. She also starred in the ABC Family Original Movie Holiday in Handcuffs, opposite 'Mario Lopez'. The movie premiered on December 9, 2007, and was the highest rated program in the history of the network, with 6.7 million viewers. Hart followed this with another ABC movie with a similar premise, My Fake Fiancé, in 2009.
In 2010, Hart returned to a new weekly television series, starring with 'Joey Lawrence' in the sitcom Melissa & Joey. In the series Hart plays a woman who hires Lawrence as a nanny to assist in caring for her incarcerated sister's children. In the second season, she occupied the director's chair for an episode, for the first time since Sabrina.
In May 2009, Hart opened a candy shop called SweetHarts in Sherman Oaks, California. Hart commented that it had been her "childhood dream" to own a candy shop. SweetHarts closed in December 2011 due to a lawsuit from a former employee as well as other issues, and has since been reopened and operated under the same name by new owners.
On July 19, 2003, Hart married musician Mark Wilkerson. The preparations for the ceremony, which took place in Florence, Italy, were documented in a TV miniseries titled Tying the Knot, produced by Hart's production company, Hartbreak Films. Hart and Wilkerson have three sons: Mason Walter Wilkerson (b. January 2006), Braydon "Brady" Hart Wilkerson (b. March 2008), and Tucker McFadden (b. September 2012).
- Her parents divorced in 1991. Her mother married Leslie Gilliams in 1994.
- Performed in an off-Broadway play titled "Beside Herself" with 'William Hurt (I)' (qv) and 'Calista Flockhart' (qv) in 1989.
- Attended Sayville Middle School until the 8th grade and then moved to New York to concentrate on _"Clarissa Explains It All" (1991)_ (qv).
- Collects 'Shirley Temple' (qv) and 'Audrey Hepburn' (qv) memorabilia.
- Her wedding was themed with the colors purple and gold, which also happen to be the colors of Sayville High School, her alma mater.
- Her sister, 'Emily Hart (I)' (qv), provides the voice for Sabrina in the Saturday morning cartoon _"Sabrina the Animated Series" (1999)_ (qv), which was spun off from Melissa's hit show _"Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (1996)_ (qv). Melissa provides the voices for Aunts Hilda and Zelda Spellman.
- Stepdaughter of Lisa Hart.
- Hobbies: snowboarding, hockey and watching TV (esp. basketball), movies, guitar, flute and painting.