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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who is Melissa Joan Catherine Hart?

Who is Melissa Joan Catherine Hart? The entertainment and acting world knows her as Melissa Joan Hart. Hart  is an American actress, writer, television director, television producer, singer and businesswoman.[1] Hart is perhaps best known for her title roles in the television series Clarissa Explains It All (1991–1994)[2] and the live action version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996–2003).[2]
Hart's career has mixed movie work with television including appearances in the popular TV shows Law and Order and That '70s Show. Since 2010, Hart has starred in the ABC Family series Melissa & Joey. Hart has been married to musician Mark Wilkerson since 2003 and together they have had two children.

Early life

Hart was born on April 18, 1976[2] in Smithtown, New York, on Long Island, the daughter of Paula, a producer and talent manager, and William Hart, a shellfish purveyor, clam hatchery worker, and entrepreneur.[3] She grew up in Sayville, New York. Her stepfather (since 1994) is television executive Leslie Gilliams, and her stepmother is Lisa Hart. 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.[2]
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 Hart-Gilliams and Samantha Hart have all acted. Her half-sister Mackenzie Hart is not in show business.[2]

Career

Early beginnings

Hart's career began at age four when she made a television commercial for a bathtub doll called Splashy.[2] From then on, she appeared regularly in commercials, making 25 of them before the age of five. Other early television work included a small role in the miniseries Kane & Abel in 1985, a guest-starring role in an episode of The Equalizer[4] in 1986, and a starring role alongside Katherine Helmond in the Emmy Award-winning TV movie Christmas Snow,[2] also in 1986. She also auditioned for the lead role Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, losing the role to American actress Danielle Harris.
In 1989, she became the understudy for a Broadway production of The Crucible starring Martin Sheen.[5]

Clarissa Explains It All (1991–1994)

In 1991 Hart landed the starring role on the Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All, a comedy about a teen girl in everyday situations, which was successful during its four-year run.[6][7] The show brought her four consecutive Young Artist Award nominations, winning three. Her role in the series also led to her starring in the FMV video game Nickelodeon's Director's Lab as a tour guide who takes the player around a movie studio. In 1992, she and Clarissa cast member Jason Zimbler appeared on the game show Nick Arcade as contestants, she is one the few people who played the beta version of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 on the Video Challenge.

Hart also recorded two albums as Clarissa, This is What Na Na Means[8] and a recording of Peter and the Wolf.[9]
Hart appeared on Nickelodeon's anthology show Are You Afraid of the Dark? Season 2 episode "The Tale Of The Frozen Ghost" in 1991.[10]

Sabrina The Teenage Witch (1995–2003)

After the television series ended, Hart attended New York University.[11] However she did not complete her degree because she soon resumed her acting career when she was given the title role for the 1996 TV movie Sabrina the Teenage Witch.[12] This was followed by the television series of the same name which lasted seven seasons on ABC and The WB.[13][14] She later collaborated on an animated version that featured Hart voicing the two aunts Hilda and Zelda. Emily Hart starred in the title role.[15] 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,[16] and then started filming Next to You, starring alongside Adrian Grenier.[17] 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,[18] the title of the movie was changed to Drive Me Crazy and Hart joined Spears in the music video for that song.[19] Around the same time Spears was given a guest role in an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch where she played herself.
Hart appeared in lingerie in a series of photographs and an accompanying article in the October 1999 issue of the men's magazine Maxim.[20] Hart maintained her acting career in the 2000s including working on the the film Rent Control,[21] which aired in 2005 on the ABC Family cable network. Hart continued her role on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which finished in 2003,[14] and also performed several voice-over roles for animation.
In 1999, Hart made her directorial debut in an episode of Disney Channel's So Weird called "Snapshot" which starred her sister, Emily Hart. She later directed an episode of Nickelodeon's Taina in 2001. In 2001–2002, she directed 6 episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, including the season 6 finale.

Post-Sabrina and comeback (2004–present)

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.[22] 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.[23] Hart followed this with another ABC movie with a similar premise, My Fake Fiance, in 2009.
In March 2009, Hart opened a candy shop called SweetHarts in Sherman Oaks, California.[24] Hart commented that it had been her "childhood dream" to own a candy shop.[25]
It was announced on August 17, 2009 that she would compete in season 9 of Dancing with the Stars.[26] Hart was paired up with two-time reigning champion, Mark Ballas but she was eliminated from the competition in week six out of a possible 10.[27]
Hart starred as Kelley in a 2010 horror thriller film entitled Nine Dead,[28] before returning to sitcoms, starring with Joey Lawrence in a new sitcom, Melissa & Joey.[29][30] In the series Hart plays a woman who hires Lawrence as a nanny to help care for her incarcerated sister's kids.[31] Hart also joined the cast of an off-Broadway production of 'Love, Loss, and What I Wore' for a four week run that started in March 2010 and ended April 25, 2010.[32][33]
In March 2010, Hart took part in an ad campaign for Gain detergent with former Sabrina, the Teenage Witch co-star Soleil Moon Frye.[34]
On November 22, 2010, Hart participated as a presenter in the International Emmy Awards.[35]

Personal life

On July 19, 2003, Hart married musician Mark Wilkerson.[36] 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.[36] Hart and Wilkerson have two sons: Mason Walter Wilkerson, who was born in January 2006 and Braydon "Brady" Hart Wilkerson, born in March 2008. Both boys were born in Los Angeles, California.[37][38]
Hart and Wilkerson were featured in People magazine's April 7, 2008 issue, introducing Braydon to the world.[39] Hart wrote a diary, including video entries, to document potty training her son, Mason, for Pull-Ups brand diapers.[2]
Hart has been described by The AV Club as a supporter of the Republican party,[40] and has called herself a fan of Peggy Noonan and Ronald Reagan.[41] She and her husband live in Westport, Connecticut.[42]

Filmography

Films
Year↓ Title↓ Role↓ Notes
1986 Christmas Snow Amy TV movie
1995 Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare Samantha TV movie
1996 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Sabrina Spellman Pilot movie for TV series
1996 Twisted Desire Jennifer Stanton TV movie
1997 The Right Connections Melanie Cambridge TV movie
1997 Two Came Back Susan Clarkson TV movie
1998 Silencing Mary Mary Stuartson TV movie
1998 Can't Hardly Wait Vicki, Yearbook Girl Uncredited[43][44]
1998 Sabrina Goes to Rome Sabrina Spellman / Sophia TV movie
1999 Drive Me Crazy Nicole Maris
1999 Love, American Style Annabelle TV movie, segment "Love In The Old South"
1999 Sabrina, Down Under Sabrina Spellman TV movie
2000 Santa Mouse and the Ratdeer Molly Voice
2000 The Specials Sunlight Grrrll
2000 Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Delia & Deidre Dennis / Dee Dee Voice
2001 Backflash C.J. Direct-to-video
2001 Recess: School's Out Becky Detweiller Voice
2001 Not Another Teen Movie Slow Clapper's Instructor Uncredited
2002 Rent Control Holly Washburn TV movie
2002 Hold On Herself Short film
2006 Dirtbags Kate TV movie
2006 Jesus, Mary and Joey Jackie
2007 Holiday in Handcuffs Trudie Chandler TV movie
2008 Whispers and Lies AKA Secrets of Pine Cove Jill Roperson TV movie
2009 Nine Dead Kelly Murphy
2009 My Fake Fiance Jennifer TV movie
2010 Candyman: The Tribe TBA Direct-to-video
2011 Satin Lauren Wells
2011 Wanderlust Hannah Post-production
Television series
Year↓ Title↓ Role↓ Notes
1985 ABC Weekend Specials Cindy Episode: "The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn"
1985 Kane & Abel Florentyna Rosnovski (age 7) Credited as "Melissa Hart"
1986 The Equalizer Laura Moore Episode: "Torn"; credited as "Melissa Hart"
1986 Another World Roller-Skater
1991–1994 Clarissa Explains It All Clarissa Darling
1992 Nick Arcade Herself
1993 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Daphne Episode: "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost"
1995 Clarissa, Now Clarissa Darling Only one episode produced
1995 Touched by an Angel Claire Latham Episode: "Angels on the Air"
1996 Weinerville Herself Episode: "Weinerville Election Special"[45]
1996–2003 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Sabrina Spellman
1997 Boy Meets World Sabrina Spellman Episode: "The Witches of Pennbrook"
1997 You Wish Sabrina Spellman Episode: "Genie Without a Cause"
1997 Teen Angel Sabrina Spellman Episode: "One Dog Night"
1998 Promised Land Sabrina Spellman Episode: "Total Security"
1998 Superman: The Animated Series Saturn Girl Voice
1999 That '70s Show Mary Episode: "Eric gets Suspended"
1999–2000 Sabrina: The Animated Series Aunt Hilda Spellman / Aunt Zelda Spellman Voice
2000 Just Shoot Me! Krissy Episode: "Fast Times at Finchmont High"
2005 Robot Chicken Emily the Spy Episode: "Operation Rich in Spirit"; Voice
2006 Justice League Unlimited Delia & Deidre Dennis / Dee Dee Voice
2007 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sarah Trent Episode: "Impulsive"
2009 Dancing With the Stars Herself
2010–present Melissa & Joey Mel Burke
2010 When I Was 17 Herself [46]

 





















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