Melissa Joan Hart
|Melissa Joan Hart|
Hart in August 2011
|Born||(1976-04-18) April 18, 1976
Smithtown, New York, U.S.
|Residence||Westport, Connecticut, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actress, director, producer, singer, fashion designer, businesswoman|
|Spouse(s)||Mark Wilkerson (m. 2003)|
Melissa Joan Hart (born April 18, 1976) is an American actress, voice actress, director, producer, singer, fashion designer, and businesswoman. She is known for her title roles in the sitcoms Clarissa Explains It All (1991–1994), Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996–2003), and Melissa & Joey (2010–2015).
Hart has been married to musician Mark Wilkerson since July 19, 2003; together, they have 3 sons.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Business ventures
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Hart was born in Smithtown, New York, the first child of Paula, a producer and talent manager, and William Hart, a carpenter, shellfish purveyor, clam hatchery worker, and entrepreneur. Her maternal grandfather, Stanley John Voje, was a Navy veteran and Catholic. Hart grew up in Sayville, New York.
Melissa Joan Hart’s parents had four other children after Melissa: Trisha, Elizabeth, Brian, and Emily, who are all in acting. 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. Hart has three half-sisters: Alexandra, Samantha, and Mackenzie.
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, but does not use it professionally.
Hart’s career began at age four when she made a television commercial for a bathtub doll called Splashy. 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 in 1986, and a starring role alongside Katherine Helmond in the Emmy Award-winning TV movie Christmas Snow, also in 1986. She made a cameo guest appearance on the April 22, 1986 episode of the NBC daytime soap opera Another World. She also auditioned for the lead role Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, losing the role to Danielle Harris.
1991–94: Clarissa Explains It All
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. 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.
Initially, after first being recognized on the streets, Hart felt embarrassed to perform on a children’s show while being a teenager. Nevertheless, she was enthusiastic about the role, and “all [she] hoped for that [she] would get to do it for a while.”
In 1995, a year after the end of Clarissa Explains It All, Hart filmed a pilot episode for a spin-off show featuring a college-aged Clarissa explaining it all about her foray into the professional world as an intern at a newspaper. As its musical theme, the show featured a slow, jazz version of its predecessor’s theme song, and also starred Robert Klein as her boss.
1996–2003: Sabrina the Teenage Witch
After the television series ended, 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, which 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 had a small role in film Can’t Hardly Wait; shortly afterwards Hart began working on a theatrical film project titled Next to You, in which she acted alongside Adrian Grenier. Britney Spears released a remix of her song “(You Drive Me) Crazy” to promote the movie’s soundtrack. To capitalize off its success as a top-ten hit, the name of the movie was changed to Drive Me Crazy. To promote the film, both Hart and Grenier appeared in the song’s music video. Around the same time, Spears made a guest appearance as herself on Sabrina, in the season four episode “No Place Like Home”.
Coinciding with the release of Drive Me Crazy, Hart appeared wearing lingerie on the cover of Maxim magazine‘s October 1999 issue, as well as in a series of photographs and an accompanying article. Hart continued her acting career in the 2000s, starring in the film Rent Control, which aired in 2005 on the ABC Family cable network. Hart also continued to star on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch until 2003. Hart was also a primary voice-actress on Sabrina: The Animated Series which ran for 65 episodes from 1999 through 2000 on ABC and UPN.
In 1999, Hart made her directorial debut in an episode of Disney Channel‘s So Weird called “Snapshot” which guest-starred her sister Emily. Hart directed an episode of Nickelodeon’s Taina in 2001. In 2001 and 2002, she directed six episodes of Sabrina.
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.
It was announced on August 17, 2009 that she would compete in season nine of Dancing with the Stars. Hart was paired up with two-time reigning champion, Mark Ballas. She was eliminated from the competition in week six out of a possible ten. Then in 2010, Hart starred as Kelley in a horror thriller film entitled Nine Dead.
2010–16: Melissa & Joey
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 help care 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 June 2012, St. Martin’s Press announced that it had made a deal with Hart to publish her memoir Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life in the fall of 2013. In the memoir, Hart wrote about growing up, being a child actor and her rise to fame, her rebellious teen years, and her efforts to balance a career as an adult with motherhood and family life.
In 2013, Hart attempted to use crowdfunding (via Kickstarter) to fund a romantic comedy movie to be entitled Darci’s Walk of Shame, but was only able to garner US$51,605, or just 2.6% of the expected US$2 million goal. Ultimately, the idea was scrapped.
Melissa & Joey concluded in August 2015 after 4 seasons and 104 episodes.
In 2016, Hart starred as the lead role in the film God’s Not Dead 2.
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 by a former employee alleging wrongful termination and racial discrimination, as well as other issues, and afterwards reopened under the same name with new owners. In 2015 it closed permanently.
In 2015, Hart and her husband started their own fashion line called King of Harts.
On July 19, 2003, Hart married musician Mark Wilkerson. The preparations for the ceremony, which took place in Florence, 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 (born January 2006), Braydon Hart Wilkerson (born March 2008), and Tucker McFadden Wilkerson (born September 2012). They live in Westport, Connecticut.
Hart and Wilkerson were featured in People magazine’s April 7, 2008 issue, introducing Braydon to the world. Hart wrote a diary, including video entries, to document potty training her son, Mason, for Huggies Pull-Ups brand diapers.
Hart has expressed her support for the Republican Party. On November 5, 2012, the day before that year’s Election Day, she sent out a tweet saying that she was endorsing Mitt Romney for president, which spurred backlash. Her endorsement of Romney became a trending topic and gained Hart 15,000 new Twitter followers. However, in addition to her mostly conservative views, she has also expressed support for increased gun control, marching in a Moms Demand Action demonstration in Brooklyn in May 2016. On August 16, 2016, in the run up to that year’s presidential election, she announced via Twitter that she had donated to Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson‘s campaign. On August 28, 2016, she announced that she had joined Johnson’s campaign as the Connecticut chairperson.
|1985||ABC Weekend Special||Cindy||Episode: “The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn”|
|1985||Kane & Abel||Florentyna Rosnovski (age 7)||Credited as Melissa Hart|
|1986||Equalizer, TheThe Equalizer||Laura Moore||Episode: “Torn” (credited as Melissa Hart)|
|1986||Another World||Roller-Skater||Episode dated April 22|
|1991–94||Clarissa Explains It All||Clarissa Darling||Lead role (65 episodes)|
|1992||Nick Arcade||Herself||“Clarissa Explains It All Celebrity Special”|
|1993||Are You Afraid of the Dark?||Daphne||Episode: “The Tale of the Frozen Ghost”|
|1995||Clarissa||Clarissa Darling||Only one episode produced|
|1995||Touched by an Angel||Claire Latham||Episode: “Angels on the Air“|
|Episodes: “The Weinerville Election Special”
“The Weinerville New Years Special: Lost In The Big Apple”
|1996–2003||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Sabrina Spellman||Lead role (163 episodes); Also producer, director|
|1997||Clueless||Sabrina Spellman||Episode: Mr. Wright|
|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||Superman: The Animated Series||Saturn Girl / Irma Ardeen||Voice role|
|1998||The Zig and Zag Show||Herself||1 episode|
|1999||That ’70s Show||Mary||Episode: “Eric gets Suspended”|
|1999–2000||Sabrina: The Animated Series||Aunt Hilda Spellman and Aunt Zelda Spellman||Voice role|
|2000||Just Shoot Me!||Krissy||Episode: “Fast Times at Finchmont High”|
|2003||The Jamie Kennedy Experiment||Herself||Episode dated March 20|
|2004||North Shore||Herself||Episode: “Secret Service”|
|2005, 2012||Robot Chicken||Emily the Spy, Hilda Spellman, and Sabrina Spellman (voice)||Episodes: “Operation Rich in Spirit”, “Executed by the State”|
|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|
|2010–15||Melissa & Joey||Mel Burke||Lead Role (104 episodes)
Also executive producer, director
|2010||When I Was 17 ||Herself|
|2014||Motor City Masters||Herself/guest judge||Episode: “The Mother of All Design Challenges”|
|2015||The Mysteries of Laura||K.C. Moss||Episode: “The Mystery of the Deceased Documentarian”|
|2016||Celebrity Family Feud||Herself, alongside family members||Season 3, Episode 5. Her family competed against Paul Sorvino’s family, and won the competition.|
|1986||Christmas Snow||Amy||TV (credited as Melissa Hart)|
|1995||Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare||Samantha||TV|
|1996||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Sabrina Sawyer||Pilot movie for TV series|
|1996||Twisted Desire||Jennifer Stanton||TV|
|1997||Right Connections, TheThe Right Connections||Melanie Cambridge||TV (credited as Melissa Hart)|
|1997||Two Came Back||Susan Clarkson||TV|
|1998||Silencing Mary||Mary Stuartson||TV|
|1998||Can’t Hardly Wait||Vicki, Yearbook Girl||Uncredited|
|1998||Sabrina Goes to Rome||Sabrina Spellman / Sophia||TV|
|1998||The Emperor’s New Clothes: An All-Star Illustrated Retelling of the Classic Fairy Tale||The Imperial Princess||Voice|
|1999||Drive Me Crazy||Nicole Maris|
|1999||Love, American Style||Annabelle||TV; segment “Love In The Old South”|
|1999||Sabrina Down Under||Sabrina Spellman||TV|
|2000||Santa Mouse and the Ratdeer||Molly||Voice|
|2000||Specials, TheThe Specials||Sunlight Grrrll|
|2000||Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker||Delia & Deidre Dennis / Dee Dee||Voice|
|2001||Recess: School’s Out||Becky Detweiller||Voice|
|2001||The Voyage to Atlantis: The Lost Empire||Herself||Short; spinoff of Atlantis: The Lost Empire|
|2001||Not Another Teen Movie||Slow Clapper’s Instructor/Herself||Uncredited|
|2002||Rent Control||Holly Washburn||TV|
|2002||Hold On||Herself||Short film|
|2006||Jesus, Mary and Joey||Jackie|
|2007||Holiday in Handcuffs||Trudie Chandler||TV|
|2008||Whispers and Lies AKA Secrets of Pine Cove||Jill Roperson||TV|
|2009||Nine Dead||Kelly Murphy|
|2009||My Fake Fiancé||Jennifer||TV|
|2014||Santa Con||Rose DeMarco|
|2016||God’s Not Dead 2||Grace Wesley|
|2016||Broadcasting Christmas||Emily Morgan||Hallmark Channel Original Movie|
|1999||“(You Drive Me) Crazy“||Britney Spears||Song was featured on Drive Me Crazy Soundtrack|
|2008||“Anger Cage”||Course of Nature||Hart also has co-director credit|
Awards and nominations
|1992||Young Artist Awards||Best Young Actress Starring in an Off-Prime Time or Cable Series||Clarissa Explains It All||Won|||
|1993||Best Young Actress Starring in a Cable Series||Won|||
|1994||Best Youth Actress Leading Role in a Television Series||Nominated|||
|1995||Best Youth Comedienne in a TV Show||Won|||
|1997||Saturn Awards||Best Genre TV Actress||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Nominated|
|1997||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Comedy: Leading Young Actress||Won|||
|1997||YoungStar Awards||Best Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series||Nominated|||
|1998||Kids’ Choice Awards||Favorite Television Actress||Won|||
|1998||Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series: Leading Young Performer||Won|||
|1998||Best Performance in a TV Movie or Feature Film: Young Ensemble||The Right Connections||Won|
|1999||Kids’ Choice Awards||Favorite Television Actress||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Nominated|
|1999||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Actress||Nominated|
|2000||Kids’ Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actress||Drive Me Crazy||Won|||
|2000||Favorite Television Actress||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Nominated|
|2001||Favorite Television Actress||Nominated|
|2002||Favorite Television Actress||Nominated|
|2003||Favorite Television Actress||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Nominated|
|2013||Young Artist Awards||Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award||Clarissa Explains It All &
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
|2015||Women’s Image Network Awards||Outstanding Actress Comedy Series||Melissa & Joey (episode: “Be The Bigger Person”)||Nominated|
|2015||Outstanding Film Directed by a Woman||Santa Con||Nominated|