Who is Melissa Peterman?
American actress and comedienne Melissa Margaret Peterman was born in Edina, Minnesota USA, on 1 July 1971, meaning that Cancer’s her zodiac sign. She’s had roles in 35 movies and TV series, but is probably still known best for her debut film role playing Hooker in the evergreen 1996 crime thriller movie “Fargo”, which starred Frances McDormand and William H. Macy, and was written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It follows car salesman Jerry Lundegaard whose crime operations have failed, and the film won 83 of its 141 award nominations, including two Oscar wins for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand).
Education and early life
Melissa was raised in Burnsville, Minnesota as an only child, by her mother Pamela Diane and father Allan Peterman; she doesn’t speak about her parents in public, because she respects their privacy.
Melissa studied at Burnsville High School, and was mostly into acting during her four years there, appearing in nearly all the plays performed at the school; she also took singing and dancing lessons, on top of great grades.
Melissa matriculated in 1989, and then enrolled at Minnesota State University, Mankato from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in theatre in 1993.
Roles in TV series
Prior to launching her career on TV, Melissa appeared in numerous theatre plays; her debut was in a 1994 production of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding”, performed at Hey City Theatre, and she then joined the improvisational comedy theatre Brave New Workshop, and has since performed over 600 times at the theatre.
She made her debut TV series appearance in a 2000 episode of the comedy “Normal, Ohio”, and the following years saw her appear in an episode of the comedy “Just Shoot Me!”, the comedy “The Pitts”, and the family comedy “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”. From 2001 through 2007, Melissa portrayed Barbra Jean Booker Hart in the popular comedy “Reba”, which starred JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Reba McEntire, and was created by Allison M. Gibson. It follows the life of a single mother of three, and the series won three of its 17 award nominations. The remainder of the 2000s saw and heard Melissa play and voice characters in the animated comedy “American Dad!” (voice role), the comedy “Rita Rocks”, and another comedy “Surviving Suburbia”.
In 2011, she starred as Carli Mitchell in all the 12 episodes of the family comedy “Working Class”, which also starred Steve Kazee and Lachlan Buchanan, and was created by Jill Cargerman; the series follows a single working-class woman who’s moved with her children to a rich neighborhood.
From 2012 through 2017, Melissa starred as Bonnie Wheeler in all the 100 episodes of the family comedy “Baby Daddy”, which also starred Derek Theler and Jean-Luc Bilodeau, and was created by Dan Berendsen. It follows a bartender in his 20s who has to raise a baby whom his former girlfriend left on his doorstep – the series won two of its 23 award nominations.
Melissa’s three most recent TV series roles have been in two episodes of the 2020 comedy “Last Man Standing”, three episodes of the 2020 family comedy “Sydney to the Max” and 33 episodes of the comedy “Young Sheldon” since 2018.
Roles in movies
Melissa played Mrs Sheila Cain in the 2001 fantasy comedy “How High”, and was then cast to appear in the 2003 family comedy “Recipe for Disaster”, and in 2007 the comedy “Cook Off!” and the short comedy “Girl Camp”.
She played Lauren Voss in the 2012 action sports comedy “Here Comes the Boom”, which Frank Coraci directed, and starred Henry Winkler, Salma Hayek and Kevin James. It follows a high school biology teacher who’s trying to become a martial artist, and the film was nominated for three awards. Melissa could then have been seen in the 2013 comedy “Doin’ It Yourself”, the 2014 romantic comedy “Muffin Top: A Love Story”, and the 2018 comedy “Dirty Politics”.
— Melissa Peterman (@Followtheblonde) December 13, 2018
Also in 2018, she starred as Linda in the romantic family drama “A Gingerbread Romance”, directed by Richard Gabai, and which also starred Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Duane Henry. It follows architect Taylor who’s entered a competition for life-sized gingerbread houses – the film was nominated for only a single award.
Melissa’s three most recent movie roles have been in 2022 in the family drama “My Babysitter the Super Hero” and the fantasy comedy “Haul out the Holly”, and the 2023 biographical crime drama “The Hammer”.
Melissa produced the 2006 documentary movie “Exploring Space: The Quest for Life”, and 12 episodes of the 2011 family comedy series “Working Class”.
Some of her recent talk-show and game-show appearances have been in “Pictionary”, “Name That Tune”, and “25 Words or Less”.
Love life and marriage
Melissa prefers to keep the details of her love life to herself, but has still allowed her fans a glimpse into it. Since 5 June 1999, she’s been married to American actor and production co-ordinator John Brady; he’s appeared in 11 movies and TV series, and is probably known best for playing Man with Microphone in the 2019 action science fiction horror movie “Captive State”, which was nominated for two awards.
Melissa gave birth to their son Riley David on 20 October 2005.
She’s yet to mention other men whom she’s dated, she’s married to John Brady as of May 2023 and they have a son together.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Melissa was good friends with the late American actor Ryan Mouritsen, appearing alongside in the 2001 series “Reba” and the 2008 series “Rita Rocks”.
She was a bridesmaid at her friend JoAnna Garcia Swisher’s wedding; JoAnna and Melissa starred together in the series “Reba”.
Melissa and her husband John appeared in the TLC’s reality show “Trading Spaces”, together with their friend Christopher Rich and his wife Eva Halina Rich.
She’s a philanthropist and is highly involved with the non-profit organization The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company, which aims to help at-risk youth from Los Angeles, California.
Melissa’s favorite actress is Angelina Jolie, while some of her favorite movies include “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, “King Kong” and “Hell’s Kitchen”.
Height, weight and wealth
Melissa’s age is 51. She has blue eyes and blonde hair, is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall and weighs around 155lbs (71kgs); she’s lost 60lbs (27kgs) in the last a couple of years, simply by exercising on a daily basis and following a traditional diet.
Melissa’s net worth’s been estimated at over $8 million, as of May 2023.