Sunday, April 19, 2009

Melissa Joan Hart Biography

Melissa Joan Hart (born April 18, 1976) is an American actress, singer-songwriter and director best known for her title roles in the teenage sitcoms Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Hart was born in Smithtown, New York, on Long Island, the daughter of Paula, a producer and talent manager, and William Hart, a clam hatchery worker, entrepreneur, and shellfish purveyor. Hart 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. Hart has five sisters, and two brothers, all younger than her. Sisters Trisha, Elizabeth and Emily, brother Brian, and half-sisters Alexandra Hart-Gilliams and Samantha Hart have all acted. Her younger half-sister, Mackenzie Hart, is not in show business.

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.

The latter album won a Parents' Choice award.

After the television series was canceled, Hart attended New York University. In between, 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. 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. Hart continued her acting career in the 2000s. Hart continued her role on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which finished in 2003, 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. In 2001-2002, she directed 6 episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, including the season finale. In 2005, Hart directed her first movie, a 15-minute live-action short called Mute, 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. Personal life
On July 19, 2003, Hart married musician Mark Wilkerson. Hart and Wilkerson have two sons: Mason Walter Wilkerson, who was born on January 11, 2006 weighing 9lbs; and Braydon "Brady" Hart Wilkerson, born on March 12, 2008, weighing 7lbs, 3oz. 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 Pull-Ups brand diapers.

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