Star spotlight: Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy was a gut-buster in the hilarious film Bridesmaids. Learn more about this talent and what she's up to next.
Hometown: Plainfield, Illinois
Birthday: August 26, 1970
Astrological sign: Virgo
Height: 5 feet, 4 inches
Spouse: Ben Falcone
Kids: Daughters Vivian and Georgette
Famous relative: Jenny McCarthy, cousin
Melissa McCarthy cracked us up in Bridesmaids, leaving us wondering why the funny lady looked so familiar. It wasn't until later that many realized that the same actress played warm-hearted Sooki on Gilmore Girls -- such a big character departure that it left her nearly unrecognizable, despite little change to her appearance.
Melissa McCarthy got her start in Hollywood with a little help from her family. After Melissa cut her teeth in the comedy troupe The Groundlings, cousin and former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy landed her own sitcom and nabbed a role for her. Melissa parlayed that success into movie roles in Go, Charlie's Angels and Drowning Mona within a year.
New roles quickly followed, including every working actor's dream gig: A role on a critically acclaimed, long-running TV show. McCarthy played Lorelai Gilmore's BFF, Sooki St. James, on the hit WB series Gilmore Girls from 2001 to 2007, nailing the depiction of the sweet, warmhearted, hardworking small-town girl.
After the end of Gilmore Girls, McCarthy returned to film, starring opposite Ryan Reynolds in The Nines and not looking back. McCarthy has filmed at least one movie a year since 2007 -- even in the midst of growing her family with daughters Vivian and Georgette -- including hits such as The Backup Plan and Bridesmaids.
That may sound like a lot of work, but McCarthy's just getting her second wind. Starring on Mike and Molly since 2010 garnered the actress an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy. She's also currently filming This is Forty, the latest by Bridesmaids and The Hangover writer/director Judd Apatow.
Check out the talented Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, released on DVD September 20, 2011.
Image courtesy Dan Jackman/WENN.com