Birthday: May 3, 1972
Birthplace: Dana Point, California
Height: 5' 10"
Melinda Has had two mass-marketed toy action figures made of her. The first was for her role as Jessica Priest in Spawn (1997), and her second was for her role as the Amazon Velasca from the television series "Xena: Warrior Princess" (1995).
Melinda Clarke was born on April 24, 1969, in Dana Point, California. Her father, John, is an actor, and her mother, Patricia, is a ballet dancer. Melinda was trained in dance and ballet, and even as a coloratura soprano, while growing up with brother Joshua and sister Heidi (who died in 1994). Once in her teens, Melinda decided to pursue acting.
Melinda moved to Los Angeles to start her acting career at age 18, and n no time at all she had her first job, playing Faith Taylor on Days of Our Lives. Of course, it didn't hurt that Melinda's father John had been a regular on that daytime soap since it first began back in 1965. Melinda left the show after a brief stint from 1989 to 1990.
During the first half of the 1990s, Melinda took roles in mostly forgettable movies, such as Hot Under the Collar (1991), Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993), Young Goodman Brown (1993), Out for Blood (1993), and Return to Two Moon Junction (1994). During this time, she turned down a role in Scream (1996) -- reportedly because she didn't want to be in another horror movie like Return of the Living Dead 3 -- and she was also one of a few actresses to turn down the starring role in TV's Xena: Warrior Princess. Nevertheless, things began to pick up for Melinda during the rest of the decade. In a bit of a reversal, she appeared in the cult horror outing The Killer Tongue in 1996. She then appeared in Spawn (1997) and became a bigger TV star, landing guest shots on Xena, Seinfeld and Sliders, and starring in S.O.F. Special Ops Force.
In June 1997, she married Ernie Mirich in a small, private ceremony with friends and family in her hometown of Dana Point. The two now have a daughter, Kathryn Grace.
After 2000, Melinda appeared on Nash Bridges, Charmed, Star Trek: Enterprise and Everwood, had a role in the pilot for First Monday, and had memorable recurring roles on The District, as Detective Olivia Cahill, and on CSI, as Lady Heather.
In 2003, Melinda lent her voice to The Animatrix and began starring on the new FOX hit show The O.C.. As Julie Cooper-Nichol, Melinda has helped redefine that staple character of prime-time soaps, the Machiavellian matriarch.
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