Melissa George

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Melissa George
Melissa George - Flickr - nick step.jpg
George in September 2010.
Born (1976-08-06) 6 August 1976 (age 38)
Perth, Australia
Occupation Actress
Years active 1993–present
Spouse(s) Claudio Dabed
(2000–2011)
Partner(s) Jean-David Blanc
(2011–present)
Children 1

Melissa Suzanne George (born 6 August 1976)[1] is an Australian actress. She is perhaps best known in Australia for her role as Angel Parrish on the Australian soap opera Home and Away (1993–1996). After moving to the United States, she appeared in television series such as Friends (2003), Alias (2003–2004), In Treatment (2008), Grey's Anatomy (2008–2009), and Lie to Me (2010), earning a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for In Treatment.

George made her film debut in the neo-noir science fiction feature Dark City (1998) and later appeared in supporting roles in films, including The Limey (1999) and Mulholland Drive (2001). She went on to have lead roles in films, including the remake of The Amityville Horror (2005), the thriller Turistas (2006), the vampire horror film 30 Days of Night (2007), and garnered critical acclaim for her starring role in Triangle (2009).

George's most recent work includes the thriller A Lonely Place to Die (2011), the Australian drama series The Slap (2011), for which she won a Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actress, the British-American spy drama series Hunted (2012), and the drama series The Good Wife (2013–2014).

Early life[edit]

Melissa George was born in Perth, Western Australia, the daughter of Pamela, a nurse, and Glenn George, a construction worker.[2] William Ward, a grandfather on her mother's side, worked as a prison warden at Rottnest Island,[3] offshore from Perth. The second of four children, George attended Warwick Senior High School and developed an interest in dancing and began studying jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance at the age of seven. Her enthusiasm for dance eventually evolved into a passion for artistic roller skating. She is an Australian national roller skating champion and won bronze medals in the National Championships in 1989 and 1990. She won a silver medal at the Junior World Championship in 1991.[4]

Career[edit]

Early work (1992–1998)[edit]

George began modelling in her early teens, and in 1992 she was named Western Australia's Teenage Model of the Year.[1] At the age of sixteen, George and a friend, Cara Mitchinson, both acted in a mock episode of the popular Australian soap Home and Away with a video camera, playing Bobby and Sophie Simpson respectively. When the offer of a role on the serial came, George's parents convinced her to relocate from her native Perth to Sydney and she began lodging with families. George met with casting director Liz Mullinar and was subsequently cast in the role of Angel Parrish. She made her first on-screen appearance on 30 March 1993, arriving as a teenage runaway. While playing the role, George made property investments and wrote advice columns for two English teen magazines.[1][5][6][7]

Her role earned her five consecutive Logie Award nominations, of which she won two. The character became popular amongst viewers when she was paired up with Shane Parrish, and to this day they remain one of the soap's most loved couples. George departed Home and Away on 30 August 1996.[8] George then made a health and fitness video, Mind, Body and Soul (1996), created a sleepwear line called "An Angel at My Bedside", and had a recurring role on the short-lived 1997 Fox Broadcasting Company television fantasy drama series Roar, which was filmed in Queensland, opposite Heath Ledger.[9] Her fearlessness in performing the show's stunts endeared her to the show's creator, Shaun Cassidy, who subsequently cast her as the female lead in the pilot Hollyweird.[9] A show about "the adventures of an intrepid pair of friends from Ohio who take their love for the macabre and use it to solve crimes plaguing Los Angeles",[10] she was to star alongside Bodhi Elfman and Fab Filippo. The pilot was ordered to series, however, the Fox Network's tinkering and delays[11][12] frustrated Cassidy, who pulled out of the project, saying that Fox had forced him to spend "much of the last year trying to fix something I never viewed as broken in the first place." Ultimately, production never went ahead on the show.[13]

She then appeared on the cover and in a nude pictorial for the March 1997 issue of Australian Playboy before leaving Australia to move to Los Angeles to try her luck in Hollywood.[1][14] After moving she scored a small role in the critically acclaimed neo-noir science fiction film Dark City (1998).[15][16]

Career breakthrough (1999–2007)[edit]

George in December 2008

After a supporting role in Steven Soderbergh's 1999 neo-noir crime film The Limey, she was cast in a supporting role, Cleo Miller, in the 2001 black comedy Sugar & Spice and had a minor role in David Lynch's critically acclaimed Mulholland Drive,[1] which opened at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival. She starred in several unaired TV pilots, including the lead role in Lost in Oz, an original sequel to The Wizard of Oz, inspired by the Oz books of L. Frank Baum.[9] After pilot was filmed, a significant amount of time passed before the decision was made to film a second episode. However, by then George's contract had lapsed and, as she had just moved to America, she didn't want to move back to Australia to shoot it. Ultimately, a second episode was never shot and the show was never picked up.[9]

She starred in the short-lived ABC drama-comedy Thieves, co-starring John Stamos. She starred in the sixth season premiere of the WB series Charmed,[1] had a minor role opposite Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor in the 2003 romantic comedy Down with Love[17] and was originally cast as Susan Freeman in the American series Coupling (based on the British series of the same name.[18] After "an audition from hell", George was cast and filmed the pilot, but the network (NBC) then fired the writers and replaced George and her fellow castmembers Breckin Meyer and Emily Rutherfurd with Rena Sofer, Colin Ferguson and Sonya Walger, respectively.[9] The series lasted only four episodes and show creator Stephen Moffat blamed NBC's meddling as the reason for the show's failure, saying that they "fucked it up because they intervened endlessly."[19] George later commented that she "dodged a bullet" by being replaced before the show aired.[9]

In 2003, she landed the role of Lauren Reed on the ABC television series Alias. She had auditioned to play lead character Sydney Bristow, but lost out to Jennifer Garner. When that happened, ABC cast her on Thieves instead.[20] It was originally planned that George would guest-star for several episodes but she was quickly upgraded to regular.[21] To explain her character's accent (George is Australian), the writers wrote that she was born in the United States but grew up in London.[22] George left the show at the end of the third season, saying that "I got offered a couple of films so I decided to kind've move on."[23]

Her first starring role in a feature film was Kathy Lutz in the 2005 remake of the 1979 horror film, The Amityville Horror. The film was not well received by critics,[24][25] but was a major success at the worldwide box office, grossing over $108 million.[26] Despite unfavorable reviews, Film Threat praised George and her co-star Ryan Reynolds's performances, stating that they "make a striking couple. Both young and extremely attractive"[27] and that she "does an impeccable American accent, but otherwise she is unremarkable as Kathy Lutz. Her physical beauty is sometimes distracting, but not enough to keep the audience awed by her acting."[27] That same year, she played Deanna Schine in the thriller Derailed, co-starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston.

In March 2006, it was announced that she had been cast in the NBC comedy-drama series Lipstick Jungle, based on the novel of the same name by Candace Bushnell. George was to play Nico Reilly, the editor-in-chief of Bonfire Magazine, alongside castmates Gina Gershon, Matthew Morrison, Scott Cohen, Will Toale, Edward Herrmann and Christopher Wiehl.[28] However, the show underwent significant changes with George and all her aforementioned castmates being replaced and with executive producers DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, writers Rand Ravich and Jill Gordon and director Nigel Cole all fired. George had been personally cast by Bushnell, but left in early 2007 when she was offered the HBO series In Treatment.[9][29][30] Also in 2006, she travelled to Brazil to film the horror-thriller Turistas (released in the UK and Ireland as Paradise Lost) with Josh Duhamel and Olivia Wilde.[17] Shooting lasted three months on what was the first Hollywood film to be shot entirely on location in Brazil and George, who learned to speak Spanish and Portuguese for the role, said that the experience "made me a better actress, more resilient, tougher."[7][31]

In 2007, she landed the lead role, Christine, in the drama Music Within, opposite Ron Livingston. The film had a limited release. In an interview, she said that she "knew that Christine's a true character, and the woman responsible for Richard Pimentel's sort of success in a way. She was the driving force behind him and behind every good man is a good woman, and Christine was that woman."[32] She starred in the British horror thriller WΔZ, and had a prominent role in the film adaptation of 30 Days of Night, directed by David Slade and co-starring Josh Hartnett.[15] The film was a modest success with an over $75 million worldwide gross.[33]

Recent roles (2008–present)[edit]

George during an Australian appearance in 2008

George returned to television in 2008 in the HBO half-hour drama In Treatment, co-starring Gabriel Byrne and Dianne Wiest, receiving a 2009 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film,[34][35][36] and also received a nomination for "Best Actress" at the 2009 Australian Film Institute Awards.[37]

In September 2008, it was announced that George was joining the cast of Grey's Anatomy for eleven episodes as Sadie Harris, a bisexual intern,[38] but in January 2009 it was released that she was leaving the show in a mutual agreement with the producers.[39][40] In 2008, she starred in the film The Betrayed, which was released at the San Diego Film Festival, and was released direct-to-video in the United States on 30 June 2009.[41][42]

On 9 November 2009, it was announced that George would guest-star in at least two episodes of Fox's Lie to Me playing Clara Musso.[43][44][45] George also received the lead role in the Australian-British mystery thriller by Chris Smith titled Triangle,[46] which opened to highly positive reviews.[47] George also stars in the British thriller film A Lonely Place to Die,[48] directed by Julian Gilbey.[49]

In November 2010, George was named the new face of L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.[50]

In 2012, George appeared as Rosie in the Australian TV series The Slap[51] and as Sam Hunter in the British TV series Hunted, which was filmed over seven months in London, Scotland and Morocco.[52][53] In November 2012, George voiced her dislike of the Australian media referencing her role in Home and Away.[54]

Other ventures[edit]

George is credited as the inventor of Style Snaps, a device intended to allow changing pant hem length without sewing.[55] The product is marketed via direct response TV. She has stated that the invention earns her more money than her acting career.[4][56]

Personal life[edit]

In 1998, George met Chilean furniture designer and film director Claudio Dabed in Bali. They married two years later.[57] In 2011, they announced their divorce. George then began dating hip hop mogul Russell Simmons.[58] Since meeting at the BAFTA after-party in 2011, she has been dating French entrepreneur Jean David Blanc,[59] the founder of AlloCiné.[60] They had their first child together, son Raphaël, in February 2014.[61][62]

George became a naturalized American citizen in 2008.[63] She is the cousin of the opera singer Taryn Fiebig.[64] She climbed Ben Nevis mountain for her role in A Lonely Place to Die. In an interview with The Sun, she stated: "It was tough because it's a pretty dangerous location, and it wasn't fit for a large crew, but we did it, we made it... I was climbing with Di Gilbert who has climbed Everest many times so that was incredible. And when you get up there, it's just a huge sense of achievement."[65]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Fable Rex Fable Television film
1997 Hollyweird Caril Ann Television film
1998 Dark City May
1999 The Limey Jennifer "Jenny" Wilson
2001 Sugar & Spice Cleo Miller
2001 Mulholland Drive Camilla Rhodes
2001 New Port South Amanda
2002 Lost in Oz Alexandra Wilder Television film
2003 Down with Love Elkie
2005 The Amityville Horror Kathy Lutz
2005 Derailed Deanna Schine
2006 Turistas Pru Stagler
2007 Music Within Christine
2007 WΔZ Helen Westcott
2007 Home Sick Call Girl #2
2007 30 Days of Night Stella Oleson
2008 The Betrayed Jamie
2009 Devil's Eye Melissa Short film
2009 Triangle Jess
2009 U.S. Attorney Susan Shelle Television film
2010 Second Chances Kate Fischer Television film
2011 A Lonely Place to Die Alison
2011 Swinging with the Finkels Janet
2011 Bag of Bones Mattie Devore Television film
2012 Between Us Sharyl
2013 Felony
2013 Gothica Fiona Hunter Television film

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993–1996 Home and Away Angel Parrish Logie Award for Most Popular Actress
Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent
Nominated – Logie Award – Gold Logie
Nominated – Logie Award for Most Popular Actress
1997 Roar Molly
1997 Murder Call Petra Salinis Episode: "Hot Shot"
1999 Silk Stalkings Fiona Grant Episode: "A Clockwork Florida Orange"
2000 Tales of the South Seas Kat Episode: "The Outlaws"
2001 Thieves Rita
2003 Coupling Susan Unaired pilot
2003 Friends Molly 2 episodes
2003 Monk Jenna Ryan Episode: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater"
2003 Charmed Freyja 2 episodes
2003 L.A. Confidential Lynn Bracken Unsold pilot
2003–2004 Alias Lauren Reed Saturn Award – Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award – Female
2006 Two Twisted Mathilda Banks Episode: "There's Something About Kyanna"
2008 In Treatment Laura Hill Nominated – Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film
2008–2009 Grey's Anatomy Sadie Harris
2010 Lie to Me Clara Musso 3 episodes
2011 The Slap Rosie Equity Award for Most Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actress
2012 Hunted Sam Hunter / Alex Kent
2013–present The Good Wife Marilyn Garbanza
2013 Sam Hunter Sam Hunter

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Edge of Twilight Charlotte Lockton Voice

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Melissa George- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Melissa George profile at Film Reference.com
  3. ^ Yeap, Sue (4 April 2012). "Family brings actress to tears", The West Australia. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b Wilde, Jon (6 October 2012). "'I'm not just an actress; I'm a multimillion-pound inventor': The world according to Melissa George". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Williams, Sue (24 June 1995). "A lust for Success". The Sun-Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Greenwood, Helen (4 February 1996). "A part made in heaven". The Sunday Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Melissa George Turistas Interview". femail.com.au. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Jones, Andrea (24 August 1996). "Now on TV". The Sun-Herald (Fairfax Media). p. 14. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Melissa George (Cinemax’s “Hunted”)". Bullz-Eye. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Hollyweird (Pilot)". MelissaGeorge.co.uk. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "A Preflight Change of Course for Pilots". Los Angeles Times. 27 June 1998. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  12. ^ ""Hollyweird" Pilot Errors". E! Online. 18 August 1998. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "‘Hollyweird’ limbo". Vanity Fair. 20 August 1998. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Galleries: Stars pose for Playboy". Herald Sun. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  15. ^ a b "Interview: Melissa George". Moviefone. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Dark City (1998)". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Melissa George Movies". Blockbuster. Retrieved 8 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Melissa George Amityville Horror & Alias". femail.com.au. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  19. ^ Sodano, Todd Michael (2008). "All the Pieces Matter: A Critical Analysis of HBO's "The Wire"". proQuest/Syracuse University. ISBN 0549998896. 
  20. ^ "'Hunted's' Melissa George 'really wanted' to star in 'Alias'". zap2it. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  21. ^ Stafford, Nikki; Bernett, Robyn S. (September 28, 2004). Uncovering Alias: an Unofficial Guide to the Show. ECW Press. p. 57. ISBN 1-5502-2653-3. 
  22. ^ "Melissa George interview". Discussions.tv. November 23, 2003. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ Williams, Andrew. "Melissa George". MelissaGeorge.co.uk. Archived from the original on August 8, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  24. ^ "The Amityville Horror". Metacritic. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  25. ^ "The Amityville Horror (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  26. ^ "The Amityville Horror (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  27. ^ a b "The Amityville Horror". Film Threat. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  28. ^ "Melissa George Joins Lipstick Jungle". Female First. 11 March 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  29. ^ "The Futon's First Look: "Lipstick Jungle" (NBC)". The Futon Critic. 31 July 2007. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  30. ^ "Melissa George Quits Lipstick Jungle". CinemaBlend. 6 March 2007. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  31. ^ "Interview: Melissa George". Movie Fone. 29 November 2006. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  32. ^ Fischer, Paul. "Melissa George Music Within, 30 Days of Night Interview". Femail.com.au. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  33. ^ "30 Days of Night". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  34. ^ "Ledger Snags Golden Globe Nom". Cbsnews.com. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  35. ^ "Complete List of Nominations for 2009 Golden Globes". E! Online. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  36. ^ Surette, Tim. "HBO leads Golden Globe nominations". TV.com. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  37. ^ "Australian Film Institute Awards 2009". Alt Film Guide. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  38. ^ " 'Grey's Anatomy' Enlists 'Alias' Badass to Play Callica Spoiler" 25 September 2008, EW.com
  39. ^ Malkin, Marc. "Melissa George Hangs Up Her Grey's Anatomy Scrubs". E! Online. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  40. ^ "Melissa George: It Was My Choice to Leave Grey’s". 13 January 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2009. 
  41. ^ "Release dates for The Betrayed (2008)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  42. ^ "Exclusive DVD Clip from The Betrayed". Dread Central. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  43. ^ Bendix, Trish. "Melissa George joins "Lie to Me"". Afterellen.com. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  44. ^ Ausiello, Michael. "Exclusive: 'Grey's' star jumps to 'Lie to Me'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  45. ^ Natalie Abrams. "Melissa George to Guest on Lie to Me". TVGuide.com. 
  46. ^ "Melissa George Heads to the Bermuda 'Triangle'". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  47. ^ Floyd, Nigel. "Triangle (2009)". Time Out. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  48. ^ Melissa George Pays Her Respects at The Grave at Angel's Peak and Finds A Lonely Place to Die
  49. ^ Melissa George Climbs to 'The Grave at Angel's Peak'
  50. ^ "Melissa George Announced As The Face of L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival". Marie Claire. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  51. ^ "Melissa George, Sophie Okonedo, Jonathan LaPaglia and Essie Davis sign up for The Slap – ABC TV Blog". Blogs.abc.net.au. 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  52. ^ "Melissa George Talks HUNTED, the Show’s Twists and Turns, Shooting the Fighting Sequences, and More". Collider. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  53. ^ Conlan, Tara (23 November 2011). "Spooks producer to make new spy drama for BBC1". The Guardian (London). 
  54. ^ "George fed up with Australian media". The West Australian. (Seven West Media). 11 November 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  55. ^ Style Snaps – About the Inventors
  56. ^ "Melissa George makes millions from her inventions". Daily Express. Northern & Shell. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  57. ^ "Melissa George splits from Claudio Dabed?". Digital Spy. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  58. ^ Watkins, Jade (28 December 2011). "Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons takes his 'Angel' Melissa George for a romantic stroll on the beach in St. Barts". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  59. ^ Bull, Sarah (7 November 2012). "'It feels so right!' Melissa George opens up about romance with French millionaire beau... as she's spotted shopping for wedding dresses". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  60. ^ http://paris12.leweb.co/2012/community/jean-david-blanc
  61. ^ Leon, Anya (21 August 2013). "Melissa George Expecting First Child". People. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  62. ^ Sarah Michaud (10 February 2014). "Melissa George welcomes son Raphael". People.com. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  63. ^ Idato, Michael. "Entering a grey area", The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 2009
  64. ^ Wilde, Jon (4 October 2009). "Simon Cowell wanted me to be the next Kylie Minogue but I turned him down, says Melissa George". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  65. ^ Maloney, Alison (6 June 2010). "Melissa's secret to better body". The Sun (United Kingdom). News International. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 

External links[edit]