Melissa Howard

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This article is about the reality show personality. For the actress in the series Dead Gorgeous, see Melissa Howard (actress).
Melissa Beck
Born Melissa Howard
(1977-02-12) February 12, 1977 (age 38)[1]
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) Justin Beck
Children Shalom Mazie (daughter), Maja Ilani (daughter)

Melissa Beck (born Melissa Howard), is a reality show personality, and comedian, known for her time as a cast member on the 2000 reality television series The Real World: New Orleans, and the 2002 - 2005 prank show Girls Behaving Badly.

Early life[edit]

Melissa Howard was born February 12, 1977 in Tampa, Florida to a Filipino mother and an African-American father.[1][2] She, her older sister Marlene and her younger brother, Michael,[1] grew up in Valrico, Florida.[3] She has described her mother as a "very traditional" Filipino who prepares two dinners a night for her husband in order to present a selection to him.[2] She attended Brandon Senior High School [1] and the University of South Florida,[1][3] from which she graduated with a degree in journalism and mass communications.[1]


In 2000, 22-year-old Howard was one of seven people selected from a pool of 35,221 applicants to be cast on the The Real World: New Orleans, the ninth season of the long-running MTV reality television series. MTV producer and casting director, Andrew Hoegl explains that she was selected on the basis of her audition tape, which he calls "hysterical", and credits the season's humor to Howard, who referred to herself in her audition tape as a "half-black, half-Filipino Chris Rock". Filming took place over the course of 124 days between January and late May 2000.[3] Her 2000 MTV biography describes her has possessing a "manic wit". In the bio, Howard herself, touching upon on her difficulty in getting along with other women, commented, "I'm really co-dependent. I need crazy, mad attention from guys." Howard stated that she was eager to leave her Tampa home because she characterized it as being "full of close-minded people".[2]

After filming ended, Howard move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in standup comedy,[1] as well as to engage in acrylic painting, an interest she developed while in New Orleans.[3] For several years, she maintained a personal blog and website, Princess Melissa, which she set up and began writing in shortly after her stint on The Real World. It now directs to her Tumblr page, which is simply called Melissa Beck.[4]

Howard was ranked #92 on Maxim magazine's "Hot 100 Women of 2004" feature.[dead link][5]

She was a member of the all-female cast of the Oxygen network's hidden camera/practical joke reality television series Girls Behaving Badly,[1] which aired from 2002 – 2005. In 2005 appeared on Bravo's Battle of the Network Reality Stars.

Personal life[edit]

After the run of Girls Behaving Badly, Howard moved to New York to work part-time in a non-entertainment industry-related job, and to live with her boyfriend, J.[1]

On October 15, 2007, Howard married Glassjaw guitarist Justin Beck at their home on Long Island. She subsequently took his surname, and is now named Melissa Howard Beck. The two had met at a beauty contest for gay males in San Francisco.[6][7] On March 20, 2009, Beck gave birth to their first daughter, Shalom Mazie Beck.[7] On August 22, 2012, Beck announced on her Tumblr that she and her husband were expecting another daughter. Maja Ilani was born on January 1, 2013.[8]

In October 2012, a tree fell on her house during Hurricane Sandy, destroying the house and burying her older daughter in debris. Justin Beck pulled the child out from the rubble, finding that she was apparently unharmed. They took the baby to the hospital, which discharged her three hours later, having confirmed that she suffered no injuries.[9]


As herself[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Cast Biographies". Girls Behaving Badly. Volume 1. Season 1 DVD. Disc 2 Bonus Features. Starlight Video. December 26, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c "The Real World: New Orleans: Cast: Melissa". MTV. 2000. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Persaud, Babita (June 12, 2000). "USF grad's humor tickles 'Real World'". St. Petersburg Times.
  4. ^ "Melissa Beck". Tumblr. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  5. ^ "Maxim Magazine Hot 100 Women of 2004". Retrieved January 13, 2007. [dead link]
  6. ^ Shellhammer (October 15, 2007). "Princess Melissa becomes a bride "Bradford". 
  7. ^ a b "Melissa Howard Beck Welcomes Daughter Shalom Mazie". People. March 26, 2009. 
  8. ^ Howard Beck, Melissa (August 22, 2012). (Untitled). Melissa Beck. Tumblr. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
  9. ^ "melissa beck". 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 

External links[edit]