|Born||December 15, 1948|
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Alma mater||Adelphi University|
Melanie Chartoff (born December 15, 1948) is an American actress and comedian. She first became famous for her comedy work on the ABC series Fridays (1980–82), and in the 1990s Fox sitcom Parker Lewis Can't Lose. She voiced both Didi Pickles and Grandma Minka, Didi's mother on the Nickelodeon animated series Rugrats and All Grown Up!.
Chartoff's first TV role came in 1976 when she played a nurse on Search For Tomorrow, after which appeared in the 1978 motion picture American Hot Wax. She first became a nationally known figure on ABC's Fridays, which was ABC's attempt to create its own version of Saturday Night Live. She immediately stood out on the series, partly thanks to her regular role as the anchor on the show's fake newscasts, but also due to her comedic skills (particularly an impression of Nancy Reagan). On one sketch, she was cold-cocked on live TV when co-star Maryedith Burrell failed to pull her punch during a skit and chipped Chartoff's tooth.
Between the demise of Fridays in 1982 and her return to a regular series in 1990 with Parker Lewis Can't Lose (in which she co-starred for three seasons as the high-strung Principal Grace Musso), Chartoff continued to work steadily on television throughout the 1980s, including appearances on Mr. Belvedere, Wiseguy, and St. Elsewhere, as well as a recurring role on Newhart as Dr. Kaiser. She made two appearances on Seinfeld, including one in the 1998 series finale in which four of her former Fridays co-stars were also involved (including Michael Richards). She appeared in the 2006 season finale of Desperate Housewives.
In the Los Angeles premiere of Bill Finn and James Lapine's musical March of the Falsettos (1982), for which she won a Drama-Logue Award, she played Trina. She played Mary Jane Wilkes in the La Jolla Playhouse premiere of Big River (1984). At South Coast Repertory she appeared in the world Premiere of On the Jump. She played Dot in the West Coast premiere of Sunday in the Park with George at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater (1986).
In 1991, Chartoff and fellow voice actor Michael Bell conceived the Grayway Rotating Drain, a graywater recycling device for reuse of shower and sink water in the home. The following year, they finished and patented the product with the help of Ronald K. Ford.
Voice acting and current projects
Chartoff's first voice-over work was a guest role on Challenge of the Super Friends. She has continued her work as an in-demand voice actress and also takes occasional TV and stage roles. She works as a coach to both actors and non-actors to make them more charismatic in public performances. In 2005, she interviewed Laraine Newman for Autograph Collector magazine. She writes for The Huffington Post, The Jewish Journal, Defenestration Magazine, and The Funny Times. She performs her original material at such Los Angeles venues as Comedy Central's "Sit n' Spin," "Tasty Words," and "I Love a Good Story."
From 1991 to 2008, Chartoff voiced Didi Pickles and Grandma Minka, Didi's mother on Nickelodeon's hit series Rugrats, for which she won a Daytime Emmy. She continued to voice Didi on the Rugrats spin-off series, All Grown Up!. 13 years later in 2021, Chartoff was replaced by actress Ashley Spillers, who currently voices the character in the 2021 revival series of the same name.
Aside from Drama-Logue and Daytime Emmy Awards, she was cited by the City of Hope for creating and producing the yearly event Halloween for Hope to benefit children's cancer research and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Mayor of Los Angeles for her concerts for the homeless. She is listed in Who's Who in California, and Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.
|1978||American Hot Wax||Debbie||film debut|
|1979||Can You Hear the Laughter? The Story of Freddie Prinze||Fan (uncredited)||Television Movie|
|1982||Having It All||Dace||Television Movie|
|1985||Doin' Time||Linda Libel|
|Hardesty House||Judy Werner||Television Movie|
|1987||Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues||Deborah||Television Movie|
|1993||Wind in the Wire||unknown role||Television Movie|
|A Rugrats Vacation||Didi Pickles (voice)||Direct-to-Video|
|1998||The Rugrats Movie||Didi Pickles/Minka (voice)|
|2000||Big Brother Trouble||Frances Dobson|
|Rugrats in Paris: The Movie||Didi Pickles (voice)|
|2001||The Rugrats: All Growed Up||Television Movie|
|2003||Rugrats Go Wild|
|2006||Dr. Dolittle 3||Black & White Hen (voice)||Direct-to-Video|
|2012||And Out, Into the Bright Sky||unknown role||Short film|
|2017||Alexander IRL||Maureen Finn|
|1976||Search for Tomorrow||Nancy Craig||Television debut|
|1973||The Doctors||Nurse (uncredited)||Episode: "#1.2824"|
|1978||Wonder Woman||Nadia||Episode: "Screaming Javelins"|
|The Tony Randall Show||Ginny||Episode: "Adios, Mr. Chips"|
|Richie Brockelman, Private Eye||Police-Woman Ronnie||Episode: "Escape from Caine Abel"|
|1978–1980||Challenge of the Super Friends||additional voices (voice)||series regular; 16 episodes|
|1980–1982||Fridays||Various||series regular; 54 episodes|
|1983||Oh Madeline||unknown role||Episode: "Sisters"|
|1985||Mr. Belvedere||Detective Wentworth||Episode: "What I Did for Love"|
|St. Elsewhere||Kate Larson||Episode: "Fathers and Sons"|
|1986||The Love Boat||Betty Bell||Episode: "Hippies and Yuppies/Frat Wars/Return of the Lambdas"|
|Fresno||Desiree DeMornay||Television Miniseries; 5 episodes|
|1987||Take Five||Laraine McDermott||recurring role; 6 episodes|
|1987–1990||Newhart||Dr. Mary Kaiser||recurring role; 5 episodes|
|1988||Wiseguy||Lillah Warfield||recurring role; 3 episodes|
|1989||The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!||Tawny Tyler||Episode: "Adee Don't/Karate Koopa"|
|1990||The Fanelli Boys||Becky||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1990-1993||Parker Lewis Can't Lose||Principal Grace Musso||series regular; 72 episodes|
|1991–2004||Rugrats||Didi Pickles/Minka Kropotkin/additional voices (voice)||series regular; 155 episodes|
|1993||Married...with Children||Laurie Diamond, Attorney||Episode: "Un-Alful Entry"|
|1994||Living Single||Madeline Flayvin||Episode: "They've Gotta Have It"|
|Seinfeld||Robin||Episode: "The Fire"|
|1996–1998||Weird Science||Marcia Donnelly||recurring role; 5 episodes|
|1996–1999||Jumanji||Aunt Nora Shepherd (voice role)||series regular; 22 episodes|
|1998||Seinfeld||Robin||Episode: "The Finale"|
|Ally McBeal||Joanne Poole||Episode: "Happy Trails"|
|2000||Touched by an Angel||Connie Burger||Episode: "Bar Mitzvah"|
|Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||Grape Fox (voice)||Episode: "Aesop's Fables: A Whodunit Musical"|
|2001||JAG||Senator Anne Pick||Episode: "Ambush"|
|2002||Taina||Sasha Simmons||Episode: "Desperately Seeking Agent"|
|The Zeta Project||Lead Scientist||Episode: "Cabin Pressure"|
|Body & Soul||Colleen McKinney||Episode: "Letting Go"|
|Half & Half||Bridget||Episode: "The Big in with the in Crowd Episode"|
|2003–2008||All Grown Up!||Didi Pickles/Minka Kropotkin (voice)||series regular; 32 episodes|
|2005||Unfabulous||Health Teacher||Episode: "The Little Sister"|
|2006||Desperate Housewives||Sally||Episode: "Remember (Part 1)"|
|2007||Tak & the Power of Juju||Chief Tina-Tina (voice)||Episode: "The Three Chiefs/The Party"|
|2010||No Ordinary Family||Iris Mitchell||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2014||Extraordinary Faith||Director/Consulting Producer
Television Documentary; 2 episodes
|2015||Switched at Birth||Producer||Episode: "There Is My Heart"|
|2018||OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes||Sunshine (voice)||recurring role; 4 episodes|
|1998||Rugrats Adventure Game||Didi Pickles (voice)|
|Rugrats: Search for Reptar|
|1999||Rugrats: Studio Tour|
- Profile, Voicechasers.com. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- Melanie Chartoff at IMDb
- *U.S. Patent 5,274,861, "Gray water recycling system" (Jan. 4, 1994)
- "GRAYWAY ROTATING DRAIN - Graywater Recycling Device". graywayrotatingdrain.com. Archived from the original on August 5, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2018 – via archive.org.
- "Grayway FAQ". members.aol.com:80/graywaydrain2003. Archived from the original on November 18, 2003. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
- "Melanie Chartoff is also an inventor". Record-Journal. September 28, 1992. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- "United States Patent: 5274861 - Gray water recycling system". uspto.gov. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
- "Melanie Chartoff Charismatizing". charismatizing.com. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
- Hullender, Tatiana (May 26, 2021). "Ashley Spillers & Tommy Dewey Interview: Rugrats". www.screenrant.com. Screen Rant. Retrieved August 23, 2021.