Melanie Chandra

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Melanie Chandra
Melanie Kannokada by Corey Hayes.jpg
Chandra in 2014
Melanie Kannokada

(1986-02-28) February 28, 1986 (age 33)
OccupationModel, actress
Years active2008–present
Spouse(s)neeraj Chandra
Children1 (arya)

Melanie Chandra (born in February 28, 1984) is an American actress, model, and co-founder of Hospital for Hope.

Early life and education[edit]

Chandra was born Melanie Kannokada to Malayali Indian parents in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.[1] Chandra is a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate[2] and a two-time bronze medalist in the Pan American games, where she represented the United States in sparring as part of the United States Junior National Karate Team in São Paulo in 2000, Caracas in 2001, and Orlando in 2002.[1]

After high school, Chandra earned a Mechanical Engineering degree from Stanford University.[3] Upon graduation, Chandra initially began working at consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which she left to concentrate on her interest in modeling and acting. She stated that she found the management job "intellectually fascinating" but not something she wanted to do "getting up every morning".[1]


After finishing college, Chandra entered and won the 2007 Miss India America contest.[1] Chandra worked as a model and commercial actress in national and international campaigns for Nescafe, Verizon, Glamour Magazine, P&G, Crocs, Acura, Herbal Essences, LG, and Clinique.[2] In fall 2011, she was selected as one of the five faces of Bare Escentuals international "Be A Force of Beauty" campaign.[4] In fall 2012, she was selected to model in a five-page editorial spread for Vogue India Magazine.[5]

Within a week of moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, Chandra successfully auditioned for guest star role in the CBS hit sitcom Rules of Engagement opposite comedian David Spade.[6] She starred in the CBS show Code Black and has guest starred in ABC Family's The Nine Lives of Chloe King, NBC's Parenthood and CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles. She also had a large recurring role on HBO's The Brink opposite Jack Black and Aasif Mandvi.

Chandra is also a co-founder of Hospital for Hope, a non-profit providing healthcare services in rural India.[3]



Year Title Network Role Notes
2011 Rules of Engagement CBS Simran Guest star
2011 The Nine Lives of Chloe King ABC Family Nikki Amaral Guest star
2012 Parenthood NBC Kirstin Mitai Guest star
2013 Writer's Block MTV Desi Vandana Series regular
2014 NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Ayesha Guest star
2015 The Brink HBO Fareeda Recurring
2016 Nashville ABC Stephanie Leigh Guest Star
2015–2017 Code Black CBS Malaya Pineda Series regular
2016 Brown Nation Netflix Roli Recurring
2017 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit NBC Lela Samra Guest star


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Love Lies and Seeta Seeta McKinsey Leading Actress @ Indiefest 2012
Nominated—Best Actress @ World Music and Independent Film Festival
2013 D for Dopidi Shalini Debut Indian Telugu Film [7]
2015 For Here or to Go Shveta [8]


  1. ^ a b c d K. Pradeep. "The Malayali quotient in Hollywood". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved December 25, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b "Melanie Kannokada: Stanford grad & Hollywood actor working for upliftment of poor in Jharkhand". timesofindia-economictimes. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Bare Escentuals "Force of Beauty" Campaign features a South Asian Face – Anokhi Magazine – Fashion, Lifestyle & Entertainment – North America's Longest Running Quarterly Magazine About South Asian Pop Culture". Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Scarlet Bindi – South Asian Fashion Blog by Neha Oberoi: Vogue India November 2012: Melanie Kannokada". Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  6. ^ Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ " Melanie Chandra interview about Telugu film D for Dopidi"
  8. ^ Archived from the original on July 24, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]