Melinda Shankar

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Melinda Shankar
Melinda Shankar 10.jpg
Shankar at an event in November 2010
Born (1992-02-18) February 18, 1992 (age 23)[1][2]
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Actress
Years active 2008–present

Melinda Shankar (born February 18, 1992)[1][2] is a Canadian actress of Indo-Guyanese descent. She is best known for playing Alli Bhandari in the Canadian teen television series Degrassi: The Next Generation[3][4] and Indira 'Indie' Mehta on How To Be Indie.

Early life[edit]

Shankar is a Canadian actress of Indo-Guyanese heritage. She was born in Ottawa to Indo-Guyanese parents who immigrated to Canada. She has two older sisters and a brother, who is also an actor. She was raised in Orleans, a suburban section of Ottawa. She began studying ballet and karate at the age of three years. Her father owns a karate school in Orleans. Shankar has a black belt in karate.[5] She attended Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School in Ottawa until grade 11 before moving to Toronto following her casting in Degrassi in 2008.[6]

Acting career[edit]

Shankar began her career as a child model. At 9, she accompanied a friend to an open casting call for a talent agency in Ottawa. Shankar was signed as a model and appeared in print advertisements, including a Procter & Gamble billboard in Los Angeles. Shankar's mother was an actress and her paternal grandfather was a director in Guyana. Shankar's father would often drive up to five hours from Ottawa to Toronto for her auditions.[7][8]

In 2008, she debuted as an actress in the popular teen television series Degrassi, joining the cast as an incoming 9th grade student. She currently plays "Alli Bhandari", the rebellious younger sister of "Sav Bhandari". In 2009, she starred in a television series on YTV called How To Be Indie. She played the lead role of Indira. She attended an open casting call for the Disney Channel Original Movie Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars. She was cast as Janie Gibbs, Harriet's best friend. Shankar was cast in her first feature film, Festival of Lights in 2010. The movie was filmed on location in New York City and Georgetown, Guyana. Her father served as production manager for the film due to his familiarity with the locations in Guyana.[7][8]

Entrepreneurial career[edit]

In 2013, Shankar and a longtime childhood friend began working on an image consulting business.[9] On February 22, 2014, Shankar launched Miss Conception, a professional styling and image agency based in Toronto.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In 2008, Shankar and her family moved to Toronto when she was cast in Degrassi. She currently resides in North York, a district in Toronto.[11]


Year Title Role Notes
2008–2015 Degrassi: The Next Generation Allia "Alli" Bhandari Main cast; 146 episodes
2009–11 How To Be Indie Indira "Indie" Mehta Lead role
2010 Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars Janie Gibbs TV movie
2010 Festival of Lights Reshma Lead role
2010 Trigger Rocker Chick #1 TV movie
2013 Alive Kaitlyn TV movie
2016 Filth City Monica


External links[edit]