Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart
Hart in August 2011
|Born||April 18, 1976|
Smithtown, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, producer, director|
|Relatives||Emily Hart (sister)|
Melissa Joan Hart (born April 18, 1976) is an American actress, producer and director. She had starring roles as the titular characters in the sitcoms Clarissa Explains It All (1991–1994), Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996–2003), and Melissa & Joey (2010–2015). She has also appeared in films Drive Me Crazy (1999), Nine Dead (2009) and God's Not Dead 2 (2016).
Hart was born in Smithtown, New York, the first child of Paula Voje, a producer and talent manager, and William Hart, a carpenter, shellfish purveyor, oyster hatchery worker, and entrepreneur. Her maternal grandfather, Stanley John Voje, was a Navy veteran and Catholic. Hart grew up in Sayville, New York.
Hart's parents had four other children after Melissa: Trisha, Elizabeth, Brian, and Emily, who are all in acting. Her parents divorced in the early 1990s, and she moved with her mother and siblings to New York City. In 1994, her mother married television executive Leslie Gilliams, who is best known for his appearance on season 5 of MasterChef. Hart has three half-sisters: Alexandra, Samantha, and Mackenzie.
Hart was named after the Allman Brothers song "Melissa", while her middle name, Joan, came from her maternal grandmother. She chose Catherine as her confirmation name when she was in the eighth grade, but does not use it professionally.
Hart's career began at age four when she made a television commercial for a bathtub doll called Splashy. From then on, she appeared regularly in commercials, making 25 of them before the age of five. Other early television work included a small role in the miniseries Kane & Abel in 1985, a guest-starring role in an episode of The Equalizer in 1986, and a starring role alongside Katherine Helmond in the Emmy Award-winning TV movie Christmas Snow, also in 1986. She made a cameo guest appearance on the April 22, 1986 episode of the NBC daytime soap opera Another World. She also auditioned for the lead role Jamie Lloyd in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, losing the role to Danielle Harris.
In 1989, she became an understudy in a Broadway production of The Crucible starring Martin Sheen. That same year, she appeared in an off-Broadway production of Beside Herself with William Hurt and Calista Flockhart.
1991–94: Clarissa Explains It All
In 1991 Hart landed the starring role on the Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All, a comedy about a teen girl in everyday situations, which was successful during its four-year run. The show brought her four consecutive Young Artist Award nominations, winning three. Her role in the series also led to her starring in the FMV video game Nickelodeon's Director's Lab as a tour guide who takes the player around a movie studio.
Initially, after first being recognized in public, Hart felt embarrassed to perform on a children's show while being a teenager. Nevertheless, she was enthusiastic about the role, and "all [she] hoped for that [she] would get to do it for a while."
In 1995, a year after the end of Clarissa Explains It All, Hart filmed a pilot episode for a spin-off show featuring a college-aged Clarissa explaining it all about her foray into the professional world as an intern at a newspaper. As its musical theme, the show featured a slow, jazz version of its predecessor's theme song, and also starred Robert Klein as her boss.
1996–2003: Sabrina the Teenage Witch
After the television series ended, Hart attended New York University. However, she dropped out after she earned the title role for the 1996 TV film Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which was followed by the television series of the same name, which lasted seven seasons on ABC and The WB. She later collaborated on an animated version that featured Hart voicing the two aunts Hilda and Zelda, and Hart's younger sister Emily starring in the title role. She also guest-starred on the series Touched by an Angel and starred in several TV movies. She guest starred on the Boy Meets World episode "Witches of Pennbrook" as her character Sabrina Spellman; the episode also guest starred Hart's closest friend Candace Cameron-Bure as a witch named Millie.
In 1998, Hart had a small role in the film Can't Hardly Wait; shortly afterwards Hart began working on a theatrical film project titled Next to You, in which she acted alongside Adrian Grenier. Britney Spears released a remix of her song "(You Drive Me) Crazy" to promote the movie's soundtrack. To capitalize on the song's success as a top-ten hit, the name of the movie was changed to Drive Me Crazy. To promote the film, both Hart and Grenier appeared in the song's music video. Around the same time, Spears made a guest appearance as herself on Sabrina, in the season four episode "No Place Like Home".
Coinciding with the release of Drive Me Crazy, Hart appeared wearing lingerie on the cover of Maxim magazine's October 1999 issue, as well as in a photo shoot and an accompanying article. Hart continued her acting career, starring in the film Rent Control, which aired in 2005 on the ABC Family cable network. Hart also continued to star on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch until 2003. Hart was also a primary voice-actress on Sabrina: The Animated Series, which ran for 65 episodes from 1999 through 2000 on ABC and UPN.
In 1999, Hart made her directorial debut in an episode of Disney Channel's So Weird called "Snapshot" which guest-starred her sister Emily. Hart directed an episode of Nickelodeon's Taina in 2001. In 2001 and 2002, she directed six episodes of Sabrina.
After Sabrina ended in 2003 after 7 seasons, Hart directed her first movie, a 15-minute live-action short film called Mute (2005), starring her sister Emily. In 2007, Hart guest-starred on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit titled "Impulsive" as a teacher accused of statutory rape. In late 2007, she directed the "Anger Cage" video for her husband Mark Wilkerson's band Course of Nature. She also starred in the ABC Family Original Movie Holiday in Handcuffs, opposite Mario Lopez. The movie premiered on December 9, 2007, and was the highest rated program in the history of the network, with 6.7 million viewers. Hart followed this with another ABC movie with a similar premise, My Fake Fiancé, in 2009.
It was announced on August 17, 2009 that she would compete in season nine of Dancing with the Stars. Hart was paired up with two-time reigning champion, Mark Ballas. She was eliminated from the competition in week six out of a possible ten. In 2010, Hart starred as Kelley in the horror thriller film Nine Dead.
2010–15: Melissa & Joey
In 2010, Hart returned to a new weekly television series, starring with Joey Lawrence in the ABC Family sitcom Melissa & Joey. In the series Hart plays a woman who hires Lawrence as a nanny to help care for her incarcerated sister's children. In the second season, she occupied the director's chair for an episode, for the first time since Sabrina.
In June 2012, St. Martin's Press announced that it had made a deal with Hart to publish her memoir Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life in the fall of 2013. In the memoir, Hart wrote about growing up, being a child actor and her rise to fame, her rebellious teen years, and her efforts to balance a career as an adult with motherhood and family life.
In 2013, Hart attempted to use crowdfunding (via Kickstarter) to fund a romantic comedy movie to be entitled Darci's Walk of Shame, but was only able to garner $51,605, or just 2.6% of the expected $2 million goal. Ultimately, the idea was scrapped.
Melissa & Joey concluded in August 2015 after 4 seasons and 104 episodes.
2016–present: Recent work
In 2016, Hart starred as the lead, Grace Wesley, in the film God's Not Dead 2.
In 2018, Hart was cast as Liz in the Netflix comedy series No Good Nick. The series premiered on April 15, 2019. She directed one episode from The Goldbergs, "Hail Barry". Hart also made her return to Nickelodeon 25 years after the end of Clarissa Explains It All when she joined the voice cast of The Casagrandes, a spinoff of The Loud House.
In May 2009, Hart opened a candy shop called SweetHarts in Sherman Oaks, California. Hart commented that it had been her "childhood dream" to own a candy shop. SweetHarts closed in December 2011 due to a lawsuit by a former employee alleging wrongful termination and racial discrimination, as well as other issues, and afterwards reopened under the same name with new owners. In 2015 it closed permanently.
In 2015, Hart and her husband started their own fashion line called King of Harts.
On July 19, 2003, Hart married musician Mark Wilkerson, having met at the Kentucky Derby in May 2002. The preparations for the ceremony, which took place in Florence, Italy, were documented in a TV miniseries titled Tying the Knot, produced by Hart's production company Hartbreak Films and aired on ABC Family. Hart and Wilkerson have three sons, born in January 2006, March 2008, and September 2012. They live in Westport, Connecticut.
Hart and Wilkerson were featured in People magazine's April 7, 2008 issue, introducing Braydon, their second child. Hart wrote a diary, including video entries, to document potty training her son, Mason, for Huggies Pull-Ups brand diapers.
Hart has expressed her support for some Republican candidates. On November 5, 2012, the day before that year's Election Day, she tweeted that she was endorsing Mitt Romney for president, which spurred some backlash. She has expressed support for increased gun control, marching in a Moms Demand Action demonstration in Brooklyn in May 2016. On August 16, 2016, in the run-up to that year's presidential election, she donated to Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson's campaign. On August 28, 2016, she joined Johnson's campaign as its Connecticut chairperson.
|1985||ABC Weekend Special||Cindy||Episode: "The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn"|
|1985||Kane & Abel||Florentyna Rosnovski (age 7)||Credited as Melissa Hart|
|1986||The Equalizer||Laura Moore||Episode: "Torn" (credited as Melissa Hart)|
|1986||Another World||Roller-Skater||Episode dated April 22|
|1991–1994||Clarissa Explains It All||Clarissa Darling||Lead role|
|1992||Nick Arcade||Herself||Episode: "Clarissa Explains It All Celebrity Special"|
|1993||Are You Afraid of the Dark?||Daphne||Episode: "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost"|
|1995||Clarissa||Clarissa Darling||Only one episode produced|
|1995||Touched by an Angel||Claire Latham||Episode: "Angels on the Air"|
|Episodes: "The Weinerville Election Special"|
"The Weinerville New Years Special: Lost In The Big Apple"
|1996–2003||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Sabrina Spellman||Lead role; Also producer, director|
|1997||Clueless||Episode: Mr. Wright|
|1997||Boy Meets World||Episode: "The Witches of Pennbrook"|
|1997||You Wish||Episode: "Genie Without a Cause"|
|1997||Teen Angel||Episode: "One Dog Night"|
|1998||Superman: The Animated Series||Saturn Girl / Imra Ardeen (voice)||Episode: "New Kids in Town"|
|1998||The Zig and Zag Show||Herself||1 episode|
|1999||That '70s Show||Mary||Episode: "Eric gets Suspended"|
|1999–2000||Sabrina: The Animated Series||Aunt Hilda Spellman and Aunt Zelda Spellman (voice)||Main role|
|2000||Just Shoot Me!||Krissy||Episode: "Fast Times at Finchmont High"|
|2003||The Jamie Kennedy Experiment||Herself||Episode dated March 20|
|2004||North Shore||Herself||Episode: "Secret Service"|
|2005, 2012||Robot Chicken||Emily the Spy (voice)
Hilda Spellman, Sabrina Spellman (voice)
|Episode: "Operation Rich in Spirit"|
Episode: "Executed by the State"
|2006||Justice League Unlimited||Delia & Deidre Dennis / Dee Dee (voice)||Episode: "The Once and Future Thing Part II: Time, Warped"|
|2007||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sarah Trent||Episode: "Impulsive"|
|2009||Dancing With the Stars||Herself|
|2010–2015||Melissa & Joey||Mel Burke||Lead Role (104 episodes)|
Also executive producer, director
|2010||When I Was 17 ||Herself|
|2014||Motor City Masters||Herself/guest judge||Episode: "The Mother of All Design Challenges"|
|2015||The Mysteries of Laura||K.C. Moss||Episode: "The Mystery of the Deceased Documentarian"|
|2016||Celebrity Family Feud||Herself||Episode: "Melissa Joan Hart vs. Paul Sorvino"|
|2017–2018||Pickle and Peanut||Herself||2 episodes|
|2018||Bobcat Goldthwait's Misfits & Monsters||Mom||Episode: "The Goatman Cometh"|
|2019||No Good Nick||Liz||Main role|
|2019||The Loud House||Becca Chang (voice)||3 episodes|
|2019||The Goldbergs||Elaine||stewardess / 1 episode|
|2019–present||The Casagrandes||Becca Chang (voice)||Recurring role|
|1986||Christmas Snow||Amy||TV (credited as Melissa Hart)|
|1995||Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare||Samantha||TV|
|1996||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Sabrina Sawyer||Pilot movie for TV series|
|1996||Twisted Desire||Jennifer Stanton||TV|
|1997||The Right Connections||Melanie Cambridge||TV (credited as Melissa Hart)|
|1997||Two Came Back||Susan Clarkson||TV|
|1998||Silencing Mary||Mary Stuartson||TV|
|1998||Can't Hardly Wait||Vicki, Yearbook Girl||Uncredited|
|1998||Sabrina Goes to Rome||Sabrina Spellman / Sophia||TV|
|1998||The Emperor's New Clothes: An All-Star Illustrated Retelling of the Classic Fairy Tale||The Imperial Princess||Voice|
|1999||Drive Me Crazy||Nicole Maris|
|1999||Love, American Style||Annabelle||TV; segment "Love In The Old South"|
|1999||Sabrina Down Under||Sabrina Spellman||TV|
|2000||Santa Mouse and the Ratdeer||Molly||Voice|
|2000||The Specials||Sunlight Grrrll|
|2000||Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker||Delia & Deidre Dennis / Dee Dee||Voice|
|2001||Recess: School's Out||Becky Detweiller||Voice|
|2001||The Voyage to Atlantis: The Lost Empire||Herself||Short; spinoff of Atlantis: The Lost Empire|
|2001||Not Another Teen Movie||Slow Clapper's Instructor/Herself||Uncredited|
|2002||Rent Control||Holly Washburn||TV|
|2002||Hold On||Herself||Short film|
|2006||Jesus, Mary and Joey||Jackie|
|2007||Holiday in Handcuffs||Trudie Chandler||ABC Family|
|2008||Whispers and Lies AKA Secrets of Pine Cove||Jill Roperson||TV|
|2009||Nine Dead||Kelly Murphy|
|2009||My Fake Fiancé||Jennifer||TV|
|2014||Santa Con||Rose DeMarco|
|2016||God's Not Dead 2||Grace Wesley||Movie|
|2016||Broadcasting Christmas||Emily Morgan||Hallmark Channel Original Movie|
|2017||A Very Merry Toy Store||Connie Forester||Lifetime Original Movie|
|2017||The Watcher in the Woods||Director||Lifetime Original Movie|
|2018||A Very Nutty Christmas||Kate Holliday||Lifetime Original Movie|
|2019||Christmas Reservations||Holly Anderson||Lifetime Original Movie|
|2020||"Dear Christmas"||Natalie||Lifetime Original Movie|
|Week#||Dance / Song||Judge's scores||Result||Ref|
|1||Viennese Waltz / "The Time of My Life"||6
|2||Jive / "Long Tall Sally"||7||6||6||Safe|
|3||Samba / "Turn Me On"||6||6||7||Safe|
|4||Charleston / "Charleston"||9||9||10||Safe|
|5||Argentine Tango / "Tango Barbaro"||8
|6||Waltz / "Only One Road"
Mambo Marathon / "Ran Kan Kan"
|2000–03||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||9 episodes|
|2000||So Weird||Episode: "Snapshot"|
|2002||Taina||Episode: "Bad Review"|
|2012–15||Melissa & Joey||6 episodes|
|2014||Santa Con||TV movie|
|2017||The Watcher in the Woods||TV movie|
|2018–19||The Goldbergs||3 episodes|
|2020||The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia||Episode: "Hasta La Vista, Baby"|
|2020||Young Sheldon||Episode: "An Academic Crime and a More Romantic Taco Bell"|
|2020||Schooled||Episode: "Lainey's Mom"|
|2020||The Big Show Show / Game On!: A Netflix Crossover Event||Episode: "The Big Games"|
|1999||"(You Drive Me) Crazy"||Britney Spears||Song was featured on Drive Me Crazy Soundtrack|
|2008||"Anger Cage"||Course of Nature||Hart also has co-director credit|
- 2013: Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life (read by the author), Macmillan Audio, ISBN 978-1427232991
Awards and nominations
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- "In Memory of Stanley John Voje -- Haisley Funeral Home, Fort Pierce, FL". memorialsolutions.com. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
- Witchel, Alex (August 25, 1991). "UP and COMING – Melissa Joan Hart – The Melissa Inside Clarissa Explains It All for Us – Biography". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- "Hall of Fame: Melissa Joan Hart". sayville.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
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- * "Thirteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards 1990–1991". The Young Artist Foundation. Archived from the original on March 4, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011. won
- "Fourteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards 1991–1992". The Young Artist Foundation. Archived from the original on March 4, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011. won
- "Fifteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards 1992–1993". The Young Artist Foundation. Archived from the original on March 4, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011. nominated
- "Sixteenth Annual Youth in Film Awards 1993–1994". The Young Artist Foundation. Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2011. won
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- Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf – Saint-Saëns: Carnival of the Animals – Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, on iTunes
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- "Are You Afraid of the Dark? Freaky Favorites". Netflix.com. Retrieved November 4, 2010.
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- "Britney Spears Album & Song Chart History". Billboard.com. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- Vena, Jocelyn (November 16, 2009). "Britney Spears Wanted '(You Drive Me) Crazy' Video To Take Her 'To The Next Level' – News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". Mtv.com. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- News, ABC. "Britney Spears appeared on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" alongside Melissa Joan Hart from Britney Spears Gives a Wave in London". ABC News. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
- "Melissa Joan Hart Pictures – 1 of 4 – Maxim Girls Photo Gallery". Maxim.com. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- "Rent Control (2002) – Melissa Joan Hart, Carmen Electra, Ryan Browning". Videoeta.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
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- "'Handcuffs' Sets ABC Family Record". TVWeek.com. Retrieved December 11, 2007.
- Eng, Joyce (August 17, 2009). "Dancing with the Stars 2009 Season 9 Cast Revealed!". TV Guide. Archived from the original on August 18, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2009.
- Bodow, Brandon (October 28, 2009). "Melissa Joan Hart, Louie Vito Voted Off 'Dancing With the Stars'". ABC News. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- Rose, Joanna (February 11, 2010). "Nine Dead Film Review". horrornews.net. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- OK Weekly Issue #19 July 19, 2010 Page 27
- "Melissa Joan Hart, Joey Lawrence to star in ABC comedy series 'Melissa & Joey'". Los Angeles Times. February 2, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- "ABC Family taps Hart, Lawrence – Entertainment News, TV News, Media". Variety. January 29, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- Melissa Joan Hart. Melissa Joan Hart Says No Thanks To Dancing With The Stars: All Stars (streaming video). Access Hollywood Live. Archived from the original on July 27, 2012.
- US Weekly Issue 791 April 12, 2010 Page 47
- DeNunno, Gina (March 29, 2010). "Melissa Joan Hart Joins Off-Broadway Play". TV Guide. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
- "Gain Partners with Celebrity Best Friends Melissa Joan Hart and Soleil Moon Frye to Demonstrate that 'Two is Better than One'". PR Newswire. March 30, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- Szalai, Georg (November 22, 2010). "Surprise Presenter Rupert Murdoch Honors Simon Cowell With International Emmy". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Lewis, Andy (June 20, 2012). "Melissa Joan Hart Signs to Write Memoir (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- Daniel June (May 16, 2013). "Melissa Joan Hart's Kickstarter Campaign Fails Utterly to Kick Off – JD Journal". jdjournal.com. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
- Iannucci, Rebecca (March 6, 2019). "Melissa Joan Hart/Sean Astin Dramedy No Good Nick Gets Netflix Premiere". TVLine.
- Anita Bennett (May 7, 2019). "Eugenio Derbez, Ken Jeong, Melissa Joan Hart Join Nickelodeon's The Casagrandes as Loud House Renewed". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
- SV3 Design. "sweet ♥ harts". Sweethartssweets.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
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- Marianne Garvey and Claudia Rosenbaum (September 30, 2011). "Say It Ain't So, Sabrina—Melissa Joan Hart Sued for Racial Profiling?!". E! Online. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
- SweetHarts [@SweetHartsweets] (December 8, 2011). "It's with sadness that we announce the closing of Sweetharts on Dec. 23rd. All merchandise is 50% off so come by to say a final farwell" (Tweet). Retrieved May 31, 2012 – via Twitter.
- Magnoli, Skyler. "King of Harts by Melissa Joan Hart".
- Murtaugh, Taysha (November 30, 2018). "Melissa Joan Hart Knew She Would Marry Husband Mark Wilkerson the Moment They Met". Country Living. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
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- Wihlborg, Ulrica (March 12, 2008). "Melissa Joan Hart & Husband Welcome Baby No. 2". People. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
- "Melissa Joan Hart Welcomes Son Tucker McFadden". People. September 19, 2012. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
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- "Update: Introducing Braydon Hart Wilkerson". People Magazine. Archived from the original on April 1, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
- Gill, Benjamin (January 7, 2019). "'This Is a Jesus Home, Satan's Not Welcome Here': How Melissa Joan Hart Went from 'Teenage Witch' to Spiritual Warfare". CBN News. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
- "Melissa Joan Hart: The Celeb Mom's Weight Loss Secrets! : Celebrity Baby Updates : pregnancy and parenting on JustMommies". justmommies.com. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
- Sieczkowski, Cavan (November 5, 2013). "Melissa Joan Hart: 'These Days I Find More Republicans In Hollywood'". Huffington Post.
- Boardman, Madeline (November 5, 2012). "Melissa Joan Hart & Mitt Romney? Actress Tweets Support For Republican Candidate". Huffington Post.
- Rosen, Christopher (October 31, 2013). "Melissa Joan Hart: Romney Tweet Led To 'Unbelievable' Hate". Huffington Post.
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- "'Did a bunch of little kids get shot today?' Stars join march for 'gun sense'". The Guardian. May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- Melissa Joan Hart Endorses Gary Johnson After Watching Online Video. The Libertarian Republic. August 17, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
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- doublezwynne (September 20, 2012). "The Zig and Zag Show- Which Witch" – via YouTube.
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