Melissa McBride

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Melissa McBride
Melissa McBride by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
McBride at the San Diego Comic-Con International in 2017
Melissa Suzanne McBride

(1965-05-23) May 23, 1965 (age 55)
OccupationActress, casting director
Years active1991–present

Melissa Suzanne McBride (born May 23, 1965)[1] is an American actress and former casting director. McBride's breakout role was Carol Peletier on the AMC series The Walking Dead (2010–present). She has garnered critical acclaim and received multiple awards and nominations for her role on the show.[2] Originally cast in a minor role, McBride's role expanded over time to a main cast member and as of 2020, she is the second billed cast member in the opening credits of the show, and one of only two cast members to appear in every season (the other being Norman Reedus).

Early life[edit]

McBride was born in Lexington, Kentucky, to parents John Leslie McBride and Suzanne Lillian (née Sagley)[3][4] Her father owned his own business, and her mother studied at the historic Pasadena Playhouse.[5] She had three siblings: John Michael, Neil Allen,[6] and Melanie Suzanne.[7]


McBride began her acting career in 1991, appearing in several television commercials for clients such as Rooms To Go; she was also a spokeswoman for Ford.[8][9] She made her series television debut in a 1993 episode of ABC legal drama series Matlock,[9] and later guest-starred in several other television drama series, including In the Heat of the Night; American Gothic; Profiler; Walker, Texas Ranger; and Dawson's Creek. In the last, she played Nina – a film buff who charms Dawson after his breakup with Jen – in the Season 1 episode "Road Trip" (1998) - and in 2003 returned to the series finale playing a different character.[10]

In the 1990s, McBride had supporting roles in several made-for-television movies, such as Her Deadly Rival (1995) opposite Annie Potts and Harry Hamlin, Close to Danger (1997) with Rob Estes, Any Place But Home (1997), and Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999). In 1996, she appeared on the CBS miniseries A Season in Purgatory, based on Dominick Dunne's eponymous 1993 novel. From 2000 to 2010, she worked as a film and commercial casting director in Atlanta, Georgia[11] and starred in several short films. In 2007, director Frank Darabont cast McBride as the "woman with the kids at home" in the ensemble-cast science-fiction horror film The Mist, alongside Thomas Jane, Laurie Holden, and Marcia Gay Harden.[5][9] McBride was in contention for a bigger role in the film but did not want to take a significant amount of time away from her job as a casting director.[8] The following year, she appeared in the Lifetime television movie Living Proof.

The Walking Dead[edit]

McBride at the Saturn Awards in 2014

McBride's earlier relationship with Darabont led him to cast her as Carol Peletier in the AMC television drama series The Walking Dead – her biggest role to date.[12] Peletier is a mid-forties widow and caring mother to preteen Sophia, fighting to survive in a violent post-apocalyptic world populated with flesh-eating zombies and the few surviving humans, some of whom are diabolical and even more dangerous than the zombies themselves. McBride did not audition for the role, which she thought was temporary.[8] She was a recurring cast member in Season 1 and was promoted to series regular for Season 2.[13][14] McBride's name appeared in the opening credits sequence beginning with the first episode of Season 4. Carol was supposed to have been killed off in the episode "Killer Within", but the producers eventually had a change of plans.[15]

As the series progresses, McBride's character develops from being weak and dependent, into a strong, cunning, and loyal warrior. The direction of her character is contrasted between the two media. In the comic series, Carol is much younger and exhibits a neurotic, self-centered, and naive demeanor. Throughout her time in the comics, she grows increasingly unstable to the point of being self-destructive. The television show differs in these regards, as she is shown to be a stern, pragmatic, and compassionate individual who has been gradually building inner strength. Producers of the series, Scott M. Gimple and Robert Kirkman, said in 2014 that "Carol is her own unique character; it would be a disservice to Melissa McBride to say she's evolved into the Carol from the comics. The Carol in the TV show is a wholly original creation that we'll continue to explore on the show to great effect. Everyone in the writers' room loves that character, and we're thrilled with what Melissa has brought to the table. She has definitely become a character that is one to watch, and there's some really exciting stuff ahead for her."[16]

McBride has received critical acclaim for her performance as Carol and won positive reviews from critics during Seasons 3, 4, and 5.[17] Many critics praised McBride's performance in the Season 4 episode centered on her character, "The Grove".[18][19][20] Others singled out Carol's actions in the Season 5 premiere, "No Sanctuary", which earned critical praise and positive fan reception. Despite the praise of some critics[21][22][23] and a fan campaign,[24] McBride did not receive a nomination for the 2014 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.[25] However, she won the 40th Annual Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television,[26][27] and was nominated for the 2014 Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in Season 4.[28] In March 2015, McBride was nominated for a Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Leading Actress in a Television series, for her role as Carol.[29] She once again won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television at the 41st Saturn Awards, for the second year in a row.[30]

McBride is set to reprise her role as Carol in a spin-off series centered on her and Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus), following the conclusion of the 11th and final season of The Walking Dead. Angela Kang will be the showrunner for the series, which is set to debut in 2023.[31]

Personal life[edit]

In the mid-1980s, McBride moved to Atlanta, where she still lives.[8]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Mutant Species Tiffany's Mom
2002 The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys Mrs. Doyle
2006 Nailed! Various characters Short film
2007 The Promise Stacey Johnson Short film
The Mist Woman with Kids at Home
Lost Crossing Sheila Short film
2008 Delgo Miss Sutley / Elder Pearo Voice role
2014 The Reconstruction of William Zero Dr. Ashley Bronson
2016 The Happys Krista


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Matlock Darlene Kellogg Episode: "Matlock's Bad, Bad, Bad Dream"
1994 In the Heat of the Night WPMM Reporter 2 episodes
1995 American Gothic Holly Gallagher Episode: "Dead to the World"
Her Deadly Rival Ellie Television film
1996 Profiler Walker Young Episode: "Insight"
A Season in Purgatory Mary Pat Bradley Television film
1997 Walker, Texas Ranger Dr. Rachel Woods 2 episodes
Close to Danger Natalie Television film
Any Place But Home Brett Television film
1998 Dawson's Creek Nina Episode: "Road Trip"
1999 Nathan Dixon Janine Keach Pilot
Pirates of Silicon Valley Elizabeth Holmes Television film
2003 Dawson's Creek Melanie Episode: "All Good Things..."
2008 Living Proof Sally Television film
2010–present The Walking Dead Carol Peletier Recurring, 4 episodes (season 1)
Also starring, 24 episodes (seasons 2–3)
Main cast, 79 episodes (season 4–present)
2013 Conan Episode: "It's not the Hotlanta, It's the Humidylanta"
2017 Robot Chicken Episode: "The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking"
2018 Fear the Walking Dead Episode: "What's Your Story?"
2019 Ride with Norman Reedus Herself Episode: "Scotland With Melissa McBride"
2023 Untitled Daryl & Carol spin-off series Carol Peletier Main cast

Casting director[edit]

  • The Last Adam (2006)
  • The Promise (2007)
  • Golden Minutes (2009)
  • This Side Up (2009)
  • The Party (2010)
  • Broken Moment (2010)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref
2012 Satellite Awards Best Cast – Television Series The Walking Dead Won [32]
2013 Eyegore Awards Best Ensemble Cast Award Won [33]
Shorty Awards Best of Social Media Herself Nominated [34]
2014 Critics' Choice Television Award Online Love Award Won [35]
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama The Walking Dead Nominated [36]
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress on Television Won [37]
Gold Derby TV Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Nominated [38][39]
EWwy Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Nominated [40]
IGN Awards Best TV Hero Nominated [41]
2015 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress on Television Won [30]
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best TV Supporting Actress Nominated [42]
ComicBook TV Awards Best Actress in a #ComicBook Television Series Won [43]
Tell-Tale TV Awards Favorite Female Performer in a Drama Nominated [44]
EWwy Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Won [45][46]
CarterMatt Awards Top TV Actress Won [47]
2016 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on Television Nominated [48]
Poppy Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Nominated [49][50]
2017 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on a Television Series Nominated [51]
2018 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on a Television Series Nominated [52]
2019 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actress on a Television Series Nominated [52]


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  7. ^ "In Memory of Melanie Suzanne McBride Sweat". Dignity Memorial Obituaries. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
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  11. ^ Q&A - Melissa McBride (Carol) Archived 2012-04-15 at the Wayback Machine, AMC, March, 2011, Retrieved March 20, 2012
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  25. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 10, 2014). "Primetime Emmy Nominations 2014: My Snappy Judgements". TVLine. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  26. ^ Johns, Nikara (February 25, 2014). "'Gravity,' 'Desolation of Smaug' lead Saturn Award nominations". Variety. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  27. ^ "40th Annual Saturn Awards Nominations Include The Conjuring, The Walking Dead". February 27, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  28. ^ Bacle, Ariana (May 28, 2014). "Critics' Choice TV Awards 2014: And the nominees are..." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  29. ^ Hanely, Ken W. (March 2, 2015). "For Your Consideration: The 2015 Chainsaw Award Nominees for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series!". Fangoria. Archived from the original on March 12, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
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  31. ^ Patten, Dominic (September 9, 2020). "'Walking Dead' To End After Super-Sized 11th Season; Norman Reedus & Melissa McBride Spinoff Set For 2023". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
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  39. ^ Montgomery, Daniel (August 20, 2014). "'Orange is the New Black,' 'Breaking Bad' sweep Gold Derby TV Awards". Retrieved March 23, 2015.
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  41. ^ "Best TV Hero - Best of 2014: Television - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  42. ^ "The 2015 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Winners and Full Results!". Fangoria Chainsaw Awards. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  43. ^ "ComicBook TVAwards". Twitter. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  44. ^ "The 2015 Tell-Tale TV Awards: Results! Outlander, Jane the Virgin, The 100, and More". Tell Tale Awards. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
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  51. ^ "The Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy and Horror Films". Retrieved 2 March 2017.
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