Melissa McCarthy

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Melissa McCarthy
Melissa McCarthy Emmy Week Celebration - 2012.jpg
McCarthy in 2012
Born (1970-08-26) August 26, 1970 (age 45)
Plainfield, Illinois, United States
Occupation Actress, comedian, writer, producer
Years active 1997–present
Spouse(s) Ben Falcone (m. 2005)
Children 2
Relatives Jenny McCarthy (cousin)
Joanne McCarthy (cousin)

Melissa Ann McCarthy (born August 26, 1970)[1] is an American actress, comedian, writer, fashion designer, and producer.

McCarthy first gained recognition for her role as Sookie St. James on the television series Gilmore Girls (2000–2007). On the ABC sitcom Samantha Who? (2007–2009), she portrayed Dena. McCarthy was then cast as Molly Flynn on the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly, a role that earned her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series,[2] as well as two award nominations during subsequent seasons. McCarthy has also been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her work as host on Saturday Night Live three years consecutively.

McCarthy achieved major success and fame for her breakthrough film role as Megan Price in the 2011 comedy hit Bridesmaids, which garnered her numerous award nominations including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a BAFTA nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[3] In 2013, she co-starred in the comedy films Identity Thief and The Heat. She has also appeared in the films The Nines, The Back-up Plan, Life as We Know It and The Hangover Part III. In 2014, McCarthy starred in the comedy Tammy and the comedy-drama film St. Vincent.[4] In 2015, she headlined the action comedy Spy. In 2016, McCarthy is set to star in comedy films The Boss and Ghostbusters.

McCarthy is the founder of the production company On the Day Productions with her husband Ben Falcone. In 2015, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and released clothing collection, Melissa McCarthy Seven7, for plus-size women. Also in 2015, Forbes named McCarthy the third highest-paid actress in the World.[5][6]

Early life[edit]

McCarthy was born in Plainfield, Illinois,[7] the daughter of Sandra and Michael McCarthy.[8][9] She is a cousin of actress and model Jenny McCarthy.[10] McCarthy was raised on a farm in a "big Irish Catholic family".[11][12] Some of her ancestors were from County Cork.[13] She graduated from St. Francis Academy (now Joliet Catholic Academy) in Joliet, Illinois.[14] Her career started with stand-up comedy.[15] McCarthy is an alumna of The Groundlings, an improvisational and sketch comedy troupe based in Los Angeles, California.[16]



McCarthy made her first television appearance in an episode of the NBC comedy series Jenny, opposite her cousin Jenny McCarthy. She made her feature film debut in a minor role in the 1999 comedy Go, and later had roles in the movies Drowning Mona, Disney's The Kid, Charlie's Angels, The Third Wheel and The Life of David Gale. She also did voice work in three episodes of Kim Possible, where she played DNAmy.[17]

In 2000, McCarthy was cast as Sookie St. James, the control freak and scatterbrain/klutzy best friend of Lorelai Gilmore on the The WB television series Gilmore Girls. The series ended after seven seasons, in 2007. In 2007, she starred opposite Ryan Reynolds in the science fantasy psychological thriller The Nines, written and directed by John August. She later starred in the independent comedies The Captain, Just Add Water, and Pretty Ugly People.[18] From 2007 to 2009, McCarthy starred as Dena on the ABC sitcom Samantha Who? She also guest starred in Rita Rocks in 2009, and on Private Practice in 2010.[19] In 2010, McCarthy played supporting roles in films The Back-Up Plan and Life as We Know It.[20]


McCarthy at the 2012 Oscars

In early 2010, McCarthy was cast in the leading role as Molly Flynn on the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly.[21] In 2011, McCarthy had a breakout performance in the comedy movie Bridesmaids alongside Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper. McCarthy received an Academy Award nomination for her performance. In fall 2011, after achieving fame from Bridesmaids, she received her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on Mike & Molly.[22][23]

In June 2011, she hosted the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards.[24] McCarthy later had supporting roles in This Is 40 (2012), the semi-sequel to Judd Apatow's film Knocked Up,[25] and The Hangover Part III (2013). She was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2012 along with 175 other individuals.[26]

McCarthy hosted Saturday Night Live on October 1, 2011, again on April 6, 2013, and a third time on February 1, 2014.[27] She was nominated three times for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her appearances on the television show from 2012-2014.[23]


In 2013, McCarthy co-starred in the crime comedy Identity Thief with Jason Bateman.[28][29] Identity Thief opened at #1 at the box office, and grossed $174 million worldwide[30] despite negative reviews. In his negative review of the film, film critic Rex Reed controversially made several references to McCarthy's weight, referring to her as "obese" and using several pejorative terms to refer to her body type.[31][32] Reed's comments immediately attracted wide criticism from various film critics and the industry at large. Film critic Richard Roeper said, "This just smacks of mean-spirited name-calling in lieu of genuine criticism."[33] In a column for The Huffington Post, Candy Spelling likened Reed's review to bullying.[34]

Later in 2013, she co-starred with Sandra Bullock in the buddy cop comedy The Heat. The film was released in the United States and Canada on June 28, 2013 to both critical and commercial success.[35] With McCarthy being called "box office gold, The Heat grossed $229 million worldwide.[36]

McCarthy with Ben Falcone in 2007

McCarthy co-wrote the script for the movie Tammy, which was released on July 2, 2014. McCarthy starred in the movie, about a woman who loses her job and her car, and then learns that her husband has been unfaithful. To get away, McCarthy's character is forced to rely on her alcoholic grandmother for transportation (played by Susan Sarandon) as they embark on a journey of self-discovery.[37]

McCarthy has also produced a CBS pilot, which starred her husband, Ben Falcone.[38]

McCarthy played the female lead, opposite Bill Murray, in the 2014 comedy-drama film St. Vincent, directed and written by Theodore Melfi.[39] In addition, McCarthy was the lead in frequent collaborator Paul Feig's spy comedy Spy (2015).[40][41]

McCarthy is the founder of the production company On the Day with her husband Ben Falcone.[4] Tammy was first project of her company. The film cost $20 million, a quite low budget, and McCarthy, who can command close to $10 million a role—took a smaller upfront salary in exchange for a larger-than-normal cut of the film's proceeds, according to people familiar with the deal.[42] McCarthy also announced that in March 2015 she will film The Boss, a comedy film based on a character McCarthy first created in the Los Angeles Groundlings, about "a self-help inspiration speaker (a la Suze Orman or Oprah) who goes to jail for insider trading, and struggles to reinvent herself as America’s new sweetheart when she’s released".[4] She also announced The Memory of Running, based on the Ron McLarty novel about a war veteran on a cross-country bike pilgrimage, Cousin Irv based on the book by Bruce Eric Kaplan, and Just Do It. In Just Do It, McCarthy set to star as "wife who tries to repair her marriage with her husband through 100 days of continuous sex".[4]

On November 19, 2014, announced that McCarthy will star as eponymous fairy heroine Tinker Bell in the untitled comedy-adventure directing by Shawn Levy.[43] She is also set to produce this film.[44]

On January 9, 2015 it was announced that McCarthy will star in Paul Feig's Ghostbusters' reboot.[45][46] On January 27, 2015, it was announced that McCarthy had officially signed for the lead role in the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters directed by Paul Feig,[47] where she will portray Abby, an author and scientist.[48] In May, 2015, McCarthy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[49][50][51] In August 2015, Forbes ranked her as the third highest-paid actress of 2015, with earnings of $23 million.[52]

Personal life[edit]

McCarthy married her longtime boyfriend, Ben Falcone, an actor and alumnus of The Groundlings, on October 8, 2005.[53][54] The couple has two daughters, Vivian (born May 5, 2007) and Georgette "Georgie" (born March 2010). McCarthy's pregnancy with Vivian was written into the last season of Gilmore Girls.[55] Their daughter Viviane is playing the younger version of her mom's character in the movie "Michelle Darnell".

Falcone often makes cameo appearances in movies starring McCarthy, such as Bridesmaids, The Heat, Tammy, Identity Thief and Spy.

Fashion line[edit]

McCarthy, who studied textiles at Southern Illinois University, originally was interested in a career in fashion before she pursued a career in acting. When she first moved to New York City, it was to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. One of her closest friends is shoe designer Brian Atwood. McCarthy also spent time working as the costumer for a dance company.[10]

Following her success in films, she teamed up with Sunrise Brands to manufacture her first clothing collection, Melissa McCarthy Seven7, for plus-size women. The line will include clothes up to size 28. McCarthy states that "People don't stop at size 12. I feel like there's a big thing missing where you can't dress to your mood above a certain number. [Malls] segregate plus-size" clothes stores and hide these stores away from other sections of the mall.[56] McCarthy has stated she "...wants to put an end to body shaming plus-size women.

Her fashion line, Seven7, debuted in August 2015 on the Home Shopping Network, with plans for her designs to be sold in major retailers in the following months.[57]"[58][59][60][61][62][63]



Year Film Role Notes
1998 God Margaret Short film
1999 Go Sandra
2000 Charlie's Angels Doris (in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle bloopers)
2000 Drowning Mona Shirley
2000 Auto Motives Tonnie Short film
2000 Disney's The Kid Sky King Waitress
2002 Pumpkin Cici Pinkus
2002 Third Wheel, TheThe Third Wheel Marilyn
2002 White Oleander Paramedic
2003 Life of David Gale, TheThe Life of David Gale Nico the Goth Girl
2003 Chicken Party Tot Wagner
2003 Kim Possible: The Secret Files DNAmy Voice
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Woman at Crime Scene Bloopers (Credits)
2006 Cook-Off! Amber Strang
2007 Nines, TheThe Nines Margaret / Melissa / Mary
2007 The Captain Fran Short film
2008 Just Add Water Selma
2008 Pretty Ugly People Becky
2010 Back-Up Plan, TheThe Back-Up Plan Carol
2010 Life as We Know It DeeDee
2011 Bridesmaids Megan Price
2012 This Is 40 Catherine
2013 Identity Thief Diana/Dawn Budgie
2013 The Hangover Part III Cassy
2013 The Heat Det. Shannon Mullins
2014 Tammy Tammy Banks Also screenwriter and executive producer
2014 St. Vincent Maggie Bronstein
2015 Spy Susan Cooper
2016 The Boss Michelle Darnell Also screenwriter and executive producer
2016 Ghostbusters Abby Yates
TBA B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations Watts Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Jenny Melissa Episode: "1.5"
2000 D.C. Molly 2 episodes
2000–2007 Gilmore Girls Sookie St. James 122 episodes
2002–2005 Kim Possible DNAmy (voice) 3 episodes
2004 Curb Your Enthusiasm Saleswoman Episode: "The Surrogate"
2007–2009 Samantha Who? Dena 35 episodes
2009 Rita Rocks Mindy Boone Episode: "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
2010 Private Practice Lynn McDonald Episode: "Best Laid Plans"
2010–present Mike & Molly Molly Flynn 114 episodes
2011–2014 Saturday Night Live Host 3 episodes
2012 The Penguins of Madagascar Shelley Episode: "Hair Apparent/Love Takes Flightless"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Melissa McCarthy Awards
Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
2011 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Bridesmaids Nominated
2011 BAFTA Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated
2011 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Best Cast Nominated
2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress Nominated
Outstanding Cast Nominated
2011 MTV Movie Awards Best Comedy Performance Won
2011 Best WTF Moment Won
2011 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Mike & Molly Won
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Nominated
2013 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2013 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress in a Comedy The Heat Nominated
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Chemistry Won
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Saturday Night Live Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Mike & Molly Nominated
2014 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Actress in a Comedy St. Vincent Nominated
2014 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actress Tammy Nominated
2015 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Hissy Fit Spy Nominated
2015 Choice Summer Movie Star Nominated


  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1274). Aug 30, 2013. p. 20. 
  2. ^ "And the 2011 Emmy Award Nominees Are". 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  3. ^ Oscar nominations announced for supporting actress[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d "Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone Preview 5 New Film Projects - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Melissa McCarthy Top World's Highest Paid Actresses List". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Jennifer Lawrence tops Forbe's highest-paid actress list with Scarlett Johansson and Melissa McCarthy - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Melissa McCarthy Biography". Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  8. ^ "Melissa Mccarthy: Her Moment to Shine" March 21, 2011, People Magazine
  9. ^ "Bob Newhart just can't stand still" September 19, 2002, Herald News
  10. ^ a b "Melissa McCarthy Is Having Her Moment" September 28, 2011, Hollywood Reporter
  11. ^ "". Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "‘Mike and Molly’s’ Melissa McCarthy Finds Super-Sized Success" March 22, 2011,
  13. ^ Danaher, Patricia (2013-05-24). "Melissa McCarthy: The Scene Stealer Goes Center Stage". Irish America. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  14. ^ "From JCA to CBS: Emmy winner got acting bug at Joliet school" September 21, 2011, The Herald News
  15. ^ "Melissa McCarthy Biography". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  16. ^ "Melissa McCarthy". The Groundlings Website. 
  17. ^ "Voice Dnamy". Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Pretty Ugly People". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  19. ^ Barrett, Annie (2009-11-16). "Exclusive: 'Private Practice' makes perfect with 'Gilmore' girl Melissa McCarthy | Inside TV |". Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  20. ^ "Melissa McCarthy: Did You Know She Was In...? Before Bridesmaids, the Spy star had popped up in some odd places on the big screen". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Barrett, Annie (2010-03-25). "Melissa McCarthy lands lead in CBS comedy pilot. Yay! But wait... | PopWatch |". Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  22. ^ "Emmys: Did 'Bridesmaids' help Melissa McCarthy pull off an upset? -". 2011-09-20. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  23. ^ a b "Melissa McCarthy Emmy Award Winner". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  24. ^ "CRYSTAL + LUCY AWARDS 2011". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  25. ^ Uddin, Zakia (2011-07-08). "Melissa McCarthy to star in 'Knocked Up' sequel". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  26. ^ "Academy Invites 176 to Membership". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. June 29, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  27. ^ Fowler, Tara (April 7, 2013). "Saturday Night Live recap: Melissa McCarthy brought the heat and hammed it up". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  28. ^ 2 Like7 Dislike0 Aug 15, 2011 by Brian Gallagher (2011-08-15). "ID Theft Gets Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  29. ^ "Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy To Execute ID Theft". 2011-08-16. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  30. ^ Identity Thief at Box Office Mojo
  31. ^ Reed, Rex. "Declined: In Identity Thief, Bateman’s Bankable Billing Can’t Lift This Flick out of the Red". New York Observer. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  32. ^ "Critic calls Melissa McCarthy 'tractor-sized', 'hippo' in review of new film", Today, February 7, 2013
  33. ^ "Melissa McCarthy Identity Thief Review Is "Mean-Spirited," Says Film Critic Richard Roeper". Us Weekly. February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ Candy Spelling, 15 Minutes of Fame, The Huffington Post, February 19, 2013
  35. ^ "The Heat". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  36. ^ "The Heat (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  37. ^ Jeff, Leins (November 7, 2011). "Melissa McCarthy Striking Out with Tammy". News in Film. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  38. ^ NELLIE, ANDREEVA (September 19, 2011). "Next For Emmy Winner Melissa McCarthy: Co-Creating Comedy Series For CBS". Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  39. ^ "Melissa McCarthy May Join The Congregation Of 'St. Vincent De Van Nuys' With Bill Murray | The Playlist". Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  40. ^ Ford, Rebecca (2013-07-25). "Melissa McCarthy in Talks to Join Paul Feig's 'Susan Cooper'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  41. ^ Cunningham, Todd (2013-11-12). "Melissa McCarthy Spy Spoof ‘Susan Cooper’ Gets Key 2015 Release Date - Yahoo Movies". Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  42. ^ Ben Fritz (26 June 2014). "Melissa McCarthy Is Hollywood's Unlikely Leading Lady". WSJ. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  43. ^ Mike Fleming Jr. "Melissa McCarthy Starring as Tinker Bell In Movie Directed by Shawn Levy - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  44. ^ "Melissa McCarthy Tinker Bell Movie: McCarthy to Star in Film for Fox - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  45. ^ "Melissa McCarthy for Ghostbusters 3". DC. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  46. ^ "Melissa McCarthy for Ghostbusters 3". BD. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  47. ^ "Melissa McCarthy for Ghostbusters". Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  48. ^ "Melissa McCarthy is playing Patty, an NYC subway worker". Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  49. ^ Jenelle Riley,Marianne Zumberge. "Walk of Fame honoree Melissa McCarthy spies some luck in her life - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  50. ^ "Melissa McCarthy is honoured on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame - Daily Mail Online". Mail Online. Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  51. ^ "Melissa McCarthy Dazzles at Walk of Fame Ceremony". Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  52. ^ Robehmed, Natalie (August 20, 2015). "The World's Highest-Paid Actresses 2015: Jennifer Lawrence Leads With $52 Million". Retrieved August 22, 2015. 
  53. ^ Arieanna (2005-10-22). "Melissa McCarthy gets married!!". Gilmore News. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  54. ^ "BEN FALCONE". 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-30. 
  55. ^ melissa-mccarthy-im-not-a-great-pregnant-woman
  56. ^ Nidhi Tewari (27 May 2015). "Melissa McCarthy Says Her Clothing Line For Plus-Sized Women Will Break All The Rules". International Business Times. 
  57. ^ McCarthy launches clothing line accessed 8-15-2015
  58. ^ ABC News. "Melissa McCarthy Standing Up for Plus-Size Women". ABC News. 
  59. ^ Jean E. Palmieri (25 November 2015). "Melissa McCarthy Joins Celebrity Designer Rush". WWD. 
  60. ^ "Brand Portfolio /// Sunrise Brands". Sunrise Brands. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  61. ^ "Melissa McCarthy: The Art of Living Fearlessly". MORE Magazine. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  62. ^ "Melissa McCarthy’s Debut Fashion Line - Vogue". Vogue. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  63. ^ "HSN to Premiere Melissa McCarthy's First Fashion Collection "Melissa McCarthy Seven7" on August 13". Retrieved 20 August 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Alec Baldwin
Saturday Night Live host
October 1, 2011
Succeeded by
Ben Stiller
Preceded by
Justin Timberlake
Saturday Night Live host
April 6, 2013
Succeeded by
Vince Vaughn
Preceded by
Jonah Hill
Saturday Night Live host
February 1, 2014
Succeeded by
Jim Parsons