Melissa Joan Hart has a list of credits far beyond her years. Having made her first national commercial at age 4, she is now a veteran of television, film and theater.
Currently, Melissa is filming “Christmas Hours” opposite Mario Lopez. The film is set to premiere late this fall. She recently directed a remake of the 1980s cult classic thriller, “The Watcher in the Woods,” which will premiere on Lifetime on October 21, 2017.
In 2016, she appeared in the sequel “God’s Not Dead 2,” alongside Jesse Metcalfe and Ernie Hudson. Melissa won the Grace Award for Most Inspiring Performance for Movies at the 2017 MovieGuide Awards on behalf of her performance in “God’s Not Dead 2.” The film also won the award for Best Movie for Mature Audiences at the 2017 MovieGuide Awards.
In the summer of 2015, Hart completed her 6th and final season on the ABC Family series. “Melissa & Joey.” She executive produced the half-hour multi-camera comedy along with her co-star Joey Lawrence. Hart portrayed ‘Mel,’ the grown-up former wild child of a political family who is now a local politician herself. When her sister ends up in prison and brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece Lennox and pre-adolescent nephew Ryder. Spread too thin to manage by herself, help comes in the unlikely form of Joe (Lawrence) who, desperate for a job, moves in and becomes the family’s “manny.” David Kendall & Bob Young are executive producers and writers; Paula Hart also served as an executive producer. The series premiered on ABC Family on August 17, 2010 and was ABC Family’s #1 series launch ever in Adults 18-49. The series finale of “Melissa & Joey” aired on August 12, 2015.
In 2014, Hart appeared and directed the holiday film titled “Santa Con.” This was her feature-length directorial debut. The film premiered on Lifetime on December 13, 2014. That fall, Hart made her debut as an author her memoir, “Melissa Explains it All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life.” The memoir is published by St. Martin’s press and is currently available in bookstores.
Hart is best known internationally for her starring role in “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” which is produced by her company Hartbreak Films in association with Viacom and aired on The WB and ABC Networks. The show is also in syndication around the world and has inspired two “Wonderful World of Disney” movies, “Sabrina Goes To Rome” and “Sabrina Down Under,” both of which she produced and starred in after the success of the first TV movie “Sabrina” shot for Showtime in 1995.
Hart first made her mark in television playing the title role in Nickelodeon’s “Clarissa Explains It All.” Winner of numerous Youth in Film awards for her work, Hart was nominated for a CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for “Clarissa Explains It All.” In addition to “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” Hart has appeared in numerous series such as “Just Shoot Me” and “That ’70s Show” and co-hosted the “American Music Awards” with Brandy. Hart’s episode of “Law and Order SVU,” which aired Oct , 2007 had the highest ratings of the season even outpacing the season premiere. Her ABC Family movie “Holiday in Handcuffs” premiered to record high ratings during the 2007 holiday season, making it ABC Family’s No. 1 telecast of all time.
On the big screen, Hart starred in the romantic comedy “Drive Me Crazy,” for which she won a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award. She made a memorable appearance as “yearbook girl” in the graduation night comedy “Can’t Hardly Wait.” She’s recently starred and executive produced the thriller “Nine Dead.”
Hart made her Broadway debut opposite Martin Sheen in “The Crucible.” She also starred opposite William Hurt and Calista Flockhart in the Circle Repertory production of “Beside Herself” in 1987. In the same company’s production of Peter Hedges’ “Imagining Brad” Hart did a half hour monologue on stage at the impressive age of 12 to rave reviews which opened the door for her to audition for the role in “Clarissa Explains It All”. She has since returned to the stage to star in the acclaimed off-Broadway production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues” in 2000 and also appeared in the Los Angeles production of the show in May 2001
In April 2010, Hart returned to the stage to star in Nora Efron’s Off-Broadway show “Love, Loss and What I Wore.” She led the star-studded ensemble of Lucy DeVito, Judy Gold, Shirley Knight and Jayne Houdyshell. The play is a collection of stories based on the best-selling book by Ilene Beckerman which uses clothing and accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny and poignant stories about women.
In addition to producing the “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” franchise, Melissa and Paula Hart’s Hartbreak Films is known for producing all types of quality family entertainment. They used the enormous popularity of the show to launch a variety of “Sabrina”-related ventures, including “Sabrina, the Animated Series” and the “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” soundtrack, featuring songs by some impressive artists such as Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys with Hart herself covering the Blondie hit, “One Way or Another.” In addition to a variety of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” merchandise, Hart worked with Simon and Schuster on the release of the interactive CD-Roms “Spellbound” and “Brat Attack.”
Hartbreak Films many projects have included the television movies “Scream Team”, “Up, Up and Away”, “Doomrunners”, “Two Came Back”, “Silencing Mary” and “The Right Connections,” In May 2001, Hartbreak Films produced a television movie based on Shirley Temple Black’s autobiography, Child Star, which aired on “The Wonderful World of Disney,” with Ms. Black consulting on the project.
Hart has also directed several episodes of “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” Disney’s Channel’s single camera show “So Weird,” and Nickelodeon’s multi-camera show “Taina.” Hart directed her short film, “Mute” which she also produced. “Mute” was in competition at many film festivals in 2006 including Palm Springs, Tribeca, Newport, Vail and Sarasota Film Festivals to name a few. When Hart got married in July 2003, her wedding was produced by Hartbreak as a reality series and aired on ABC Family.
Hart works actively for a variety of charities, most particularly those that benefit children.
She currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and three sons.