Melissa George

Active - 1998 - Present  |   Born - Aug 6, 1976 in Perth, Western Australia, Australia  |   Genres - Comedy, Horror, Thriller, Fantasy, Mystery

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Biography

Australian actress Melissa George was born in Perth on August 6, 1976, the second of four children. As a child, she developed an interest in dancing and began studying jazz, tap, ballet, and modern dance at the age of seven. George's enthusiasm for dance eventually evolved into a passion for roller skating, and, after skating competitively in Australia, she represented her nation in several international events. At 16, George left skating behind when she quit school and began exploring the world of modeling; she was soon named Western Australia's Teenage Model of the Year. As a result of this honor, she auditioned for a role in the popular Australian soap opera Home and Away, and, in 1993, was cast as Angel Brooks.

George's performance won her a sizable following in both Australia and Great Britain, but, after three years with the series, she left to pursue other projects. After appearing in several made-for-TV movies (and posing in the Aussie edition of Playboy), the actress landed a small role in the sci-fi thriller Dark City, and was cast as the female lead in an offbeat television pilot, Hollyweird, which, unfortunately, failed to sell. After a brief appearance in Steven Soderbergh's The Limey (as Terence Stamp's ill-fated daughter), George landed her first significant American role in the teen comedy Sugar & Spice, in which she played Cleo, a cheerleader-turned-criminal who has an unquenchable enthusiasm for Conan O'Brien; she also played a small but important role as mob-connected ingénue Camilla Rhodes in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, and appeared in the pilot of HBO's short-lived series adaptation of L.A. Confidential.

In 2001, George was cast opposite John Stamos in the leading roles of the television series Thieves; despite positive reviews, however, the series lasted only three months. She got another chance to prove her mettle on American television in 2003, when she was cast in an American version of the popular British sitcom Coupling. Unfortunately, she only got to act in an unaired version of the pilot episode before her part was recast. The show failed anyway and George rebounded quickly, landing a prominent role in the 2003-2004 season of the popular spy series Alias as Lauren Reed, the new wife of Agent Vaughn (Michael Vartan) and romantic rival of Sydney Bristow (series star Jennifer Garner).

After appearing the 2005 reboot of The Amityville Horror, George co-starred with Clive Owen and Jennifer Anniston in the psychological thriller Derailed (also 2005). The actress took another turn for the grisly Turistas (2006) to play part of an unlucky group destined to involuntarily donate their organs to a mad doctor. She found more success for her role in Music Within (2007), an inspirational biopic starring George as the free-spirited girlfriend of the film's subject, celebrated public speaker Richard Pimentel (Ron Livingstone). In 2008 she played an anesthesiologist who became romantically interested in her psychiatrist on the first season of HBO's lauded series In Treatment, and the same year was cast in 11 episodes of the fifth season of Grey's Anatomy. In 2011 she could be seen in the UK thriller A Lonely Place to Die, the TV movie Bag of Bones and on the Australian TV series The Slap. In 2012, she starred in the Cinemax series Hunter, and in 2013, joined CBS drama The Good Wife in a recurring role. She starred in the Australian miniseries The Slap in 2012, and reprised her role in the American remake in 2015.

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Factsheet

  • Was a champion roller skater between the ages of 7 and 16, taking home bronze medals in national competitions in 1989 and 1990, and winning a silver medal in 1991.
  • Voted Western Australia's Teenage Model of the Year in 1992 at the age of 16.
  • Acting debut was the role of teenage runaway Angel Brooks on the popular prime-time soap Home and Away; won two Australian Television Industry Logie Awards for her performance.
  • Posed topless in the March 1997 issue of Australian Playboy magazine.
  • Made her feature-film debut in 1998 with a small role in Alex Proyas' cult classic sci-fi drama Dark City.
  • Has appeared in several failed pilots, including Lost in Oz; the TV adaptation of L.A. Confidential; the U.S. version of Coupling; and David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, which then became an acclaimed 2001 film.
  • In 2010, was named the new face of L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.