Melissa Suzanne George was born on 6th August 1976 in Perth, Western Australia. The second-eldest of 4 children, she has 2 sisters (Kate and Marnie) and a brother (Brett). She attended Warwick Senior High School, where she trained in modern dance, tap, jazz, classical ballet and roller-blading. From the age of 7 until she was 16 she skated at national and international level and represented Australia on many occasions. While in her teens she embarked upon a modelling career, which led to her being voted Western Australia's Teenage Model of the Year. When the popular TV soap Home & Away conducted a nationwide search for an actress to play the part of Angel Brooks, Melissa auditioned and, despite having no previous acting experience, got the part. This, however, meant leaving school and family behind and moving over 2,000 miles away to Sydney.
She admits that she was thrown in at the deep end: "I hardly knew anything when I first arrived. I had to learn how to act as I went along. After about a year I got a grip on what acting was all about and it started coming straight from my heart; I wasn't just saying the words any longer." The role of Angel turned the budding young actress into one of Australia's most popular celebrities. She twice won a Silver Logie (Australia's top TV award) and countless other accolades for her work on the show. Thus it was a surprise when after about 3 years Melissa decided to quit, turning down a hefty financial inducement to stay, and pursue her career elsewhere. 1995, the previous year had been a good one. She was a household name in millions of homes across the globe; she was nominated in the Best Actress category in the British TV awards, the only overseas star to feature; she was chosen to endorse many glamour and beauty products and was voted the Most Desirable Star on British TV by ITV viewers. Leaving Home & Away was a big jump into the unknown.
Melissa in the L.A. Confidential Pilot
Work was sparse for a while: guest roles, an Australian film Fable and a small but eye-catching cameo in the movie Dark City. There were also to be disappointments. Shaun Cassidy, producer of American Gothic and Roar (which Melissa guested in on 5 occasions) cast her in his new project for Fox, Hollyweird, but the series never got past the pilot episode. A further small part as the daughter of Terence Stamp's character in The Limey kept her in the hunt and finally with the coming of the year 2000 she began to pick up meatier film and TV roles: movies Sugar and Spice and New Port South and 2 television series: Mulholland Drive and L.A. Confidential, taking over Kim Basinger's Oscar winning role. Her postion looked secure...
Sadly though, the curse of the TV pilot struck once more, and both Mulholland Drive and L.A. Confidential were dropped by their respective networks, and the release of Sugar and Spice was delayed. However, all was not lost, as the next year Mulholland Drive was resurrected as a movie, Melissa's role intact, and Sugar and Spice and New Port South were finally released. Then, Melissa landed a role in her very own show - Thieves, along with Full House star John Stamos. Although the show was cancelled after only 10 episodes (mainly due to bad timing and network politics), Melissa's star was beginning to shine brightly in the USA, and pilots for Coupling and Lost in Oz followed the next year.
Melissa as Lauren Reed in Alias
It wasn't until 2003 though that Melissa's career finally began taking real leaps. After doing a very popular guest-stint in the NBC show Friends (playing a Lesbian nanny), Charmed (as queen of the Valkryies!) and Monk (as a murderess actress), along with a role in the film Down with Love (a role which was initially a lot bigger, but was trimmed due to plot changes) Melissa landed a role in the hit series Alias - a series which started at the same time as Thieves, but survived a similar critical bashing and has gone on to be one of the network's most loved shows. She plays the character Lauren Reed, an agent with the Security Service who is married to one of the show's biggest stars, Michael Vaughn (played by Michael Vartan). She has signed on to the show with the possibility of staying for 6 years, but with the popularity she is gaining from the role, who knows what she plans to do in the future?
Possessed of striking, seductive beauty, natural acting talent, drive and ambition, Melissa George has what it takes to become the 21st Century's first great screen goddess.