Melissa McCarthy is the Emmy-winning star of TV's Mike & Molly and the Oscar-nominated scene stealer from the 2011 movie Bridesmaids. A native of rural Illinois, McCarthy spent the 1990s in New York, performing in dramatic roles, doing stand-up comedy and studying at the Actors Studio. She relocated to southern California and during the 2000s worked as a regular cast member on the TV series Gilmore Girls (2000-07, she played the mom's friend, Sookie St. James) and Samantha Who? (2007-09, starring Christina Applegate). She was also part of The Groundlings, an improvisational comedy troupe, and had small roles in the feature films Charlie's Angels (2000, starring Drew Barrymore), The Third Wheel (2002, starring Ben Affleck), and The Nines (2007, with Ryan Reynolds). McCarthy then landed the lead role in Mike & Molly, a 2010 sitcom about the loving relationship of two people who meet through Overeaters Anonymous; for her work in the show's second season, McCarthy won a Primetime Emmy as the outstanding lead actress in a comedy. That same year saw her break out as a movie star, thanks to her turn as the aggressively lusty Megan, one of Kristen Wiig's friends in Bridesmaids (also starring Maya Rudolph as the bride). The movie was a box office smash that also brought Oscar nominations for screenwriters Wiig and Annie Mumalo.
Melissa McCarthy made her television debut in 1997, on her cousin’s show, The Jenny McCarthy Show… Between 2002 and 2005, McCarthy voiced DNAmy on the animated series Kim Possible.