Melissa Ann McCarthy is an American actress, comedian, writer and producer famed for her performance in 2011 comedy Bridesmaids. Born in Illinois, Melissa was raised on a farm with her big Irish-Catholic family, one of whom was her cousin, actress Jenny McCarthy. After initially working as a stand-up comedian in New York, Melissa first found fame in 2000 with her role as Sooki in TV series Gilmore Girls, which she continued until 2007. She then went on to her breakout comedic performance in Bridesmaids, which earned her an Academy Award and BAFTA nomination. 2011 also saw her win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Role for her part in US TV hit Mike & Molly. In recent years Melissa has led the blockbusters Identity Thief, Tammy, Spy, The Boss and starred and the female lead spin-off Ghostbusters.