With exotic looks and a smoldering sensuality, Clarke made her name portraying a string of vamps, both on the big and small screens. The daughter of Days of Our Lives
veteran John Clarke, the actress got her start on his series before turning her attention to film. But she appeared mostly in B-grade fare (Night of the Living Dead III
, Return to Two Moon Junction
, and two little-seen films directed by her husband, Ernie Mirich) before a guest spot on Xena
and a role as a sexy assassin in Spawn
established her as a grade-A vixen. Myriad TV guest appearances later, Clarke landed her career-making role as a gold-digging mother with a sordid past on The O.C.
Even after that show's cancellation, memorable roles followed for Clarke, particularly in the series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,
where she played dominatrix Lady Heather, and The Vampire Diaries
.Melinda Clarke Fast Facts:
- Three days after arriving in Los Angeles, landed her first acting role, on Days of Our Lives. Her father, original cast member John Clarke, played attorney Mickey Horton from 1965 to 2004.
- Had two action figures modeled after her for characters she played in Xena: Warrior Princess (Amazon Velasca) and the film Spawn (Jessica).
- Is a professionally trained coloratura soprano and has starred in a number of musical productions, including The Music Man, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Hello, Dolly! and The Fantasticks.
- Was the only O.C. cast member to actually hail from California's Orange County.
- Melinda Clarke Relationships:
- Patricia Clarke - Mother
- Kathryn Grace - Daughter
- John Clarke - Father
- Joshua Clarke - Brother
- Ernie Mirich - Husband
- Heidi - Sister