Also Credited As:Melora Diane Hardin
About Melora Hardin
Hardin was born on June 29, 1967, in Houston, TX and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Her father, Jerry Hardin, was a prolific character actor who appeared in over 100 films and TV shows; her mother, Diane Hardin, was the acting coach behind young stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Hilary Swank, Kellie Martin, and River Ph nix. Young Melora didn't need any encouragement to go into show business, however, as she seemed born to entertain. Inspired by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, Hardin was singing and writing songs from the start, even before she began taking ballet lessons at the age of five. She begged her parents to let her audition for acting roles, and when she was eight, scored a toothpaste ad on her very first outing. Her first television role, in a Little Rascals-inspired show called "Cliffwood Avenue Kids" (NBC, 1977) came at the age of 10, followed by a string of appearances on seventies guest star staples like "The Love Boat" (ABC 1977-1986) and "Diff'rent Strokes"(NBC, 1978-1985).
At age 13, Hardin spent a summer studying with the Joffrey Ballet Company in New York, and throughout her teens kept up a busy schedule that included rigorous dance training - as well as landing the occasional recurring TV roles on "Little House on the Prairie" (NBC, 1974-1983) and big screen gigs with "Papa Was a Preacher" (1985) and "Soul Man" (1986). In a role that might have made her a break-out star sooner, Hardin was set to play McFly's love interest in "Back to the Future" (1985), but was recast when a diminutive Michael J. Fox, who was shorter than Hardin, was given the lead. Nonplussed by that setback, the devoted dancer got her first major headlining moment in 1988, playing Baby in the short-lived TV adaptation of "Dirty Dancing" (CBS, 1988-89).
Hardin took some time off to return to the East Coast, studying at Sarah Lawrence College, before heading to Europe for months of solitary world travel that would be sure to inform her future as a well-rounded actress. In 1991, the avid song-and-dance gal landed the dream role of a vintage-era nightclub singer in "The Rocketeer," contributing several songs to the film's soundtrack. Throughout the nineties, she maintained an impressive schedule as a working actress - steady appearances on shows like "Quantum Leap" (NBC, 1989-1993) and "Caroline in the City" (NBC, 1995-99) and several juicy, memorable character moments like getting Ross to talk dirty on "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004).
With her intelligence and easy sophistication starting to play more of a factor in what was offered to her, Hardin seemed to evolve into different types of roles when she hit her thirties. In 2000, she began appearing on the gritty USA drama, "Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family" (USA, 2000-01). Several other smart, adult women characters followed on "Boston Legal" (ABC, 2004- ) and "Judging Amy" (CBS, 1999-2005). In 2004, she began to be seen on the critical fave comedy "Monk," playing wife to the obsessive compulsive investigator (Tony Shalhoub) before she was called to return to the set of a pilot she had filmed earlier called "The Office."
In 2006, Hardin joined the cast of the highly-touted comedy based on the famed British series of the same name. For the first time, audiences were able to appreciate the depth of her versatility on a weekly basis. Her portrayal of no-nonsense boss and occasional sex object, Jan Levinson, was a hit with viewers - many who debated on fan message boards whether she and her subordinate manager, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) should "hook up." In fact that coupling became so beloved, they gave "Office" sweethearts Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) a run for their money as favorite "Office" twosome. They could surely have won for most dysfunctional. Being part of an award-winning cast opened new doors for Hardin, who appeared in the Golden Globe winning film "Thank You for Smoking" (2006) and made her film directorial debut with "You" (2007).
In addition to impressive work on film and TV, Hardin released two CDs of original, theatrical-tinged vocal stylings - Meloradrama and Purr. She also performed at the Globe Theater in San Diego. In 2007, she directed the play "Strip Search," which enjoyed successful runs at the White Fire Theater and the Acme Comedy Theater, both in Los Angeles. The show received glowing reviews from Daily Variety, L.A. Weekly, and Entertainment Today.
|Gildart Jackson. Married in 1997|
|Shawn Hardin. CEO of the web browser Flock|
|Piper Quincey Jackson. Born in 2005; father, Gildart Jackson|
|Rory Melora Jackson. Born Sept. 29, 2001; father, Gildart Jackson|
|Jerry Hardin. Born Nov. 20, 1929; character actor best recognized for playing the character Deep Throat on the Fox series "The X-Files"|
|Diane Hardin. Coached young stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Hilary Swank and River Phoenix|
|Sarah Lawrence College, Yonkers , New York|
|Joffrey Ballet Company, New York , New York|
|Played a supporting role in Mark Pellington's "I Melt with You"|
|Played Billy Ray Cyrus' love interest in "Hannah Montana: The Movie"|
|Cast as the principal in the body-switching comedy "17 Again"|
|Joined the Broadway cast of "Chicago" in the lead role of Roxie Hart|
|Released two CDs of original, theatrical-tinged vocal stylings The Meloradrama and Purr|
|Directed the play "Strip Search" in Los Angeles|
|Made her feature film directorial debut with "You"|
|Cast as no-nonsense corporate manager Jan Levinson on the American adaptation of the BBC series "The Office" (NBC)|
|Had in a supporting role in the Jason Reitman comedy satire "Thank You for Smoking"|
|Appeared in a recurring role on "Monk" (USA Network) as the wife of the obsessive compulsive investigator (Tony Shaloub)|
|Starred in the gritty USA Network drama "Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family"|
|Cast in the pivotal role of Christy Sullivan opposite Gene Hackman in the Clint Eastwood directed "Absolute Power"|
|Appeared on two episodes of "Quantum Leap" (NBC) as Abigail in parts II and III of "Trilogy"|
|Played the role of a vintage-era nightclub singer in "The Rocketeer"; also contributed several songs to the soundtrack|
|Cast as Baby in the short-lived TV adaptation of "Dirty Dancing" (CBS)|
|Played a small role opposite C. Thomas Howell in the comedy "Soul Man"|
|Appeared in first feature film, "Papa Was a Preacher"|
|Played the love interest of Albert Ingalls in the TV-movie "Little House: Look Back to Yesterday" (NBC)|
|Landed a recurring role on the series "Little House on the Prairie" (NBC)|
|Played the lead role in the Saturday morning series "Thunder" (NBC)|
|First television role was in the Little Rascals-inspired show "Cliffwood Avenue Kids" (NBC)|