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Melanie Lynskey

Melanie Lynskey

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Also Known As: Melanie Jayne Lynskey Died:
Born: May 16, 1977 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New Zealand Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A character actor who often stole scenes from her top-billed co-stars, Melanie Lynskey was one of Hollywood's most familiar faces on television and in film. After her explosive feature film debut as a teenage murderess in "Heavenly Creatures" (1994), Lynskey was often relegated to supportive roles, like playing a sweet stepsister in "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" (1998), a vaguely trashy best friend in "Sweet Home Alabama" (2002), or a doe-eyed housewife in "The Informant!" (2009). She worked steadily on television, with memorable roles on hit shows like "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003- ), as a loveable but deranged stalker neighbor. A natural comedic actress, she also impressed in dramatic roles, most notably in "Away We Go" (2009) and in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (2012). After years taking a backseat to others, Lynskey finally took top billing in the bittersweet romantic comedy "Hello I Must Be Going" (2012). As an out-of-work divorcée whose spiritless life gets a much-needed lift when she has an affair with a teenager, Lynskey's performance in "Hello I Must Be Going" was her long-overdue chance to not only shed her plain Jane image, but to also claim her well-deserved spot as a true...

A character actor who often stole scenes from her top-billed co-stars, Melanie Lynskey was one of Hollywood's most familiar faces on television and in film. After her explosive feature film debut as a teenage murderess in "Heavenly Creatures" (1994), Lynskey was often relegated to supportive roles, like playing a sweet stepsister in "Ever After: A Cinderella Story" (1998), a vaguely trashy best friend in "Sweet Home Alabama" (2002), or a doe-eyed housewife in "The Informant!" (2009). She worked steadily on television, with memorable roles on hit shows like "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003- ), as a loveable but deranged stalker neighbor. A natural comedic actress, she also impressed in dramatic roles, most notably in "Away We Go" (2009) and in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (2012). After years taking a backseat to others, Lynskey finally took top billing in the bittersweet romantic comedy "Hello I Must Be Going" (2012). As an out-of-work divorcée whose spiritless life gets a much-needed lift when she has an affair with a teenager, Lynskey's performance in "Hello I Must Be Going" was her long-overdue chance to not only shed her plain Jane image, but to also claim her well-deserved spot as a true leading lady.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
4.
 Happy Christmas (2014)
5.
 Teddy Bears (2013)
6.
7.
 Putzel (2012)
8.
10.
 Win Win (2011)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1988:
Studied acting in New Zealand for five years
1994:
Landed first professional acting role as Pauline Parker opposite Kate Winslet as Juliet Hulme in Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures"; film based on the 1954 Parker-Hulme murder in New Zealand
1996:
Re-teamed with Jackson to play a police deputy in "The Frighteners"
1998:
Played one of the stepsisters in "Ever After: A Cinderella Story," starring Drew Barrymore in the title role
1999:
Appeared in Adam Rifkin's cult film "Detroit Rock City"
1999:
Co-starred in an adaptation of the Anton Chekhov play "The Cherry Orchard" alongside Charlotte Rampling and Gerard Butler
1999:
Co-starred with Natasha Lyonne in "But I'm a Cheerleader"
2000:
Played supporting role in "Coyote Ugly" as Piper Perabo's best friend
2002:
Played Reese Witherspoon's childhood friend in "Sweet Home Alabama"
2002:
Co-starred in the Stephen King miniseries "Red Rose" (ABC)
2003:
Guest starred on "The Shield" (FX) as a neighborhood psychopath
2003:
Starred opposite Hayden Christensen in "Shattered Glass"
2003:
Cast as Rose, the sweet and zany neighbor on the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men"
2006:
Landed substantial role in Clint Eastwood's World War II drama "Flags of Our Fathers"
2008:
Played the lead in the romantic film "Show of Hands"
2009:
Appeared in Sam Mendes' independent film "Away We Go"
2009:
Played title character's wife Ginger Whitacre opposite Matt Damon in "The Informant!"
2009:
Featured in Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air," starring George Clooney
2012:
Cast opposite Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"
2012:
Starred as a young divorcée who moves back in with her parents in romantic comedy "Hello I Must Be Going
2012:
Played supporting role in feature adaptation of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," written and directed by the novel's author Stephen Chbosky
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Victoria University of Wellington: -
New Plymouth Girls' High School: -

Notes

"Right after all that wonderful attention for 'Heavenly', I spent three months in Hollywood auditioning with skinny, gorgeous, terrifying girls. Casting directors would look me over, sigh and say, 'You were so good in that movie, but I don't know what else to do with you.' I got fixated on how I looked, whether I was thin enough or my face was too wide. It was awful."

"Acting was all I'd ever wanted to do, but after an amazing director for whom I was auditioning told me, 'I'm getting nothing from you. Something's destroyed you,' I broke down crying, saying, 'I've just had the worst time in Hollywood.' She advised me, 'Go away for three months and reclaim yourself.'" --Melanie Lynskey in MOVIELINE, May 1999

"Some actors only like doing what they know they're good at, but not me. I want to be like Julianne Moore and get to do things that scare me--and keep on doing them until I'm very old." --Lynskey to MOVIELINE, May 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Andrew Howard. Actor. Welsh; met while shooting "Varya" (filmed in 1998), a movie version of "The Cherry Orchard"; living together in London as of May 1999.

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