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|Also Known As:||Charles Clark||Died:|
|Born:||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Profession:||Art Department ...|
The only cast member of "The O.C." to actually hail from the now-infamous county, Melinda Clarke was born in 1969 in the tony town of Dana Point, California. The middle child of ballet dancer Patricia and actor John Clarke, Melinda followed her father into the family business moving to Los Angeles at the age of 18. She famously landed a role just three days after her arrival - on the soap opera her father had starred in since its inception in 1965, "Days of our Lives." The younger Clarke played the role of Faith Taylor (1989 - 1990), a preacher's daughter who had lost her sight. Though Clarke has praised the soap as a fantastic place to learn the craft of acting, she has joked about her character's unfortunate combination of affliction and name: "That's right, I was Blind Faith," she has said.
A professionally trained soprano, Clarke has performed on stage in several musical productions. Clarke, credited as Mindy, also appeared in several small films: "Return of the Living Dead 3" (1993), the steamy straight-to-video sequel "Return to Two Moon Junction" (1994), and the campy Sci-Fi drag queen comedy "The Killer Tongue," which won Clarke the Best Actress Award at the 1996 Stiges Film Festival in Spain. Clarke then went on to star opposite Martin Sheen as ethically-challenged CIA agent Jessica Priest in "Spawn" (1997), based on the comic book of the same name. The cult hit had its own line of merchandise, and it was for this film that her first action figure was created. That same year she also appeared on "Xena, Warrior Princess" as the Amazon Velasca - a fan favorite that was also immortalized in plastic.
Soon cast as another ass-kicking female, Clarke appeared as an espionage expert in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced TV movie, "Soldier of Fortune" (1997), and its spin-off syndicated series, "Special Ops Force" (1997). After this show stopped production, Clarke made guest appearances on several shows including "Enterprise" (2001), "The District" (2002), "Everwood" (2002) and most notably "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2002) in a recurring role as a Sin City dominatrix and love interest for William Peterson's lead detective.
Clarke is also well known for the roles she has turned down: she is said to be one of the five actresses that turned down the title role in Xena when they were casting the series. The actress also turned down the role of Tatum Riley in "Scream" (1996) after being turned off by horror films during her experience filming "Return of the Living Dead 3." The role instead went to Rose McGowan of "Charmed" fame, and Clarke later guested on an episode of the sorceress series (2002).
Clarke was then cast as "The O.C.'s" resident vixen/villainess though the character was originally intended to be a recurring guest star, making only occasional appearances. But audiences loved to hate Julie Cooper, famous for bedding a man half her age while engaged to a man twice her age, and Clarke was made into a lead on the 14th episode.
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