Family & Companions
A stunning, porcelain-skinned actress, Josie Bissett rose to fame portraying Jane Mancini on the iconic primetime soap, "Melrose Place" (FOX, 1992-99). A former model, this Seattle native with the much copied blonde pixie-haircut was at the peak of her fame, named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 1996.
Born Josie Christine Heutmaker on Oct. 5, 1970 in Seattle, WA, Bissett was raised in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way. Upon graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School, the 17-year-old teenager moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in modeling and acting. After finding modeling work in both the United States and Japan, Bissett eventually found her way into inevitable commercial ad work.
She made her acting debut in 1990; appearing on the TV show, "Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC, 1989-1993) and in the film "Book of Love." The actress was soon cast in a recurring role on "The Hogan Family" (NBC, 1986-1991), portraying the character of Cara. Bissett went on to snag a small role in Oliver Stone's rock and roll biopic, "The Doors" (1991), as well as appearing on an episode of the minor hit series, "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" (FOX, 1990-93).
After appearing in a number of forgettable made-for-television movies, including the Playboy centerfold pic,"Posing: Inspired by Three Real Stories" (1991) and Danielle Steele's "Secrets" (1992), Bissett landed a major role on the new Aaron Spelling soap opera drama, "Melrose Place." Appearing as series regular, Jane Andrews Mansini, the maddeningly naïve housewife of the cheating/lying Dr. Michael Mansini. A spin-off of Spelling's hit teen drama "Beverly Hills, 90210" (FOX, 1990-2000), "Melrose" focused on the trials and tribulations of bed-hopping twenty-somethings in an apartment complex in L.A.'s trendy Melrose district. The popular nighttime soap soon gained a cult following, helping Bissett establish a solid career in television. It became a family affair in 1996, when Bissett's real-life husband, actor Rob Estes, whom she had met at a casting call in 1991 and married a year later, began working on the series, playing Kyle McBride for three years as well.
After five years of her character suffering at the hands of all the back-stabbing apartment dwellers around her - including her sister straight from hell, Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) - Bissett left the series to pursue other work. She appeared in the TV movies "The Sky's On Fire" (1998) and "Baby Monitor: Sound of Fear" (1998), before discovering how hard it was out there and returning to the safety of the "Melrose Place" fold in 1998, reprising her role for the show's final two seasons.
After wrapping the series, Bissett took time off to focus on rearing a family with husband Estes. The actress gave birth to her first child, Mason Tru on July 21, 1999 and her second, daughter Maya Estes, on April 14, 2002. In the interim, Bissett spoke on behalf of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an effort to help parents learn how to protect their children.
Returning to acting in 2003, Bissett appeared on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ). In 2005, she acted opposite her husband once more, starring with Estes in the TV movie, "I Do, They Don't." The film was sadly, their swan song, when after 13 years of marriage - a lifetime in Hollywood - Bissett filed for divorce from Estes in early 2006, shocking diehard "Melrose" fans who believed they were the perfect couple.
Cast (Feature Film)
Played the recurring role of Cara on the TV sitcom "The Hogan Family"
Film debut "Book of Love"
TV debut, "Doogie Howser, M.D."
TV-movie debut in "Posing: Inspired By Three Real Stories"
Played Jane Mancini on Fox primetime soap "Melrose Place"; left show in 1997
Returned to "Melrose Place" after a two-year absence
Co-starred with real life husband, Rob Estes, in the ABC Family movie "I Do, They Don't"