Before she became a successful comedian and actress in Hollywood, Melissa McCarthy was born in the small town of Plainfield, Illinois on August 26th, 1970. She grew up on a farm, was raised by a Catholic family and even attended a Catholic high school. 

Melissa McCarthy grew to fame from her comedy

It wasn't until McCarthy was in her twenties that she picked up her things and moved to New York to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. However, it was in Los Angeles that she began her work with The Groundlings, a legendary, improvisational comedy troupe. She spent nine years with the comedy group, working as a main-stage member and really putting her foot in the door for television shows and films. 

McCarthy worked alongside her famous cousin

As Melissa McCarthy made a name for herself in both LA and New York for her dedicated work in comedy, she began acting in her first television appearance, Jenny, with her cousin, actress and model Jenny McCarthy. After this 1997-98 role, Melissa was offered more and more parts for both series and movies. 

Melissa McCarthy's breakthrough role

Melissa McCarthy became especially well-known as the clumsy friend of "Lorelai" in the iconic television show, Gilmore Girls for seven years. Today, McCarthy is the leading lady in comedy films, starring in films like Spy and The Heat, creating her to be one of the highest-paid actresses in the world. In 2016, she was named one of Times most influential people in the world. Additionally, McCarthy has won two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Academy Award nominations. Melissa has been married to actor/comedian Ben Falcone since 2005.