Melora Hardin - Rotten Tomatoes

Melora Hardin

Highest Rated:   86% Thank You for Smoking (2006)
Lowest Rated:   9% The Comebacks (2007)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Houston, Texas, USA
Fans of American actress Melora Hardin who associate her exclusively with her characterization of Jan Levinson-Gould -- Michael Scott's stone-faced manager and sometimes lover, on the smash NBC series The Office -- may be surprised and delighted to discover several exciting facts about the history of her career. First, her work stretches back many decades, into her primary school years, encompassing everything from Disney movies to prime-time series dramas of the '80s, '90s, and 2000s to commercials to acclaimed feature films; she directs and edits films as well. Second, Hardin moonlights as an accomplished and gifted singer/songwriter -- a nightclub chanteuse known for sultry cabaret-style numbers, who has issued a number of acclaimed albums of her own material, including Meloradrama and Purr. And finally, this comedian's wit extends far beyond her crack-comic onscreen timing. A parodist who loves to play with her own image, Hardin runs her own website, with a series of funny-sexy (yet inexplicit) cheesecake photos that serve as throwbacks to the peek-a-boo erotica days of the mid-'50s while subtly parodying and calling attention to those setups.Given both of her parents' long tenures in film and television (her father is character actor Jerry Hardin and her mother is acting coach Diane Hill Hardin), drama came preternaturally for Hardin, and she commenced work as a child star at age six. One of her earliest assignments involved plugging Peak Toothpaste on a television commercial; she later joined the ensemble cast of a live-action children's program on NBC (circa 1977, at age ten) called Cliffwood Avenue Kids, which (as late-Gen X television babies may recall) typically aired during early weekday evenings after The Flintstones. A series of failed pilots ensued for Hardin, beginning with the late-'70s drama Thunder and encompassing over a dozen others over the next two decades.Hardin debuted cinematically at age 11, with a high-profile role in the goofball Disney comedy The North Avenue Irregulars, opposite Susan Clark and Cloris Leachman and directed by Hogan's Heroes vet Bruce Bilson. She followed this up with many additional roles in A- and B-list features throughout the '80s and '90s, but while her work shone, the films themselves often failed to catch fire; her resumé includes such forgettable fare as Iron Eagle (1985) and Soul Man (1986). A number of pictures, however, marked happy exceptions: Hardin contributed a small onscreen singing role to the fine Disney period adventure The Rocketeer (1991), and several of her songs highlighted the film's soundtrack. She also appeared in Clint Eastwood's enormously underrated, oft-humorous 1997 crime thriller Absolute Power (as Christy Sullivan, the homicide victim of Gene Hackman's lecherous president), and made a solid contribution to the satire Thank You for Smoking, opposite Aaron Eckhart.Hardin fared particularly well on television, with single- and dual-episode appearances over the years in such dramas as Little House on the Prairie, Quincy, M.E., and Murder, She Wrote. The Office, of course, represented a watershed moment for Hardin. Adapted skillfully by Greg Daniels from the British series of the same name by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the NBC sitcom follows the colorful employees of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company's Scranton branch -- led by one Michael Scott (Steve Carell), a sweet-natured but desperately lonely and outrageously uncouth manager. Low-key, iconoclastic, and unconventional, the program eschewed a laugh track and underplayed (to the nth degree) every one of its gags, relying on a bevy of character eccentricities to procure laughs. The episodes had Hardin (as Michael's manager) typically playing straight man to Carell's goofball, and saw the unlikeliest of employer-employee romances blossoming between them over the course of the first two seasons. Thanks to an extraordinary cast and crew, The Office ins

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
19% Self/less
  • Judy
2015
No Score Yet American Girl: Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Zombie Hamlet
  • Pam
2013
No Score Yet Beauty and the Least: The Misadventures of Ben Banks
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet Ben Banks
  • Mary Andrews
2012
12% I Melt with You
  • Jane
2011
10% Knucklehead
  • Mary
2010
No Score Yet You
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Miranda
2009
55% 17 Again
  • Principal Jane Masterson
2009
43% Hannah Montana: The Movie
  • Lorelai
2009
No Score Yet Mom, Dad and Her
  • Emma
2008
41% 27 Dresses
  • Maureen
2008
9% The Comebacks
  • Barb Fields
2007
57% The Dukes
  • Diane
2007
86% Thank You for Smoking
  • Interviewer
2006
No Score Yet Boxboarders!
  • Ruth
2006
No Score Yet The Hollywood Mom's Mystery
  • Summer Rossner
2004
No Score Yet El Padrino
  • Actor
2004
22% The Hot Chick
  • Carol
2002
50% Seven Girlfriends
  • Laura
1999
No Score Yet Erasable You
  • Calamity
1998
No Score Yet What Are Friends For?
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Tower of Terror
  • Carolyn Crossen/Claire Poulet
1997
45% Absolute Power
  • Christy Sullivan
1997
No Score Yet The Undercover Kid
  • Clyde
1996
No Score Yet Chameleon
  • Jill Hallman
1995
No Score Yet Reckless Kelly
  • Robin Banks
1993
62% The Rocketeer
  • South Seas Singer
1991
No Score Yet Lambada
  • Sandy Thomas
1990
No Score Yet Big Man on Campus
  • Cathy
1989
14% Soul Man
  • Whitney Dunbar
1986
No Score Yet Iron Eagle
  • Katie
1986
75% The North Avenue Irregulars
  • Carmel
1979

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet CSI: Miami
2002-2012
  • Wendy Colton
6% Outlaw
2010
  • Claire
No Score Yet NCIS
2003
  • Erin Toner
No Score Yet The Office
2005-2013
  • Jan Levinson
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
1974-1984
  • Belinda Stevens
Monk
2002-2009
  • Trudy Trudy/Cameron
No Score Yet Gilmore Girls
2000-2016
  • Carolyn Bates
75% When We Rise
2016
  • Carole Midgen
98% Transparent
2014
  • Tammy Tammy Cashman
54% Wedding Band
2012-2013
  • Roxie Rutherford
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With James Corden
2015
  • Guest
29% Killer Women
2014
  • Nan Reed
No Score Yet The Pretender
1996-2000
  • Wendy
95% Scandal
2012
  • Shelley Meyers
Boston Legal
2004-2008
  • Sharon
84% The Blacklist
2013
  • Actor

Quotes from Melora Hardin's Characters