Melora Hardin

Melora Hardin (born June 29, 1967)[1] is an American actress and singer, known for her roles as Jan Levinson on NBC's The Office and Trudy Monk on USA Network's Monk, and Prime Video's Transparent, for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Hardin stars as magazine editor-in-chief Jacqueline Carlyle on the Freeform comedy-drama The Bold Type, which premiered in July 2017.

Melora Hardin
Hardin in 2009
Born (1967-06-29) June 29, 1967
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Alma materSarah Lawrence College (BFA)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1976–present
(m. 1997)

Early life

Hardin was born in Houston, Texas,[2] the daughter of acting manager/coach and retired actress Diane (née Hill) and actor Jerry Hardin.[3] She is the sister of former Flock CEO Shawn Hardin. She was raised in San Francisco, California, after her family moved there when she was five years old.[4] She went to middle and high school in the San Fernando Valley at Patrick Henry Junior High School and Ulysses S. Grant High School, respectively. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College.[5]



Hardin started her acting career as the young star of the television series Thunder (1977–1978), and has appeared in over 70 movies and television programs since, including episode 39 of The Love Boat in 1978, two 1981 Little House on the Prairie episodes (as Belinda Stevens in "The Reincarnation of Nellie", Parts 1 and 2) as well as playing Michele Pierson in the 1983 television movie Little House: Look Back to Yesterday. Hardin appeared as Whitney Dunbar, opposite C. Thomas Howell, in the 1986 film, Soul Man. She starred as Baby in the short-lived 1988 television series Dirty Dancing (based on the 1987 film of the same name) and two 1992 episodes of Quantum Leap (as Abigail in "Trilogy", Parts 2 and 3). She co-starred in the 1990 dance movie Lambada as Sandy. She appeared in Absolute Power (1997) as Christy Sullivan and played Ross's dirty-talking love interest in the season 1 Friends episode "The One with the Stoned Guy".

She was also originally cast in Back to the Future (1985) as Jennifer Parker alongside Eric Stoltz, who starred as Marty McFly. Stoltz was fired shortly after filming began and was replaced with Michael J. Fox. Hardin was deemed too tall to star alongside Fox, and she was later replaced by Claudia Wells.[6][7]


Hardin starred in the 2000–2001 series Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family, and she played the recurring role of Trudy Monk, the title character's deceased wife, on the USA Network series Monk (2004-2009). She appeared on the series NCIS as former Petty Officer Erin Toner in the episode "The Curse".[8] In 2005, Hardin portrayed Linda Evans in Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure, a fictionalized television movie based on the creation and behind the scenes production of the 1980s prime time soap opera Dynasty.[9][10] Hardin played Jan Levinson in The Office (2005-2013), a former corporate manager and love interest of Michael Scott.

Hardin appeared in the 2006 film Thank You for Smoking, and appears in Hannah Montana: The Movie as the love interest of Billy Ray Cyrus's character. The film premiered on April 10, 2009.[11] She played the role of Fantine in the Hollywood Bowl's concert of Les Misérables in Summer 2008.[12] Hardin appeared in several episodes of the popular web show Elevator on YouTube.

Hardin made her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in the revival of Chicago: The Musical on December 29, 2008. She stayed with the show until February 12, 2009.[13] Also in 2009, Hardin was cast as Principal Jane Masterson in the popular comedy film 17 Again. Hardin was cast as a major character in Outlaw, playing a powerful senior partner of an elite law firm, and the main love interest to the series' protagonist, played by Jimmy Smits.[14] Hardin played the role of Isabelle Palmer's mother Nancy in An American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight (2014).

Singing career

Hardin played a nightclub singer in Disney's The Rocketeer (1991), where she can be heard singing "Begin the Beguine". She also played a major role in the TV movie Tower of Terror, where she sings "Boy of My Dreams".

Hardin sang the National Anthem at the season opening hockey games of the Anaheim Ducks on October 13, 2010,[15] and the Phoenix Coyotes on October 16, 2010.[16] She sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Dover International Speedway for the AAA 400 on October 2, 2011. Hardin sang the song "Tiers of Joy" (composed by Austin Wintory) for the Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded soundtrack.

Personal life

Hardin has been married to actor Gildart Jackson since 1997.[17] They have two daughters, Rory and Piper.[18]



Year Film Role Notes
1978 Something Queer is Happening at the Library Jill Short film
1978 The North Avenue Irregulars Carmel
1985 Papa Was a Preacher Janette
1986 Iron Eagle Katie
1986 Soul Man Whitney Dunbar
1989 Big Man on Campus Cathy
1989 The Jeweler's Shop Monica
1990 Lambada Sandy Thomas
1991 The Rocketeer South Seas singer
1993 Reckless Kelly Robin Banks
1994 The Pornographer Sasha Leon Hoffner
1995 Chameleon Jill Hallman
1996 The Undercover Kid Clyde
1997 Absolute Power Christy Sullivan
1997 Tower of Terror Carolyn Crosson Television film
1998 Erasable You Calamity
1999 Seven Girlfriends Laura
2000 Certain Guys Mary Beth
2002 The Hot Chick Carol
2004 El padrino Jane
2005 Thank You For Smoking Interviewer
2007 Drive Thru Marcia Carpenter
2007 The Dukes Diane
2007 Boxboarders! Ruth Keene
2007 The Comebacks Barb Fields
2007 The Violin Gertrude Bloch Short film
2008 27 Dresses Maureen
2009 17 Again Principal Jane Masterson
2009 Hannah Montana: The Movie Lorelai
2009 You Miranda Also director and producer
2010 Knucklehead Mary
2011 I Melt with You Jane
2012 Zombie Hamlet Pam
2012 Beauty and the Least: The Misadventures of Ben Banks Mary Andrews
2012 Taking the Edge Off Short film
2014 An American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight Nancy Palmer Direct-to-video
2015 Self/less Judy O'Neill
2017 Anything Rita
2017 Golden Vanity Mabel Montgomery-Mayflower
2018 Cruel Hearts Grace
2021 Caged Officer Sacks


Year Title Role Notes
1976 Police Story Sheila Episodes: "The Jar: Parts 1 & 2"
1977 Thunder Cindy Prescott Main role (12 episodes)
1977 The Cliffwood Avenue Kids Melora TV series
1978 The Love Boat Courtney Chenault 1 episode
1979 Quincy, M.E. Amanda Episode: "Never a Child"
1980 Diff'rent Strokes Emily Morehouse Episode: "Skin Deep or True Blue"
1980 ABC Afterschool Special Amy Warner Episode: "What Are Friends For?"
1980 Haywire Brooke Hayward, age 11 TV film
1980–1981 Secrets of Midland Heights Micki Carroll Regular role (10 episodes)
1981 Little House on the Prairie Belinda Stevens Episodes: "The Reincarnation of Nellie: Parts 1 & 2"
1982 Quincy, M.E. Abigail "Abby" Garvin Episode: "Next Stop, Nowhere"
1983 The Family Tree Tess Benjamin TV series
1983 Little House: Look Back to Yesterday Michele Pierson TV movie
1983 Magnum, P.I. Nancy Perkins Gillis Episode: "Luther Gillis: File #521"
1984 Mama Malone Kathleen Episode: "The Education of Frankie"
1985 The Best Times Joy Villafranco Regular role (6 episodes)
1986 Hotel Beth Episode: "Heroes"
1988–1989 Dirty Dancing Frances "Baby" Kellerman Main role (11 episodes)
1989 Tour of Duty Christine Pierson Episodes: "Sins of the Father", "Sealed with a Kiss"
1990 Shangri-La Plaza Amy TV film
1991 Equal Justice Doris Walsh Episode: "Who Speaks for the Children?"
1992 Miles from Nowhere Teresa TV film
1992 Mann & Machine Louise Trotsky Episode: "Torch Song"
1992 Quantum Leap Abigail Fuller Episodes: "For Your Love", "The Last Door"
1993 Moon Over Miami Emily Booker Episode: "My Old Flame"
1994 Murder, She Wrote Cindy Warrick Episode: "Roadkill"
1994 Golden Gate Susan Carlino TV film
1994 Renegade Laura McMillan Episode: "Carrick O'Quinn"
1994 Matlock Lisa Swift Episode: "The Scandal"
1994 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Molly Flynn Episode: "Operation Blackout"
1995 Friends Celia Episode: "The One with the Stoned Guy"
1995 Touched by an Angel Lizbeth Episode: "The Big Bang"
1995 Diagnosis: Murder Savannah Bellows Episode: "The New Healers"
1996 Renegade Kelly Anderson Episode: "Paradise Lost"
1996 Caroline in the City Beth Episode: "Caroline and the Bridesmaids"
1997 Things That Go Bump Chloe Garrett TV film
1997 Orleans Gina Vitelli Episodes: "Luther's Temptation", "When the Saints Go Marching In"
1997 Tower of Terror Claire Poulet TV film
1997 The Tom Show Lorraine Episode: "Tom's First Date"
1998 The Tom Show Lorraine Episode: "The Centerfold"
1998 Timecop Edith Thomas Episode: "Lost Voyage"
1998 The Pretender Wendy Dawson Episode: "Homefront"
1999 Payne Danielle Harris Episode: "Gossip Checks In and a Cat Checks Out"
1999 Diagnosis: Murder Melanie Cooper Episode: "Trash TV: Part 1"
2000–2001 Cover Me Barbara Arno Main role (24 episodes)
2001 Once and Again Samantha Aldrich Episode: "Moving On"
2002 Family Guy Patsy Ramsey (voice) Episode: "Brian Wallows and Peter's Swallows"
2002 Judging Amy Rosalie Leavitt Episode: "Roses and Truth"
2003 The Division Cheryl Lynn Brinkmeyer Episode: "Rush to Judgment"
2003 NCIS Former Petty Officer Erin Toner Episode: "The Curse"
2004 The Hollywood Mom's Mystery Summer Rossner TV film
2004 Boston Legal Sharon Brant Episode: "Head Cases"
2004–2009 Monk Trudy Monk Recurring role (10 episodes)
2005 Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure Linda Evans TV film
2005–2013 The Office Jan Levinson Regular role; 46 episodes
2006 Without a Trace Pamela Seaver Episode: "Rage"
2006 Gilmore Girls Carolyn Bates Episode: "Partings"
2006 The Office: The Accountants Jan Levinson-Gould Episode: "The Books Don't Balance"
2008 Mom, Dad and Her Emma TV film
2008 Yo Gabba Gabba! Herself Episode: "Birthday"
2010 Outlaw Claire Sax Recurring role (4 episodes)
2011 CSI: Miami Wendy Colton Episode: "G.O."
2012–2013 Wedding Band Roxie Rutherford Main role (10 episodes)
2013 Scandal Shelley Meyers Episode: "Say Hello to My Little Friend"
2014 Killer Women Nan Reed Episode: "Some Men Need Killing"
2014 Do It Yourself Kaye TV film
2014–2019 Transparent Tammy Cashman Recurring role (14 episodes)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (2016)
2015 Falling Skies Captain Katie Marshall Episodes: "Everybody Has Their Reasons", "Stalag 14th Virginia"
2016 The Death of Eva Sofia Valdez Courtney Monroe TV film
2017 The Blacklist Isabella Stone 2 episodes
2017 When We Rise Carole Midgen Episode: "Night III: Parts IV and V"
2017–present The Bold Type Jacqueline Carlyle Main role
2019 A Million Little Things Patricia Bloom 5 episodes
2020 Celebrity Family Feud Herself Episode: "The Bold Type vs. RuPaul's Drag Race"
Year Title Notes
2020The Bold TypeEpisode: "Snow Day"


  1. "Melora Hardin Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on October 3, 2016.
  2. Dansby, Andrew. "Melora Hardin just can't seem to slow down". Houston Chronicle. Texas: Hearst. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  3. Berman, Nat. "Five Things You Didn't know about Melora Hardin". Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  4. Schreffler, Laura. "Transparent Star Melora Hardin Shares Her Haute Secrets to LA". Haute Living. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  5. Gans, Andrew. "DIVA TALK: Chatting with Chicago's Melora Hardin, the Final Gypsy and News of Chenoweth, Kaye". Playbill, Inc. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  6. Mattise, Nathan (December 8, 2011). "Marty McFly's Original Girlfriend Goes Back to the Future". Wired. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  7. Murphy, Joel (November 2007). "One on One with Melora Hardin". Retrieved August 11, 2015.
  8. "NCIS". Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  9. Heffernan, Virginia (January 1, 2005). "Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure: If You've Got It, Flaunt It: ABC Trumpets an 80's Hit". The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2009.
  10. "Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure: Credits". Retrieved February 27, 2009.
  11. Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Stokes Mitchell, McVey, O'Donnell, Michele and More Set for Les Miz at the Bowl". Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  13. ""Office" Star Hardin to Make Broadway Debut in Chicago". Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  14. Andreeva, Nellie. "Melora Hardin Joins NBC's New 'Outlaw'". Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  15. "Pronger trade key to Ducks' rebuilding". Sporting News. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  16. "Michael Scott's ex to sing National Anthem at Coyotes' home opener". October 13, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  17. "Gildart Jackson". Archived from the original on August 21, 2017. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  18. Jackson, Gildart (July 19, 2009). "Father, Writer, Actor, Father". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
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