Melissa Ann McCarthy (born August 26, 1970) is an American actress, comedian, producer, writer, and fashion designer. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards and nominations for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards. McCarthy was named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2016, and she has been featured multiple times in annual rankings of the highest-paid actresses in the world. In 2020, The New York Times ranked her #22 in its list of the 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century.
McCarthy began appearing in television and film in the late 1990s and first gained recognition for her role as Sookie St. James on the television series Gilmore Girls (2000–2007). She played Dena on the ABC sitcom Samantha Who? (2007–2009) before starring as Molly Flynn on the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly (2010–2016), for which she received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2011. McCarthy's appearances as a host on Saturday Night Live led to a win for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2017.
McCarthy gained critical acclaim for her performance in the comedy film Bridesmaids (2011), receiving a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to star in several commercially successful comedies, including Identity Thief (2013), The Heat (2013), Tammy (2014), St. Vincent (2014), Spy (2015), and The Boss (2016). In 2018, McCarthy received critical acclaim for her portrayal of writer Lee Israel in the biographical film Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018), earning a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone are the founders of the production company On the Day Productions, under which they have collaborated on several comedy films. In 2015, she launched her own clothing line for plus-sized women, named Melissa McCarthy Seven7, and she received a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.