Melody Thomas Scott has been a working actress since the age of three. Under the tutelage of Ethel Meglin, who was instrumental in starting Shirley Temple's career, Melody was chosen to be the youngest member of what ultimately became Mrs. Meglins last professional group, The Meglin Kiddies. Acting, singing, tap dancing, ballet, jazz were but a few of the skills that the performing troupe was highly trained in. She also was part of the Hollywood Childrens Theater and the Three Arts Studio for many years. Through both the Meglin Kiddies and the Three Arts Studio, Melody performed in countless stage productions for the U.S.O. and many other charities and venues including the historical Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Local Los Angeles television shows, professional modeling, (she was a student of the Caroline Leonetti Modeling Academy,) theater productions, etc. kept this youngster quite busy. Early theater productions include "Heidi", "The Bad Seed", "Bye Bye Birdie", and as the young Alma in "Summer and Smoke." Having shot many commercials (Plochman's Mustard, Clorox Bleach, Scott Tissue, etc.) by the age of six, Melody landed her first national commercial, as the sleepy breakfaster at the kitchen table for "Kelloggs Rice Krispies."
The early sixties found Melody doing frequent appearances in numerous television shows of that era, such as "My Three Sons," "Wagon Train," to mention just a few. Her childhood idols included Shirley Temple, Margaret O'Brien and Hayley Mills, with whom she shares her birthday of April 18. She was cast in her first feature film in 1964 by Alfred Hitchcock as the Younger Marnie to Tippi Hedrens title role in "Marnie." Screen tested for the part of Marta for "The Sound of Music," directed by Robert Wise, Melody continued to work consistently through the sixties, doing guest shots on numerous television shows of that era such as "Ironside" and had a regular role on a very short-lived series, "The Tammy Grimes Show" ABC. In 1970, the thirteen year old was cast as Abigail in the Clint Eastwood gothic thriller, "The Beguiled." (Universal.) She shared costar billing with Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, and the five other young actresses who played students in the Civil War tale of a girls boarding school. Don Siegel, director of The Beguiled cast her again in the role of the kidnapped girl in a little film called Dirty Harry. Again, with Eastwood.
From age 14-18 Melody focused more on her piano abilities, being groomed by her family and professors at USC to be a concert pianist. After just one year, she realized she did not have the discipline required to perform at that level. Her acting career resumed with an out-of-the-blue phone call from her childhood agent, Lola Moore, who had set up a meeting for Melody for a Western feature, "Posse," for which she won the role and was directed by Kirk Douglas. This vaulted her back to the acting world with more films, such as "The Fury" (Twentieth Century Fox) playing the role of LaRue, Amy Irving's characters best friend, directed by Brian DePalma, and "The Shootist," her only scene being with John Wayne, in what became his final film, again directed by Siegel. "The Car," Universals tongue-in-cheek thriller about a possessed Lincoln Continental was followed by "Piranha," Roger Corman's wink at "Jaws" (directed by Joe Dante) while she picked up great momentum doing miniseries ("Studs Lonigan," "The Scarlett O'Hara Wars,"etc.) television episodics, such as "Charlies Angel's," "The Rockford Files," "Fish," "Movin On," "Billy," and a host of other shows and MOWs. In 1977, Melody was cast as Darlene Jarvis on "The Waltons," as Ben's girlfriend, then fiancée, then wife. When "The Young and the Restless" cast her in February 1979 as Nikki Reed, Melody had to give up her recurring status on "The Waltons" but was thrilled that her replacement turned out to be her good pal, Lesile Winston.
While the #1 daytime drama keeps her busy, she has enjoyed continuing working on feature films, television and theater productions (e.g."The Vagina Monologues") when her work schedule permits. For instance, Melody played a pill-popping, sexy alcoholic Mom in an episode of "My Name is Earl" in 2009. In January 2011, she costarred in an episode of ABC's "Castle" as a wealthy socialite caught up in a murder mystery. Past cameos have included appearing as herself in CBS "The Nanny," "Diagnosis: Murder," with Dick Van Dyke and several appearances as her Y and R character, Nikki Newman, in the feature "Mr. Mom," "Criminal Minds," among others. She also starred in the feature length "Paradise Virus," in the female lead as a Doctor of Biology opposite Lorenzo Lamas in 2002. Playing the role of an Oscar-winning actress, Scott appears in the feature, "Freezerburn," which is awaiting its release date.Along with her longtime costar Eric Braeden, she was featured in a series of Zellers commercials for a nationwide campaign in Canada.
The worldwide popularity of "The Young and the Restless" (airing in 55 countries) has taken her to many destinations throughout the world, including several parts of Italy, France, Monaco, Turkey and Australia, most often in demand in Canada, where the show is extremely popular. She has also traveled to most of the United States for personal appearances promoting "The Young and the Restless."
Other Venues + Hosting Duties-Popularity
Scott has also enjoyed participating in the game show genre, having won record high winnings for her contestants on "The $25,000 Pyramid." She has appeared on just about every game show,(often donating her winnings to the Save the Earth foundation.) talk show, even biting the bullet for Celebrity Jeopardy (ultimately coming in second to LeVar Burton.) In 1999, she was honored with a Best Actress Emmy nomination. A few years before, she hosted the Daytime Emmys, live, from Radio City Music Hall in 1996 with costar Eric Braeden. A People magazine cover in 1982 and several TV Guide covers over the years contributed to her being the most prolific cover girl in the world of daytime. In 2002, her TVQ was leaked to the press as coming in at #2, second only to Julia Roberts.
Ms. Scott has also produced her own clothing line for HSN, hair and skin products for Canadian Home Shopping and enjoys traveling the world with her husband and family. She is currently working on her autobiography, which will at long last reveal the details of her troubled, untraditional upbringing.
She flew to several disaster sites in the U.S. after the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Rising, and visited hospitalized victims from the devastating Oklahoma City bombings. Ms. Scott served as a founding Board Member of the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center from its conception in 2001. She enjoyed being involved in the Centers activities, enhancing and celebrating the genius and legacy of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Located in Jamestown, New York, Lucys hometown, the Center is still active, though Ms. Scott resigned from her position in 2008. She hopes to resume her seat on the Board when infrastructural conditions improve. She was also a founding Board Member of the ATAS (Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) TV Cares, an AIDS awareness campaign, for several years.
Married to Edward J. Scott in 1985, the couple has three daughters, Jennifer, Alexandra and Elizabeth and are the grandparents of twins, James and Charlotte. Aside from her immediate family, she dotes on her two dachshunds, Luca and Lola. The family resides in Beverly Hills, California.
Her union affiliations include joining AFTRA in 1959; SAG in 1960; Equity in 1962.
Over the last twenty years, Ms. Scott has hosted several celebrity events on both coasts, raising money for the Save the Earth Foundation, of which she was the National Spokesperson, dedicated to environmental research at the university level. Over one million dollars has been raised to date.