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  • Chartoff Melanie


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Melanie Chartoff (1948)

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Melanie Chartoff is an American actress. Among her most prominent roles are her voice role in Rugrats, her comedic work on the ABC series Fridays from 1980–1982, and on the early 1990s Fox sitcom Parker Lewis Can't Lose.


 Early life
She was born to a Jewish family on December 15, 1948, in New Haven, Connecticut, and attended West Haven High School. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Adelphi University.

Chartoff's first TV role came in 1976 when she played a nurse on Search For Tomorrow, after which came an appearance in the 1978 motion picture American Hot Wax.

Chartoff first became a nationally known figure on ABC's Fridays; that network's attempt to create its own version of Saturday Night Live. She immediately stood out on the series; partly thanks to her regular role as the anchor on the show's fake newscasts, but also due to her comedic skills and her remarkable good looks. On one episode of Fridays, she was cold-cocked on live TV when guest host Mac Davis failed to pull his punch during a skit.

Between the demise of Fridays in 1982 and her return to a regular series in 1990 with Parker Lewis Can't Lose (in which she co-starred for three seasons as the high-strung Principal Grace Musso), Chartoff continued to work steadily on television throughout the 1980s, including appearances on Mr. Belvedere, Wiseguy, and St. Elsewhere, as well as a recurring role on Newhart as Dr. Mary Kaiser. She also appeared on stage in the La Jolla Playhouse production of Big River. In addition, she made two appearances on Seinfeld, including one in the 1998 series finale in which four of her former Fridays co-stars were also involved, making it the closest thing to a Fridays cast reunion to date.

Chartoff's Rugrats characters include Didi Pickles and Didi's mother, Minka. Chartoff continued to voice Didi on the Rugrats' spin-off series, All Grown Up!.

According to her website, in 1991 Chartoff conceived the Grayway Rotating Drain, a graywater recycling device for domestic reuse of shower and sink water. Inventor Ronald K. Ford was hired to complete the final product. She was recognized as one of the 50 most beautiful female inventors of all time by Inventors Weekly magazine. She also appeared in the October 1981 issue of Playboy magazine as the "Breast of The Month."

 Voice acting and current projects
Chartoff has continued her work as an in-demand voice actress, and also takes occasional TV and stage roles. In addition, she works as an acting coach. In 2005 she interviewed Laraine Newman (who had also appeared in American Hot Wax and Rugrats and was a cast member on Fridays' rival show, Saturday Night Live. Newman has joked that she and Chartoff frequently compete for the same roles) for Autograph Collector magazine. Chartoff appeared in the 2006 season finale of Desperate Housewives.

Currently, she is appearing in what has been dubbed a "a musical memoir" Taught 2 Dance a work-in-progress which concerns her life as a performer "growing up to become a real person."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Melanie Chartoff", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.