Worked With:

Taye Diggs

William H. Macy

Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Penny Johnson Jerald

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Golden Brooks

Billy Dee Williams

Danielle Nicolet

Robert Ri'chard

Richard T Jones

Frances McDormand

Melissa DeSousa Biography

Home > Actresses > D > DeSousa, Melissa > Biography

Birth Name: Melissa DeSousa
Born: 09/25/1967
Birth Place: New York, New York, USA

A regular face in African-American comedy, Melissa De Sousa was perhaps best-known for her role as Murch's high-maintenance girlfriend Shelby in the sleeper hit "The Best Man" (1999). Born in New York City in 1967 to Afro-Panamanian parents, De Sousa attended the city's High School of Performing Arts before making her on-screen debut in legal drama "The Trials Of Rosie O'Neill" (CBS 1990-92). Guest appearances in "Getting By" (ABC 1993-94), "Silk Stalkings" (CBS 1991-99) and "Living Single" (Fox 1993-98) then followed, while she was also cast as drug-addicted Hollywood actress Neely O'Hara in the soap opera adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's "Valley Of The Dolls" (Syndicated 1994). Following cameos in "Married With Children" (Fox 1987-1997), "ER" (NBC 1994-2009) and "The Wayans Bros" (The WB 1995-99), De Sousa appeared as Hakeem's brief love interest in "Moesha" (UPN 1996-2001), starred as NYC film graduate-turned-music video assistant Leta in the indie comedy "Ride" (1998) and played career driven cop Stacy Phillips in the short-lived sitcom "Damon" (Fox 1998). But for many, it was her turn as cunning gold-digger Shelby in Malcolm D. Lee's romantic comedy drama "The Best Man" (1999) where her talents first stood out.

De Sousa continued to build on her big-screen profile by playing prison girlfriend Krista in hard-hitting drama "Lockdown" (2000), Miss New York in Sandra Bullock vehicle "Miss Congeniality" (2000) and eternally single banker Natalie in character-driven ensemble "30 Years To Life" (2001) while also taking on recurring small-screen roles in "The $treet" (Fox 2000) and "One On One" (UPN 2001-06). After landing a small part in the music business drama "Laurel Canyon" (2002), De Sousa was cast as restaurant owner Coco in sitcom "Second Time Around" (UPN 2004-05) and daughter Lucy in earnest family drama "Constellation" (2005) before appearing as Matthew Perry's other half in the Emmy-nominated TV movie "The Ron Clark Story" (2006). De Sousa spent the next few years languishing in TV movies, straight-to-DVD efforts and several web series. But following a one-off appearance in "Castle" (ABC 2009-), she reminded everyone of her skills with her performances as Camille in festival hit "Ashes" (2010) and fiery acupuncturist Gabriella in "Reed Between The Lines" (BET 2011). After a guest spot on the American version of dark British comedy "Shameless" (Showtime 2011-), she revisited her most famous character when she once again played Shelby in the hit sequel "The Best Man Holiday" (2013).