Daytime Emmy nominated actress Melisa Crider, also known as Missy Crider, got her start in television in 1987 following a failed attempt at becoming a country music recording artist. Making her debut in the TV series pilot “Time Out for Dad” (1987), the winner of OMA Music Awards Association's Young Entertainer of the Year Award showed promising talent in the award winning miniseries “Lonesome Dove” (1989) and TV movies like “The Ernest Green Story” (1993), “Jane's House” (1994) and Showtime's “Girls in Prison” (1994) before picking up her nomination for the “CBS Schoolbreak Special” “Love in the Dark Ages” (1994), in which she starred as Jenny Oliver. She has since been cast in the hit ABC drama “Murder One” (1996, as Sharon Rooney), the Steven Spielberg short lived series “The Others” (2000, as Ellen 'Satori' Polaski) and Fox's award winning drama “24” (2007, as Rita). She has also appeared as a guest star in such popular shows as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “CSI: Miami,” “House M.D.,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Without a Trace.” On the big screen, Crider, who made her debut in Mitch Marcus' acclaimed “A Boy Called Hate” (1995), is probably best recognized for her performances in David Lynch's “Mulholland Dr.,” (2001) Gustavo Graef-Marino's “Instinct to Kill” (2001) and Martin Brest's “Gigli” (2003). Other film credits include “Powder” (1995), “Stand-ins” (1997), “The Sex Monster” (1999), “Until the Night” (2004), “Seclusion” (2006), Butterfly Dreaming” (2008) and “Blossom” (2008).
5' 6” Crider was engaged to veteran actor James Wood in 1997. They met when she portrayed his daughter in 1994's “Jane's House.”
Childhood and Family:
Melissa Anne Crider was born on June 13, 1974, in Columbia, South Carolina. She grew up in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Missy was first interested in singing and playing the violin before adding plays, musicals and dance to her endeavors. While in school, she was a bright student with a 3.98 grade point average.
In 1992, Missy relocated to Los Angeles to further pursue her acting career.
Before becoming an actress, Melisa Crider was known as a country music stage show singer and received the Young Entertainer of the Year Award from the OMA Music Awards Association in Branson, Missouri. She was on her way to Nashville to record an album, but her ambition of becoming a record artist was cut short because of a car accident.
Missy, who had worked on stage in musical theaters in Arkansas for many years, turned her focus to acting. She made her TV debut as Suzanne Kowalski in the TV series pilot for NBC, “Time Out for Dad” (1987). It was followed with roles in the made-for-TV film “The Incredible Ida Early” (also 1987) and the celebrated miniseries “Lonesome Dove” (1989), in which she portrayed the daughter of Anjelica Huston, Sally. Crider's performance brought her attention from Lorimar Productions, who subsequently signed her to a one year retention contract. After filming three more projects for TV, including starring roles in the BBC’s “Up to No Good” (1992, as Jennifer Cloverdale) and the Peabody Award winning “The Ernest Green Story” (1993, opposite Ossie Davis and Morris Chestnut), she moved to Los Angeles.
Crider was next cast as Lesley Ann Warren's tormented daughter, Jill, in the ABC dramatic film “A Mother's Revenge” (1993), opposite Bruce Davison and Shirley Knight, teamed up with James Woods and Anne Archer for the prestigious Hallmark Hall Of Fame's “Jane's House” (1994), adapted from a novel by Robert Kimmel Smith, starred as an aspiring singer named Aggie O'Hanlon in the John McNaughton’s “Girls in Prison” (1994), along with Anne Heche and Ione Skye, and costarred with Barbara Eden and Ted Marcoux in the thriller “Eyes of Terror” (1994). It was her starring role of Jenny Oliver in the “CBS Schoolbreak Special” “Love in the Dark Ages” (1994) that won Crider a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Special. The drama also starred Tom Everett Scott and Paul Walker.
Crider made the leap to the wide screen when she won the starring role of Cindy Wells in “A Boy Called Hate” (1995), which was written and directed by Mitch Marcus. The drama, which cast her with Scott Caan, James Caan and Elliott Gould, was awarded The Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. Her next film outing was Disney’s “Powder” (1995). Costars of the movie included Mary Steenburgen, Sean Patrick Flanery, Lance Henriksen and Jeff Goldblum.
Thanks to her performance in “Powder,” Crider caught the attention of noted TV producer Steven Bochco, who selected her to portray Sharon Rooney in the ABC drama series “Murder One,” which starred Mary McCormack, Michael Hayden and J.C. MacKenzie. She joined the show in its second season in 1996. Still that same year, she was also seen in the TV film “Race Against Time: The Search for Sarah,” with Patty Duke and Richard Crenna, and the miniseries “Peter Benchley's 'The Beast,'” opposite William Petersen and Karen Sillas.
Crider next played the dual roles of Olivia Harmon Parker and Lita Hogan in ABC's “Quicksilver Highway” (1997), based on the short stories of Stephen King and Clive Barker, starred as Michelle Widener in the based-on-true-story “Sins of the Mind“ (1997, opposite Jill Clayburgh and Mike Farrell), and was cast opposite Jason London in Mark Haber's “Alien Cargo (1999). She also made guest appearances in “In Arcadia Ego” (1998) and “Strange World” (1999) and played Rhonda-Marlene Dietrich's Stand-in in the independent film “Stand-ins” (1997), helmed by Harvey Keith. She was then cast in the short film “Conversations in Limbo” (1998) and supported Mariel Hemingway and Mike Binder in the comedy “The Sex Monster” (1999), which was written and directed by Binder.
Entering the new millennium, Andrew Bowen cast her in the role of Jordan in “The Haven” (2000), which won the Audience Award at the Wilmington Independent Film Festival. Crider revisited series TV in the role of Ellen 'Satori' Polaski in the NBC supernatural drama “The Others.” Also starring Julianne Nicholson, Gabriel Macht, Bill Cobbs, John Billingsley and Kevin J. O'Connor, the show ran for 13 episodes in 2000.
After “The Others” stopped production, Crider returned to films to play Diana/Betty in the David Lynch drama “Mulholland Dr.” (2001), starring Naomi Watts. She followed it up with a memorable turn in “Instinct to Kill” (2001), where she portrayed the wife of killer Tess Beckett, and a cameo appearance as the wife of Matthew McConaughey in the Bill Paxton directorial debut “Texas Frailty” (2001). The versatile actress briefly revisited the small screen with guest roles in “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2001), “The Guardian” and “Jeremiah” (both 2002) before playing Athee Collins in “Reeseville” (2003). She then received the role of Robin in the Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez failed vehicle “Gigli” (2003), by writer/director Martin Brest. Director Gregory Hatanaka then hired her to star as Mina, the love interest of Robert (played by Norman Reedus), in “Until the Night” (2004).
Following a guest spot in a 2004 fall season of “CSI: Miami,” in which she played Tawny Williams, Crider starred as Gwen Blitzer in the TV film “Out of the Woods” (2005), opposite Edward Asner and Jason London. She went on to appear in episodes of “House M.D.” (2005, as Susan), “Huff” (2006, as Natalie) and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (2006, as Charlene Copeland). She then costarred with Chris Gann and Christopher Stapleton in the mystery film “Seclusion” (2006, as Corin Matthews), was directed by John Dahl in the TV series pilot “The Line-Up” (2007) and played Francine in the CBS television film “Demons” (2007), written by Barbara Hall. She played the recurring role of Rita in the Kiefer Sutherland series “24” (2007) and appeared as Mia Jones in a 2007 episode of “Without a Trace.”
Recently starring as Tess, opposite Andrew Bowen as Rob Pollack, in the thriller movie “Butterfly Dreaming” (2008), Missy was seen as Roxy in “Blossom” (2008), which was written and directed by Mihailo Stanich.
OMA Music Awards Association: Young Entertainer of the Year