Whether you loved her or hated her, chances are you were pretty darn familiar with Melissa Joan Hart back in the 90s. Well, not necessarily her real-life name, but at least one of the characters you secretly idolized. I mean, let's face it: She was the reason so many 90s kids tuned into their TVs for hours on end. When kids weren't loving the witch, they were deeply relating to a sweet younger girl struggling with everyday life. Now let's get right down to details, shall we?
Before anything, it's worth noting exactly what led this savvy actress to become a 90s queen in the first place. As it turns out, Melissa was abruptly inspired by a popular TV show called Romper Room. This ambition landed the young dreamer and her mom in New York, where she soon began auditioning for kids commercials. This was only the start of what would soon become a highly relatable actress to 90s kids everywhere.
Allow Us to Explain it All
Her first mainstream show was none other than Clarissa Explains it All (have we invoked that sweet nostalgia yet?). It dealt with your typical young teen going through all stages of puberty, so naturally every kid fell deeply in love in an instant. But here's the thing: Despite the show centering around girls, every boy her age could also relate due to her overall family and life issues. As a result, everyone had an undeniable crush on the teen.
Casting a Magic Spell on Teens
This rising star soon appeared on her next big hit, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which aired from 1996 to 2003. This megahit was the result of an equally successful TV movie of the same name, which aired earlier that year. And, just like Clarissa, this one also had fellow teens glued to their televisions in bliss. There was a reason the show premiered to over 17 million viewers, after all.
An Amazingly Relatable Teen
While her former hit related to younger audiences, this one was a tad more mature while still bringing people of all ages on board. This kind of success prompted the show to air for a full seven years between two networks, so it's no wonder everyone and their dog was intimately familiar with the feisty witch. And this gal wasn't just a one-trick pony, as her other work has clearly proven.
She Was Everywhere. No, Seriously
For example, did you know the Sabrina character appeared on multiple shows that had nothing to do with her? Some of these included Boy Meets World, Teen Angel, among others. She also directed a few TV episodes on occasion. This is the kind of move that proves just how much she ruled American TV and, by extension, every teenager back in the 90s.
She Then Took Over the Big Screen
As time went on, it was becoming clear that Melissa was transitioning from a typical brat into a steamy hot adult. This had Hollywood producers tripping over her like crazy, offering her roles in teen movies like Can't Hardly Wait and Drive Me Crazy. Let's remember we were all growing up alongside her, so our crush just kept evolving with no signs of waning.
No Longer Your Innocent Teen
People were soon viewing her not as the innocent Nickelodeon brainchild, but rather as a sex symbol with an undeniable Mida's touch. And she was very willing to disrupt her good girl image, too, having auditioned for the popular Scream movie franchise and almost landing the lead role. Honestly, a part of us is glad to always know her as Sabrina as opposed to Sidney Prescott.
It's Official: Clarissa Was Now Super Hot
This gal was never afraid to show off her body, either. This is a picture of Details magazine in which she teased the crap out of everyone as usual. The then-21-year-old revealed how her life was sometimes out of control, being involved in drug use and more partying than she could handle. It's hard to believe such behavior coming from Clarissa herself, but let's face it, she was finally all grown up!
Sex and Dating
Her experimental stage wasn't all that bad, though, considering she was constantly having fun with every single celebrity you love and admire today. Hell, she even helped Britney Spears sneak out of her house while in their teens. Melissa then had a fling with Hollywood big shot Ryan Reynolds, although things didn't last very long. Can you just imagine them together right about now? We could totally see it.
Enter the Real World
By the early 2000s, our favorite witch was now a full-grown woman with real life responsibilities. This naturally led her to focus less on a teenage-based career and more on love and family. Sadly for the rest of us, musician Mark Wilkerson managed to snatch her before we had the chance to confess our undying love to this beauty. But hey, at least we still had plenty of reruns of her earlier life.
The After Years
It's no secret that the actress' best years were back in the 90s, but she was still very active with various smaller roles. This included a highly rated ABC Family movie with Mario Lopez back in 2007. Along with several guest roles on popular hits like Law & Order: SVU. When she wasn't acting, the blonde queen was trying her hand at directing. Talk about beauty and brains!
She Also Loves to Dance
Still happily married to Mark, she went on to focus more on family and the musical stud over the years. Thankfully Melissa still had plenty of time to make some money in between, which ensures that our crush for her never truly fades away. For example, she made quite a splash on Dancing with the Stars a few years back, bringing many viewers on board just for the sake of absorbing her moves on stage.
Have You Noticed Those Changes?
There's admittedly something magical about her face, because she still has that very same smile - and facial expressions - we came to know back in the early 90s. But it's now been well over 20 years, which means her priorities have gradually shifted whether we like it or not. One thing's for sure: Judging by that smokin' hot bod, could you really tell she's actually a mom of three?!
Clarissa Explains Christianity
And that's not all Melissa's focused on; she spends much of her time teaching her children all about faith as a devout Christian. When she's not so busy explaining it all, Melissa likes to keep in touch with many of her old friends even to this day. This even includes Beth Broderick, better known as Zelda back on Sabrina. It's only too bad her cat Salem is no longer around.
We Love You, Sabrina
It's been quite a journey for the now-41-year-old, huh? And for her age, we have to acknowledge how awfully young she still looks (seriously, great genes). As of this writing, she is focusing more on a fashion line that started with the help of her husband, which means we could be seeing her less and less on screen. Whatever happens, we can only hope she makes a huge comeback and bewitches us all over again.
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