Melissa Joan Hart is an actor, director and producer whose net worth is estimated to be over $15 million in 2021, according to MD Daily Record. She is currently filming “Mistletoe in Montana,” a new Lifetime movie that will air this holiday season.
The “Melissa & Joey“ star has quite an impressive repertoire, from “Sabrina the Teenage Witch“ to “Dancing with the Stars,“ with at least 75 acting credits to her name and nearly 150 appearances as herself.
Hart has been married to musician Nick Wilkerson for 18 years, she shared in an Instagram post in July 2021. The two have three boys together: Mason, born in January 2006; Braydon, born in March 2008; and Tucker, born in September 2012.
Here’s what you need to know about Melissa Joan Hart:
1. Hart Was Paid About $40,000 per ‘Melissa and Joey’ Episode
At the start of the first season, Hart was only being paid less than $4,000 per episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As the show gained popularity, Hart’s salary increased, Showbiz CheatSheet reported, to about $40,000 per episode after four seasons.
Hart co-starred in the show with “Blossom“ actor Joey Lawrence. “Melissa and Joey” was a sitcom about a politician (Hart) who hires a babysitter (Lawrence) to watch her niece and nephew. Both Hart and Lawrence are parents in real life, which added greatly to the dynamic of the show.
In her book, “Melissa Explains it All“ she wrote that her “Melissa & Joey” character, Mel Burke, was her favorite role she has played. She even got to direct six episodes of the series, which she said she has become more passionate about.
2. Hart Says She Prefers Directing to Acting
“I’m proud to say in the last year I directed more than I acted. Of course naysayers say, ‘You disappeared! You’re not working anymore!’ I’m like, ‘Well, actually, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing, and what I always dreamt for myself at an older age in this industry,’” Hart told Glamour in December 2020. In fact, in 2020, Hart directed the Lifetime movie “Feliz NaviDAD,” “The Big Show Show“ on Netflix and “Schooled“ on ABC, along with six episodes of three other shows, so she has definitely been exercising her directing chops.
“I love directing. I started directing by default. … I got to direct a bunch of Sabrina, and then it just sort of felt right. It was a more creative outlet for me,” Hart told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. “Acting, to me, has always felt like a piece of the puzzle, but directing is like telling the story, putting the pieces together, and really getting to be, at least for me, more creative.”
Hart hasn’t had formal training in directing; rather, she grew up around it and it came naturally, she told The Hollywood Reporter. “Clarissa was sort of like a mini film school for me. We had a lot of downtime on the set, and all I would do is explore. What does the lighting board do? How do you use the camera? What do you do with the boom?” Hart told the outlet.
3. Hart Says She ‘Loves’ Working With Lifetime
“I love working with Lifetime. My directorial debut for a feature was their 2014 movie The Santa Con, so we had this great relationship,” she told Glamour.
Hart has been in more than five Lifetime movies in the past four years, including “A Watcher in the Woods”, “A Very Nutty Christmas”, and “Dear Christmas.”
“I’m now a Lifetime girl,” Hart told Entertainment Weekly, which dubbed her the “Lifetime Christmas Queen.”
“My Tacky Sweater Party has become quite iconic,” Hart told the outlet. “There’s only so much you can do — so much bedazzling, so many things you can hang off of it, so many funny sayings you can have on it. It’s not easy to keep trying to one-up yourself.”
4. Hart Created a Fashion Line Inspired by Her Sons
In August 2014, Hart launched her boys’ clothing line, King of Harts, telling People, “King of Harts is a passion project I’ve dreamt about since my first son was born. My husband Mark and I wanted to fill a hole in the market for cool boys’ clothes and have it be proudly made in the USA.”
Hart told People, “Our boys wear the clothes as often as possible. They love the cool styles and comfortable, casual feel. We love to have our sons and all the neighborhood boys weigh in on their favorite styles and graphics.”
However, the company announced on Instagram in November 2016 that it was going out of business. “It is with a heavy hart that we announce we are shutting down our website,” the post read. The caption said in part, “We hope your little ones enjoyed the products as much as we enjoyed designing them.”
5. Hart Made 3 Lifetime Movies During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The “Sabrina” star worked on three movies amid the global pandemic through Hart’s production company, Hartbreak Films. First, Hart directed “Feliz NaviDAD” on Lifetime, starring Mario Lopez. Filming began before the pandemic had become as widespread in the United States, so production was halted abruptly in mid-March.
“We were prepped and ready to go, and then this whole, ‘Will we, won’t we, when can we?’ [thing happened]. Of course, we wanted to deliver these movies on time to Lifetime and get them up before Christmas. We just didn’t know. But we were prepped and ready to go [throughout]. As soon as it was [safe] to go it was, ‘Boom! We’re going!'” Hart told Media Village.
Hart continued filming during COVID-19, starring in “Dear Christmas” alongside Jason Priestly. “Because of the success of [‘Feliz NaviDAD’], we immediately went into another movie in that same bubble,” Hart told Media Village.
To round out her triple threat of acting, directing and producing, Hart produced “Once Upon a Mainstreet” on Lifetime, starring Vanessa Lachey. “It was great to be able to just keep going, keep this bubble, and keep the safety. We really think we did a great job and [helped] get the industry back up and running,” Hart told Media Village. “I’m really proud of these movies.”