Melissa Peterman – biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

IntroAmerican actress
Is Actor 
Film actor 
Stage actor 
Television actor 
From United States of America 
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio 
Birth 1 July 1971, Minneapolis
Age:49 years
Star sign Cancer

Melissa Margaret Peterman (born July 1, 1971) is an American actress and comedian who is best known for her role as Barbra Jean in the television comedy series Reba. Peterman has appeared as Bonnie Wheeler in the ABC Family/Freeform series Baby Daddy, and as host of ABC Family’s Dancing Fools, ABC’s Bet on Your Baby, and CMT’s The Singing Bee.

Life and career

1996–2000: Career launch and Fargo

Upon graduating from Minnesota State University, Mankato with theater as one of her majors, Peterman was cast as Madeline Monroe in Hey City Theater’s production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. After more than 600 performances, she went on to write and perform at Brave New Workshop, the improvisational comedy theatre in Minneapolis. The theater boasts such alumni as Pat Proft, Louie Anderson, Cedric Yarbrough, Mo Collins and Al Franken. While with the Brave New Workshop, she also performed at the Chicago Improv Festival and the Big Stink Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas.

In 1996, Peterman made her film debut as “Hooker #2” in the Oscar-winning Coen brothers’ movie Fargo.

2001-06: Reba and other appearances

In 2001, Peterman was cast as Barbra Jean Booker-Hart in Reba opposite country music singer Reba McEntire and television veteran Christopher Rich. The show was the most-watched comedy on The WB in its debut season. In 2007, the show ended its run after six seasons. Episodes continue to air in syndication on multiple networks.

During this time, Peterman also returned to film with Recipe for Disaster alongside Lesley Ann Warren and John Larroquette. She also made appearances in How High and the unreleased independent film Cook-Off. Peterman remained loyal to her comic roots, too, as the host of 15 Minutes of Fem, a comedy showcase for women presented at the Egyptian Theatre. On television, she appeared in the Oxygen sketch comedy show Running with Scissors and guest-starred on Just Shoot Me! and The Pitts. She also portrayed an unstable guidance counselor, Mrs. Splitz, on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.

During her summer hiatus from Reba, Peterman hosted The Sound of Music Sing-a-Long, reprising her hosting gig the previous summer’s The Wizard of Oz Sing-a-Long, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Peterman also made appearances on the World Cup Comedy Challenge television series, as well as on the celebrity edition of Trading Spaces, with her Reba co-star Christopher Rich.

2007-10: Tours, pilots, and The Singing Bee

In October, ABC announced Peterman had been cast in an untitled comedy pilot starring Cedric the Entertainer. The show was taped before an audience on October 30, 2007. In December, the network announced they had secured the actors, indicating they were interested in the project. During the annual upfront presentation on May 13, 2008, ABC confirmed they did not order the pilot to series.

In 2007, Peterman appeared as the opening act on country singer and former Reba co-star Reba McEntire’s tour. Peterman returned the following year, with an almost-identical comedy routine, when McEntire toured with Kelly Clarkson. She was also the opening act for the second leg of the tour in 2008.

In 2007, Peterman hosted Comedy Stage for CMT. The series finished its run after eight episodes. The next year, she hosted a special, Redneck Dreams, for the network. Also in 2008, she was in two episodes of Wanna Bet? as a celebrity panelist. Peterman also appeared in an episode of animated comedy American Dad!. She announced she was shooting another comedy, this time for FOX, titled Living With Abandon. The pilot was not ordered to series.

In 2009, she landed the hosting gig for The Singing Bee. The show had been cancelled by NBC, and CMT expressed interested in reviving the competition. The show has gone on for over four seasons. Also in 2009, Peterman appeared in Rita Rocks on Lifetime, and in Surviving Suburbia on ABC. She starred opposite Gary Valentine in Dusty Peacock, an online comedy series on Crackle.

In February 2010, Big Machine Records announced that they signed Peterman to a recording contract, and she was to release her debut comedy album that year. The album has been recorded, but has not yet been released. Peterman is no longer listed on the record label website. Her debut comedy special, Melissa Peterman: Am I The Only One?, premiered March 12, 2010 on CMT. The special was taped before an audience in Nashville, Tennessee. Also that year, Peterman hosted the CMT Music Awards red carpet.

2011: Working Class

Peterman had revealed, in 2010, she was starring in another pilot. The family sitcom, titled Working Class, was the first original scripted comedy for the CMT network. Peterman starred alongside comedy veteran Ed Asner and renowned television actor Patrick Fabian. The series debut was the most-watched and highest-rated in network history. The series was canceled after one season.

2012-13: Baby Daddy and other shows

In 2012, Peterman announced she was appearing in an upcoming ABC Family sitcom, Baby Daddy. In March, the network announced Peterman, originally only appearing in one episode, had been upgraded to series regular. The network also revealed the pilot was the highest-testing comedy pilot in network history. Baby Daddy finished its season as the highest-rated comedy in key demographics. The show has been renewed for a second season, returning Wednesday, May 29.

In January 2013, ABC ordered Bet On Your Baby and announced Peterman was the host. The competition series debuts Saturday, April 6. In February 2013, ABC Family announced Peterman was also the host of another upcoming competition, Dancing Fools. The series debuts Wednesday, May 29, immediately following Baby Daddy.

Personal life

Peterman married John Brady in 1999, and their son was born 2005. She was a bridesmaid at Reba co-star JoAnna Garcia Swisher’s wedding, along with Reba McEntire.


1996FargoHooker #2Film debut
2001How HighShelia Cain
2003Recipe For DisasterGigi GrantTV movie
2006Cook-OffNancy ShmaedekeUnreleased
2009Dirty PoliticsRita BreauxUnreleased
2012Here Comes the BoomLauren Voss
2014Muffin Top
2000Just Shoot MeClaireEpisode “Choosing to Be Super”
2001-07RebaBarbra Jean Booker Hart114 episodes
2003The PittsShirley/ShellyEpisode: “Pilot”
2004Johnny BravoBeckyEpisode: “Wilderness Protection Program”
2006Ned’s Declassified School Survival GuideMrs. SplitzEpisode: “Failing & Tutors
2007CMT Comedy StageHost8 Episode
2008American Dad!Sister MaryEpisode: “Office Spaceman”
2009Rita RocksJennifer5 episodes
2009Surviving SuburbiaMrs. Munice3 Episodes
2009–2012The Singing BeeHost46 episodes
2010–presentPretty: The SeriesCandy5 episodes
2011Working ClassCarli Mitchell12 episodes
2012–presentBaby DaddyBonnie WheelerSeries Regular (65 episodes)
2012Retired at 35Julia1 episodes
2013–2014Bet on Your BabyHost16 episodes
2013Dancing FoolsHost8 episodes
2016Home & FamilyGuest Host
2016The $100,000 PyramidHerself/Celebrity GuestSeason 1 Episode: Melissa Peterman vs. Steve Schirripa