SIU Board of Trustees approves honorary degree for actress Melissa McCarthy

By Staff Report

The SIU Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a honorary degree for Melissa McCarthy, two-time Emmy Award winner, during today’s meeting.

McCarthy is a native of Plainfield, Illinois and left SIU Carbondale after two years for New York City to further her fashion studies. There, she began a career in the entertainment field and has been recognized for her work as an actress, comedian, writer, producer and fashion designer.

In addition to her Emmy Awards, she also has received nominations for a Golden Globe Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie, Bridesmaids.



After several years honing her craft in New York – where she earned roles in off-Broadway shows, trained with The Actor’s Studio and appeared at some of the city’s premier comedy clubs – she moved to Los Angeles where she joined the legendary comedy troupe, The Groundlings, and met her husband, Carbondale native Ben Falcone.

Her television and film career started in the late 1990s and her first big role was on the hit WB series, Gilmore Girls from 2000-2007.

In 2010, she landed the lead role on the show Mike & Molly, for which earned her first Emmy Award and two additional nominations.

McCarthy is among an elite group of actors—including Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Tina Fey and Bill Murray—who have hosted Saturday Night Live five times, earning her second Emmy Award and four additional Emmy nominations in the process.

McCarthy and Falcone founded a production company, On The Day Productions, which has produced Tammy (2014), The Boss (2016), Life of the Party (2018) and Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018).

She launched Melissa McCarthy Seven7, a clothing line sold at Nordstrom and Macy’s and on the Home Shopping Network. In 2015, she was named the third highest-paid actress in the world by Forbes.

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