Although she's most commonly known for playing First Lady Mellie Grant on the ABC political drama "Scandal" (2012- ), Bellamy Young has worked consistently as both a guest star and recurring character on dozens of TV shows beginning in the mid-1990s. A native of North Carolina, Young made her television debut in 1995 as Dr. Courtney Evans on the daytime soap opera "Another World" (NBC, 1964-1999), and, by the early 2000s, was guest starring on shows like "The X-Files" (Fox, 1993-2002), "The West Wing" (NBC, 1999-2006) and "Frasier" (NBC, 1993-2004). With "Scandal," however, Young's Mellie Grant rose to become one of TV's most talked-about characters on social-media sites such as Twitter and Tumblr, thus catapulting her into the spotlight after nearly two decades as a seemingly nameless, albeit prolific, TV actress.
Born Amy Young in Asheville, North Carolina (she changed her first name to Bellamy after discovering another actress named Amy Young), she took an early interest in acting. She began singing and performing at local stage productions throughout her hometown while still a pre-teen, and found she had a knack for vocals. But by the time high school was finished, Young set her sights on becoming a physicist and subsequently enrolled at Yale University. It did not take long for the performing bug to return, however, and soon enough Young was double majoring in English and Acting. Still feeling there was more she could learn, she moved to England after graduation to further her acting studies at prestigious Oxford University. While attending the school, she had the opportunity to hear guest lectures from some of Britain's most prominent actors, including Maggie Smith and Jeremy Irons.
Upon returning to America, Young appeared in several Broadway plays before nabbing the small part of Dr. Evans on "Another World." For the 25-year-old classically trained actress, it would be the start of a long and prolific career on the small screen. Throughout the '90s and early 2000s, Young landed guest roles on a multitude of different television genres, including the police procedural "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), sitcoms such as "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004), as well as a small part on the medical drama "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). Her first big break came in 2003 when she nabbed a recurring part on the Western-themed action series "Peacemakers" (USA Network, 2003). However, the show was cancelled after a single season.
Undeterred, Young snagged recurring roles on five shows throughout the remainder of the decade, including "Scrubs" (NBC, 2001-08, ABC, 2009-10), "Dirty Sexy Money" (ABC, 2007-09) and "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ). But it was her role as the devious First Lady of the United States on "Scandal" - a role that was originally supposed to last only a few episodes - that put Young on the map. Since the show's debut as a mid-season replacement in 2012, there have been numerous Tumblr pages, YouTube Videos, and tweets devoted to the character and her storyline. With the outpouring of viewer support for Young's character reaching a fever pitch in the summer of 2012, Young was bumped up to series regular at the start of the second season.
First television acting role on "Another World"
First series regular role on "Peacemakers"
Appeared as Ellen Darling on "Dirty Sexy Money"
Became a series regular on "Scandal"