Melinda Clarke (born April 24, 1969) is an American actress who has primarily worked in television. Clarke is best known for playing Faith Taylor on the daytime drama Days of our Lives, the manipulative and cunning Julie Cooper-Nichol on The O.C., as well as the professional dominatrix Lady Heather on CSI. She is currently a series regular portraying the role of Amanda on the television series Nikita.
Clarke was born Melinda Patrice Clarke in Dana Point, California, the daughter of Patricia Lewis, a ballet dancer, and John Clarke, an actor who was an original cast member of the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives. She has a brother, Joshua, and a sister, Heidi, who died in 1994 of a malignant heart tumor. She has a daughter named Catherine Grace.
Clarke appeared on the daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives as Faith Brown (where her father John Clarke was a senior cast member), and starred on Soldier of Fortune, Inc. for both of its seasons. She also guest starred on Xena: Warrior Princess as the Amazon chieftain Velasca, Firefly as the brothel madam Nandi, Charmed as the Siren, and has had six appearances on CSI where she played the dominatrix, Lady Heather. She also appeared in the Seinfeld episode "The Muffin Tops", playing Jerry's girlfriend who likes anything hairless.
She originally appeared on the FOX drama The O.C. as a guest star, and due to fan response was offered a contract for her role as Julie Cooper-Nichol, a cunning socialite who marries for money. Clarke accepted the role and became an integral part of the show's storylines. As well as starring on The O.C., she has appeared on HBO's hit series Entourage as a fictionalized version of herself, married to Malcolm McDowell's Terrance McQuewick. Clarke also appeared as the Devil's girlfriend in The CW's 2007 series Reaper. She also auditioned for the role of "Number Six" on SCI-FI's smash hit Battlestar Galactica but the role ultimately went to Tricia Helfer. In 2010, she appeared on the CW show The Vampire Diaries as Kelly Donovan.
Clarke has volunteered as an actress with the Young Storytellers Foundation. Other projects included a TV movie, She Drives Me Crazy, produced by former co-star Rowan. She appeared as a guest star on Chuck, another series created by The O.C.'s creator Josh Schwartz. She plays Amanda, a series regular role, on The CW's drama Nikita.