Hard FAQs, the answers to all your questions in one place.
When asked about Melody, Patricia Jae Lee said:
And (from Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy) Archie Kao
had this too say:
And that's about all we know. There are a few bloopers which ran at the end of each episode of Power Rangers: in Space (rare moments where she breaks character of forgets a line and we get to see what she's like out of character); but aside from that; and aside from the way she lights up the screen, or the way her soft voice works on our heart strings; there really isn't much to go on. Fortunately, a few facts have turned up that allow us to get a better picture of this charming, yet elusive lady.
about her early years?
Melody was born on January 28th, 1971, in Wiesbaden, Germany but raised in Sacramento, California. Interested in dance from an early age, she joined local productions and dance companies; and by her sophomore year of high school Melody was performing the Nutcracker every year and taking local modeling gigs. A former classmate recalls that she even missed class once because she was doing a modeling gig at the local TV station for the noon news. But don't let all that fool you into thinking school wasn't important to her. After all, Mel was an Honors Student in high school, graduated in the Top 5 of her class, and was voted "Most Talented" because of her dancing.
An accomplished dancer, Melody performed with and was a company representative for the Sacramento Ballet Company and the Jazz Unlimited Dance Company before moving on to modeling. As for college she attended the University of California at San Diego, received a B.S. in Quantitative Economics (which is a broad field of economic analysis, encompassing mathematical / quantitative methods), Japanese Studies (another broad field of study involving society, culture and languages) and was a member of the UCSD Dance Company (as part of her scholarship).
|How did she get started acting?
Dunno, but she has apparently been doing it most of her life. As for screen acting: she was traveling in Europe modeling and ended up doing commercials in Italy and France (and considering her interest in Japanese culture, she probably did a good deal of work there as well). Happily, modeling seems to be a pretty steady gig for Melody. It seems to give her the freedom and security to pick and choose what roles she wants to take in her acting career.
|What other acting jobs has she had?
While Melody's resume is available online, it's also brief. Below you will find the rest of what I've been able to dig up.
In 1995 she appeared in what seems to be her first acting gig in the states, on the Second Season of a cable TV show called High Tide. Her episode, entitled THE GRIND, aired 10/8/95. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get ahold of a copy of this ep, so I don't know which role she played (or even if she was really in it). If anyone out there has it, drop me a line.
She next appeared on the 7th Season of another cable show called Silk Stalkings. Episode 10, Childs Play, aired 11/9/97 and featured Melody as a maid who had witnessed a crime. It's a small role, couple minutes in length, but she puts in a great performance! Check your local listings. This one pops up every so often on the USA network, where Silk Stalkings airs in syndication.
But it was with her next role that melody would earn her most die-hard fan following.
Rangers: in Space
In 1997, Melody debuted on Power Rangers: in Space, as Astronema, the new Princess of Evil, and the nemesis of the Space Rangers. In this role she appeared in most every episode of the series (even if it was only to order her minions to "Fire the Sattalasers!" or utter the occasional "Des-troy them!").
As testament to her flexibility in acting, Melody actually ends up playing three roles in this incarnation of the hit kids show. And she gives each a distinct (and sometimes chilling) personality all their own. She plays the power hungry Astronema, the unsure yet sincere Karone, and the completely evil Circuit Astronema. I won't spoil the surprise by telling you how these changes come about, but rest assured it's great fun and (despite the fact that it's a kids show, and you wouldn't normally except such a thing) you may even feel yourself tearing up as the destiny of this character plays out (but I didn't! ... well OK, maybe a little. ;).
In between Power Rangers: in Space and Lost Galaxy (July 7, 1998) Mel appeared in the first season of Nightman in an episode entitled Face To Face. Her role runs about 1 minute near the beginining of the show. She plays a patient undergoing a revolutionary new form of facial reconstructive surgery but there isn't much meat to it. It's basically a walk-on. She's just there to sit and look pretty while the doctor and his colleague talk about how revolutionary their new method is. After that the doctor excuses her from the room, she gets up and hugs him. She says, "Thank you, Doctor," and walks out of the room. That was it.
Rangers: Lost Galaxy
When "in Space" ended in 1998 and a new incarnation of Power Rangers was born (complete with new cast) we thought we'd never see Melody again, but we were wrong. Near the end of the first year of Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy, Valerie Vernon (the talented actress who played the Pink Galaxy Ranger) was forced to leave the show to battle cancer. In time she recovered and returned, but that left producers with the question: what do we do for a Pink Ranger for the rest of the season?
The answer was to bring back the Space Rangers to help the Galaxy Rangers fight one of their most deadly foes: the Psycho Rangers. The plan was to have Kendrix (the Pink Galaxy Ranger) taken out of action and replaced by Kassie (the Pink Space Ranger, played by Patricia Jae Lee). However, things fell through (rumor suggests a problem with the contract) and Kendrix was replaced with Karone (played by Melody). I've gotta say, PR:LG was a good series when it started, but, when Melody came on board, the show rocketed into the territory of greatness as Karone struggled with the demons of her past and lived out her dreams as a full fledged Power Ranger. A triumphant end to an often tragic tale! And Melody played it perfectly; bringing Karone to life with introspection, joy and a penchant for harmless mischief.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and the finale of "Lost Galaxy" (for all intents and purposes) ended Melody's run on Power Rangers (thought she did return a time or two in order to voice a villain).
She next appeared in July of 2000, this time on the silver screen, playing the part of a new barmaid in the box office smash: Coyote Ugly. Just like everything she appears in, this was a nice movie with a solid story line and a good heart at it's core. All in all, a good show that Melody makes better (even though she only gets a few seconds of screen time, near the end of the film).
Interestingly enough, just like Lost Galaxy, she was never intended to be in the movie. As it turns out, test audiences wanted a return to the bar at the end of the movie, so a new ending was added to the existing movie, where the main characters all return to the bar and generally have a raucous good time. You can catch Melody behind the bar, fumbling with bottles and staring at them like they'll jump out of her hands the second she turns her back (and then she turns her back ... and they do! :). Look quick and don't stare at the scantily clad ladies (and gentlemen) dancing on the bar, or you'll miss the best part of the movie. ;)
In The Middle
In November of 2000, Mel appeared as Patty Henderson, the new babysitter on Malcom In The Middle, which aired on FOX. "Convention" was, in my opinion, a great episode! In this one she managed to take us: from the simple joy of riding a bike, to the non-sensical weakness that a truly wonderful woman can infect a man with, through to the silly fun of watching her dote on her charges, to sharing her joy and amazement at Dewey's inherent cuteness (no one should be allowed to be that cute! :), to near hysterical laughing following the shock of seeing her in fat make-up, to the awe of feeling that same attraction despite the make-up (how does her personality shine through?), to the heart wrenching sadness of feeling her pain at Francis' rejection (probably just as well, he's a jerk), and more! And all that while playing a part that, in anyone else's hands, would have been just another ditzy babysitter.
of the Apes 2001
Mel pops up just a couple minutes after the end of the opening credits. It's quick (less than Coyote Ugly) so stay sharp. For those who want to catch every second, here are a few tips: Listen for someone to tell Leo (Mark Walhberg) that he has a postcard. He'll leave and go to his quarters to watch (it's a video postcard). Scene opens on a party with all his family and friends. The camera pans across the crowd from left to right. Keep your eye on the right and watch for the big black guy. Mel is right behind him in a blue bikini!
The camera pans away to some other people, but that's not the end. Look for her to pop up again on the left hand side of your screen. All Leo's friends take turns saying hi and Mel pops up behind a blonde guy (her fiancé in the movie) to show off her engagement ring (lucky guy!). Everyone oooo's and aaah's and she just smiles and laughs along with them (looked like a fun party! :). And that's that.
Melody started off the new year (2003) with a funny ad for Rolling Rock Beer. The comercial starts out with the announcer telling us that there comes a time in every mans life when he must answer hard questions. Cut to Melody's character sitting at a table with a guy. They seem to be having a good time. She laughs at something he said off camera and says she's having a good time. He agrees and she changes the subject, asking him "So, how many girls has you ... you know?" He then has a moment of panic where he wonders what to tell her and tries to change the subject by holding up two fingers to the waitress to order two more beers. Mel's character misunderstands (not haivng seen the waitress) and assumes he is answering her question. The answer seems to please her as she smiles and says, "Really!? Me too!" The guy smiles and the date continues as the ad closes.
October 12, 2003 Mel appeared as Margo -- yet another ditzy blonde but this time she's a witch.
In The Power of Three Blondes, three evil sisters, Mitzy (Jenny McCarthy), Mabel (Jennifer Sky) and Margo (Melody Perkins), magically steal the Charmed Ones' identities and powers. Piper, Phoebe and Paige must then convince Chris that they are the real Charmed Ones in order to get their lives back.
This was a great episode! Mel looks great (and so do her co-stars!). They each turn in a great performance that's a joy to watch. I think they stole the show. The blurb above does a fine job of summarizing the episode so I won't. If you missed it, track down a copy, you won't regret it.
Most recently, Mel appeared on the wildly popular CSI: Miami, in which she's shot in the face, wrapped in plastic, and dropped in a dumpster …
It's not my favorite episode, but we do get to see her alive a few times. I won't spoil who killed her or why. A good episode regardless.
|What does she do in between acting
Modeling! Since her run on Power Rangers ended, Melody has been reported modeling in a number of mail order catalogues and commercials including: Kohl's, Lands End, Deliah's, Alloy, Parade of Shoes, and on Fashion TV. For the record, I can only confirm the first two. She appeared in an in-store add for the Khol's clothing stores (a chain of stores which runs from the Mid-east (Kansas) to the East Coast (New York)). The ad ran from 3/12/99 to 3/20/99. She appeared just about every month in the Land's End Direct Market Catalogue (available for free from their website) from 2000 to 2002. Most of the non-PR pics we have of Melody come from these catalogues. Since then shes popped up in a number of ads online for products such as Windos XP, the Real One Player and more.
|How does Melody feel about Power Rangers?
Apparently, she had a pretty good time and retains strong ties with Saban, the producers of the PR series. Aside from that, Brent Crane (webmaster for Absolutely Melody) did have a chance to ask her about her experiences on PR. The following is an excerpt from his site.
How she feels about playing Astronema: "Love it. It's fun being the
If anyone else has any information on Melody (autographs, hand written letters, etc ...) I'd love to hear from you. Every new bit of info brings us that much closer to finding out more about this wonderful and talented lady.
|Where is Melody now?
Dunno. She's been reported modeling in Europe. She could be just about anywhere. :)
|How can I contact / send fan mail
Do you want to talk to Melody, praise her glowingly, propose marriage, or maybe even get an autographed picture of her? Well, we have a few places you can try.
A note on sending things to and receiving things from stars. Always send an SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) and be sure it's big enough to hold a response. If you've just asked questions, a regular letter envelope will do (a 33 cent stamp will get it there from anywhere in America); but if you requested an autograph, use a big one (head shots are typically 8 X 10) and be sure to add extra postage (big envelopes usually cost about $1.20 in postage, but that'll change depending on size an weight). If you live over-seas, contact your local post office to find out if there are any special rules or requirements for sending letters to America.
Finally, it's hard to keep track of where fan mail can be sent to, and only a few fans have recieved letters from Mel. If any of you decide to try out the above addresses please let me know the results and I'll post them here so everyone else can give it a try.
|How do you know all this Gomi?
Lots of time and effort, doing searches on the internet, and the kind help of strangers (people like you who drop by and let me know little bits and pieces). If you want more in depth stuff (things I left out or glossed over), you can browse around the different sections of the site (the Who Page is just a summary of the rest of the site, so it should all be there somewhere), or contact me. I always enjoy talking to other fans.
Various clubs and message boards (check the link
Thanks also to Joe, a former classmate of Mel's, who was a big help in filling in the blanks in her early years (anyone wishing to contact Joe can do so through me, and I will forward it to him). And to Bill Kerby, Director, Center for Economic Education who helped me get a little better idea of what the heck Quantitative Economics is (though, to tell the truth, I'm still a little confused :).