Melanie Lynskey - Updated Apr 2024

Updated On February 12, 2024
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Melanie Lynskey


Melanie Lynskey is a well-known actress from New Zealand. Moreover, Melanie Lynskey is well recognized for her depictions of complex women and her command of American accents; she mainly works in independent films.

Early Life

Melanie Lynskey was born on the 16th of May 1977, in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand. According to her date of birth, she is 46 years old and holds New Zealander nationality.

She believes in Christianity by religion and has the zodiac sign of Taurus. Her birth name is Melanie Jayne Lynskey and belongs to a mixed ethnicity, and has Irish and English ancestry.

She is the daughter of Kay Lynskey (mother) and Tim Lynskey (father). Professionally, her mother is a retired nurse while her father is an orthopedic surgeon. She grew up with her four siblings whose names are unknown. Moreover, she is the eldest of all her siblings. Lynskey’s family spent a year in England before returning to New Zealand when she was a child.


Talking about her academic qualification, she studied at New Plymouth Girls high school where she was involved in the drama department and school plays. She then enrolled in high school at Victoria University of Wellington.

Melanie Lynskey – Net Worth 2024

Being a well-known actress and working for several hit movies and series, she has collected a huge sum of money from her carer. As of 2022, Lynskey’s net worth is estimated at around $5 million.

She has starred in commercials for a variety of companies, including One International and Hyundai Presidents Day Sales. Her salary per episode is $200,000. In 2004, she purchased an old Victorian-style bungalow in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The home costs roughly $600,000 to construct and the house included four bedrooms and three bathrooms, two above and two below. She later sold the house for roughly 900,000 dollars.

Professional Career

Melanie Lynskey made her acting debut in Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures” at the age of 16.

She went on to appear in films such as “The Frighteners” (1996), “Foreign Correspondents” (1999), “The Cherry Orchard” (1999), “Shooters” (1999), “Detroit Rock City” (1999), “But I’m a Cheerleader” (1999), “Coyote Ugly” (2000) as Gloria, “Snakeskin” (2001), “Abandon”, “Rose Red” (2002) as Rachel Wheaton, and “Shattered Glass” (2003).

She then starred in the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” In the Clint Eastwood-directed war film “Flags of Our Fathers,” she played the wife of Rene Gagnon (played by Jesse Bradford). She also appeared in the short-lived TV series “Drive.”

Melanie Lynskey

Caption: Melanie Lynskey in the 2013 movie, Made in Cleveland (Source: IMDb)

Moreover, in 2008, she played a minor role in the three-part Western miniseries “Comanche Moon.” Later, in  2009, she returned to New Zealand to play in the romantic drama “Show of Hands.” In Steven Soderbergh’s comedic biographical drama “The Informant!” she co-starred as Matt Damon’s wife, Ginger.

Moreover, in 2009, she played Edward Norton’s pregnant fiancée in Tim Blake Nelson’s bleak comedy “Leaves of Grass”  She starred in “Helena from The Wedding” in 2010.

Following that, in 2012, she co-starred with Steve Carell in Lorene Scafaria’s comedy “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” and she had a role in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” She appeared in the romantic comedy “Putzel” as well as “Hello I Must Be Going” the same year. Moreover, she had a starring role in “The Big Ask” in 2013.

Other Appearances

Happy Christmas (2014) was her next role, followed by They Came Together, We’ll Never Have Paris, and Goodbye to All That. She could also be seen in Over the Garden Wall, a miniseries. On the HBO series Togetherness, she portrayed Michelle Pierson (2015-2016).

Following that, she appeared in The Intervention (2016), Our Ex-Wife, Rainbow Time, Little Boxes, and The Great & The Small. She also starred in the Netflix crime drama I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017) and starred in And Then I Go.

In 2018, she starred in the independent drama Sadie. In the first season of Castle Rock, she played the lead role of Molly Strand. Mrs. America, a nine-part miniseries starring Lynskey and Cate Blanchett, which air between April and May 2020.

In 2021, she starred as Hannah in the buddy comedy “Lady of the Manor.” In 2021, she appeared in her second film, “Don’t Look Up.”Lynskey plays Shauna in the Showtime series “Yellowjackets” which premieres on November 14, 2021. She appeared in the true crime miniseries Candy in May 2022.


At the 2009 Hollywood Film Award, she earned the Spotlight Award. That same year, she earned the Central Ohio Film Critics Association with Best Cast Ensemble. In 2011, she earned the CinEuphoria Award for Best Supporting Actress — International Competition. Moreover, this actress earned San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble in 2012.

Melanie Lynskey

Caption: Melanie Lynskey with her Critics Choice award (Source: Just Jared)

Likewise, she earned the RiverRun International Film Festival with Emerging Mater in 2014. She earned the Behind the Voice Actors Award with Best Vocal Ensemble in a New television series that same year.

In 2016, she earned the Sundance film festival the US Dramatic Special Jury Award for Individual Performace. Recently in 2022, she earned the Critics’ Choice Super Award for her role in Yellowjackets.

Relationship Status

This New Zealander actress married twice in her life. She is currently engaged to actor Jason Ritter in February 2017. After almost dating for seven years and the couple decides to get engaged.

During the filming of their comedy film, The Big Ask, the pair became close. With the relationship, the couple has a beautiful daughter who was born in December 2018. Their love link is becoming stronger with time, and they are thoroughly enjoying their lives.

Melanie Lynskey

Caption: Melanie Lynskey with her husband, Jason Ritter (Source: People)

Previously, on April 14, 2007, she married American actor Jimmi Simpson, following their engagement in 2005. On September 25, 2012, she filed for divorce from Simpson, alleging irreconcilable differences. Moreover, on May 23, 2014, the divorce was finalized. She was also involved in a relationship with Welsh actor Andrew Howard (1999-2001).

Body Measurements

Lynskey stands 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs around 57 kg. Moreover, she has brown hair with black eyes, and her body measurement is 37-27-35 inches. Similarly, she wears a shoe size of 8.5 US.

Melanie Lynskey

Caption: Melanie Lynskey posing for a photo (Source: Instagram)

Melanie Lynskey – Social Media

On her Instagram page, there are more than 146k followers. Likewise, there are more than 160.8k followers on her Twitter page, and she is not active on Facebook.