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Five Great Melissa McCarthy Roles Before 'Bridesmaids'

It may surprise some people that Melissa McCarthy isn't some overnight sensation. While many acknowledge her Oscar-nominated role in Bridesmaids as a breakout performance, she's been acting in film and TV for almost two decades. With Identity Thief arriving in theaters this weekend, we take a look at five roles that McCarthy has played in the past that you may or may not have seen. 

Gilmore Girls, Sookie St. James

Outside of film, this is perhaps her best-known character. McCarthy played Lorelai Gilmore's best friend and chef co-worker at the Independence Inn (and then later the Dragonfly). Her scatterbrained, klutzy and somewhat controlling character fit McCarthy's bubbly comedic chops perfectly.

 

The Back-Up Plan, Carol

In this more recent comedy, McCarthy playing a midwife opposite Jennifer Lopez. The role allowed McCarthy to do some comedic improv as seen in this clip below.

 

Samantha Who?, Dena

Returning to her TV roots, McCarthy played Dena, Samantha's friend during the two-season run of the series.

 

Pretty Ugly People, Becky

Despite mediocre reviews, this 2008 comedy featured a pair of soon-to-be Oscar-nominated actresses – McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. Of course, Spencer would go on to win for her performance in The Help, but pre-Oscar, she and McCarthy co-starred with Missi Pyle in this film about a dying woman who summons her best friends from college for a four-day camping trip.

 

Life As We Know It, DeeDee

Starring Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel and Christina Hendricks, this 2010 comedy was a hit in theaters. Of course, part of that reason has to be because of McCarthy's character as a mother of four kids. Check out the deleted scenes below as McCarthy and the rest of the cast offer parenting advice to Heigl's character Sophie.

Granted, she has plenty of worthy pre-Bridesmaids performances we haven't included, like roles in The Life of David Gale, White Oleander and an uncredited performance in Shooter. What are your favorite Melissa McCarthy performances, and are you seeing Identity Thief in theaters?

Follow along on Twitter @DerrickDeane and @Fandango

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