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Melissa Francis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Melissa Francis
Melissa Francis at the Wall Street Money Never Sleeps Premiere.jpg
Melissa Francis at the Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps premiere in 2010
Melissa Ann Francis[1]

(1972-12-12) December 12, 1972 (age 48)
Other namesMissy Francis
EducationHarvard University (B.A.)
OccupationNews anchor
Years active1973–2020
Spouse(s)Wray Thorn (1997–present)

Melissa Ann Francis (born December 12, 1972) is an American television news personality who most recently appeared as an anchor and commentator for the Fox Business Network (FBN) and Fox News (FNC). Previously, she worked as an actress.

Prior to FBN, she worked at CNBC. She had been the co-host of After The Bell weekday afternoons with Connell MacShane. She also was most recently an anchor on FNC's Happening Now newscast. She most recently had been a regular panelist on FNC's afternoon talk show Outnumbered. However, in late October 2020, it was reported that she had been pushed out of Fox. Although there was not a formal announcement to that effect, all signs point to her having departed Fox, likely not on her terms.[2]


Born and raised in Los Angeles, Francis graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.[3][4]



Francis started her acting career on television by appearing in a Johnson & Johnson shampoo commercial at 6 months old. She was known for her role as Cassandra Cooper Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, for two seasons.[5][6] Other television appearances include two series regular roles: Morningstar/Eveningstar and Joe’s World, and three films including Man, Woman and Child, where she played Paula Beckwith. She has also had appearances in the television series St. Elsewhere in 1986 and the 1988 film Bad Dreams, where she played young Cynthia. Melissa appeared in nearly 100 commercials during her acting career. She is reportedly the inspiration for the fictional character Avery Jessup (conceived of and played by Elizabeth Banks) in the show 30 Rock,[7] although Banks herself has denied this.[8]


Francis has worked as a reporter for CNBC and CNET.[4]

In January 2012, Francis became an anchor for Fox Business Network.[9]

In 2014, Francis became a recurring co-host of Fox News Channel's talk and news commentary program, Outnumbered.[10] She also anchored FNC's Happening Now newscast.

Departure from Fox

In late October 2020, it was reported that Francis had been pushed out at Fox. She had not been seen on the network since early in the month. Her contract had expired about a year earlier and had not been renewed. Francis also had filed a pay discrimination action against Fox. [11]

The only communication on the issue from Francis herself came in a tweet, where she thanked her followers for their support.[12] However, her profile on Twitter soon dropped any reference to Fox as well. [13]


Francis authored a book in November 2012, Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter: A Memoir, concerning the trials, tribulations and joys of having an overbearing mother;[14] and in April 2017, published Lessons from the Prairie, relating childhood experiences from the show as applied to her adult life.[15]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 Scavenger Hunt Jennifer Motley
1983 Man, Woman and Child Paula Beckwith
1988 Bad Dreams Young Cynthia
2009 Race to Witch Mountain TV reporter Uncredited
2012 The Dictator Local News Reporter


Year Title Role Notes
1974 The Ghost of Flight 401 Kid TV film
1979 Champions: A Love Story Sally TV film
1979 Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love Thea TV film
1979–80 Joe's World Linda Wabash Main role (11 episodes)
1980 Mork & Mindy Little Mindy Episode: "A Mommy for Mindy"
1980 Galactica 1980 Little Girl Episode: "Galactica Discovers Earth Part II And III"
1980 When the Whistle Blows Deenie Episode: "Love Is a Four-Letter Word"
1981 Midnight Lace Cathy, age 11 TV film
1981 A Gun in the House Diana Cates TV film
1981–82 Little House on the Prairie Cassandra Cooper Ingalls Main role (21 episodes)
1984 Something About Amelia Beth Bennett TV film
1985 Hotel Jodi Abbott Episode: "Rallying Cry"
1985 CBS Schoolbreak Special Tina Episode: "The War Between the Classes"
1986 St. Elsewhere Cynthia Episode: "Family Affair"
1986 Morningstar/Eveningstar Sarah Bishop Main role (7 episodes)
1988 A Year in the Life Eunice Episode: "Common Ground"
1989 ALF Miss Williams Episode: "Baby, Come Back"
1990 Hardball Episode: "A Death in the Family"


  1. ^ "Vini M Francis, Born 12/12/1972 in California -". Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. ^ Johnson, Ted (October 23, 2020). "Melissa Francis Off Fox News Amid Reports Of Pay Disparity Dispute". Deadline.
  3. ^ Hageman, William (March 24, 2013). "When a parent is stage-struck: Shining a spotlight on parents who push their kids too far". Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ a b Francis, Melissa. "Melissa Francis Profile - CNBC". Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  5. ^ Friedman, Jon (September 19, 2007). "CNBC's Melissa Francis isn't over the hill". MarketWatch. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
  6. ^ "Missy Francis Biography". 2009.
  7. ^ "Which CNBC Anchor Was The Basis For 30 Rock's Avery Jessup?". February 16, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  8. ^ "Elizabeth Banks Slams Page Six For "30 Rock" Story". The Huffington Post. April 21, 2010. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  9. ^ "Who'sNews: Why isn't Melissa Francis on CNBC anymore?". Arizona Daily Star. February 10, 2012.
  10. ^ "Outnumbered". Fox News. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Francis, Melissa [@MelissaAFrancis] (October 25, 2020). "Thanks for all the kind words of support" (Tweet). Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved January 7, 2021 – via Twitter.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Francis, Melissa (November 6, 2012). Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter: A Memoir (3rd ed.). Hachette Book. ISBN 978-1602861725.
  15. ^ Francis, Melissa (April 25, 2017). Lessons from the Prairie. Weinstein Publishing. ISBN 9781602863064.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 June 2021, at 22:49
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