Celebrate Melissa McCarthy’s 50th Birthday by Looking Back at Her Most Iconic Roles

Relive some of Melissa McCarthy's best film and TV roles, from Bridesmaids to Can You Ever Forgive Me?, below!

By Allison Crist Aug 26, 2020 7:00 PMTags
Watch: Do Melissa McCarthy's Kids Think She's Funny?

Happy 50th birthday, Melissa McCarthy!

The actress is celebrating the major milestone of a birthday today, Aug. 26, and we're celebrating by reminiscing on her most iconic (and oftentimes hilarious!) on-screen roles, from the sweet, funny Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls to the raunchy, unapologetic Megan on Bridesmaids.

And while everyone might have a different favorite film or TV show of McCarthy's, we can all agree that she somehow manages to steal every scene she's in. Time and time again, she's proven herself to be one of the most versatile actresses working today!

Seriously, she starred in The Happytime Murders and Can You Ever Forgive Me? in the same year.

The same goes for St. Vincent and Tammy, the latter of which sees McCarthy play a character of the same name, who after getting fired and finding out her husband is cheating, hits the road with her profane, alcoholic grandmother (Susan Sarandon).

The flick—directed and co-written by McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone—is as funny as it is heartwarming, making it the perfect film to catch on E! tonight at both 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in honor of her birthday!

Melissa McCarthy's Best Looks

That's right! You can tune in to a back-to-back showing of Tammy ahead of The Soup's brand new episode. What better way to celebrate the legendary actress' birthday?

In the meantime, look back on Melissa McCarthy's most iconic roles by scrolling through the below gallery!

Melissa McCarthy Honors Past Roles on 2019 Oscars Red Carpet
Gilmore Girls

Beginning in 2000, Melissa McCarthy earned a special place in our hearts as everyone's favorite chef and BFF to Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), Sookie St. James, on Gilmore Girls.

Samantha Who?

After Samantha (Christina Applegate) gets into an accident and has amnesia, she tries to turn her life around and fix the friendships she ruined during her life as a selfish woman...one friend being Dena, played by McCarthy.

Life as We Know It

McCarthy plays DeeDee, a mother of four kids, in this Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel starrer.

Mike & Molly

The 48-year-old actress starred alongside Billy Gardell for six seasons of Mike & Molly. Together the two actors played a couple who met at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and later fell in love, helped each through their weight-loss journey and stuck by each other's side through thick and thin.


McCarthy, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance, plays Megan Price, the groom's raunchy sister in this R-rated comedy. It also stars Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig.

This Is 40

After Debbie (Leslie Mann) yells at a student (Ryan Lee), who has been taunting her daughter Sadie (Maude Apatow), Catherine (McCarthy), the mother of the kid, gets involved and things get heated. She might've been a minor character but the parents' meeting in the principal's office is one of This Is 40's funniest scenes, hands down.

Identity Thief

When Sandy (Jason Bateman) buys identity theft protection from Diana (McCarthy) over the phone and reveals all of his personal information he has no clue that she is actually a con artist. In order to get his money back, Sandy tracks Diana, whose real name is Dawn, across the country and ends up in more trouble than ever imagined.

The Hangover Part III

McCarthy plays a pawnshop owner named Cassie, who first meets the guys when she explains that Chow (Ken Jeong) traded a gold brick for a measly $18,000. Cassie eventually agrees to go on a date with Alan (Zach Galifianakis), and six months later, they decide to get married.

The Heat

When by-the-book FBI agent Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock) is assigned to a case in Boston, she reluctantly teams up with Shannon Mullins (McCarthy), a foul-mouthed detective who makes her own rules. The buddy comedy also stars Demián Bichir, Jane Curtin, Michael Rapaport and Marlon Wayans.


McCarthy served as the film's screenwriter and executive producer in Tammy. She also plays the titular character, who, after being fired from her job, comes home early to find out her husband is having an affair. This inspires Tammy to go on a road trip—and stage a heist along the way—with her grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon).

St. Vincent

Maggie Bronstein (McCarthy) is a single mother fighting for custody of her son after her husband's multiple affairs. Her neighbor, Vincent (Bill Murray), agrees to watch her son while she tries to make ends meet.


McCarthy stars as Susan Cooper, a desk-bound CIA analyst who becomes a field agent after her colleagues' identities are compromised. The movie also stars Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, Jude Law and Jason Statham.

The Boss

In The Boss, the Illinois native plays a ruthless mogul who, after being arrested for insider training, emerges from prison determined to become America's sweetheart. McCarthy stars alongside Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage and Kathy Bates


McCarthy plays Abby Yates, a woman who authors a book on paranormal activity in this rebooted comedy. Fellow Ghosbusters include Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and Erin Gilbert (Wiig).

Saturday Night Live

In 2017, the comedian hosted Saturday Night Live for the fifth time, earning her a "Five-Timers" jacket from Steve Martin. Over the years, she's had some memorable skits on the show, but her impersonation of Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary for 2017, was definitely one of her most-loved and laughed at (in a good way) characters ever.


The actress is an executive producer on Nobodies and has appeared on a slew of episodes as an exaggerated version of herself. The show is about three friends working together on a TV show and although McCarthy isn't a main character every time we see her on screen we can't help but laugh.

Life of the Party

Life of the Party is a comedy about going back to college with McCarthy playing Deanna, the titular character. After Deanna's husband asks for a divorce, she decides to go back to school to get her degree and in the process she joins in on all of her daughter's sorority fun and really lives it up.

The Happytime Murderers

Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy) attempts to solve the case of what went wrong when a whole puppet cast from a '90s TV show is murdered. Elizabeth Banks and Maya Rudolph are some of the other big names in the flick. 

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

In Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which is based on a true story, the accomplished actress takes on the role of Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer of the '70s and '80s. When her character's career dies down, she outsmarts the world for a period of time by selling embellished, fake pieces of work from famous writers.

The Kitchen

McCarthy stars alongside Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss in this mob drama based on DC's Vertigo comic book series of the same name. The trio of actresses play the wives of New York gangsters in Hell's Kitchen in the 1970s who continue to operate their husbands' rackets after they're locked up in prison.

What's your favorite Melissa McCarthy film? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!