Melissa Francis was born to be in front of the cameras. Before she could even say her own name, she had begun appearing in TV commercials. Melissa later transitioned into acting and then TV journalism.
The highlight of her acting days includes the role of Cassandra Cooper Ingalls in the 1980s TV show Little House on the Prairie. In recent years she can be seen hosting and anchoring on the Fox News Channel as well as the Fox Business News.
Melissa Francis Bio
Melissa was born Melissa Ann Francis on December 12, 1972, in Los Angeles, California. Her mom began pushing her into the world of entertainment even before her first birthday. Alongside her sister Tiffany who is now late, Melissa began appearing in TV commercials. Her first commercial job was for a Johnson & Johnson shampoo when she was just 6 months old. Melissa would go on to appear in over 100 commercials.
From commercials, she began landing small parts in TV shows and films. Some of her earliest included; Scavenger Hunt, Man, Woman and Child, and Bad Dreams. Melissa was more active on the small screen. She played the main role in Joe’s World and, her most successful TV gig came in the hit TV series Little House on the Prairie. Melissa played her role for a year from 1981 to 1982.
About a decade later, Melissa abandoned acting and relocated to Cambridge, Massachusetts to attend Harvard. She graduated with a Bachelor of arts degree in economics. During her time at Harvard, Melissa served as the executive editor of The Harvard College Economist magazine. She played polo as her extracurricular activity and even became captain of the Harvard Polo team.
Melissa interned twice at NBC before her college graduation. Upon graduation, she became a reporter for New Jersey’s News 12. She went on to anchor and report for several New England TV stations in Manchester, Hartford, and Providence. Among other things, she produced for WCSH-TV (NBC) in Portland and researched for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.
She would later become a correspondent for CNET. Here, she focused on covering finance, technology, and consumer products issues. While at that, she equally served CNBC, providing reports for the media outlet.
It was in 2003 that Melissa joined CNBC as an energy reporter covering issues related to energy and the activities of the giant corporations behind these issues. In addition to that, she anchored two news programs; The Call and Power Lunch. It is said that she was the first reporter to broadcast live from the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Fox News Career
In January 2012, Melissa Francis joined FOX Business Network as an anchor and financial news reporter. Together with David Asman, she is the co-host of After The Bell which airs weekdays at 4-5PM/ET. Two years later in 2014, she became the co-host of the Fox News Channel’s Outnumbered which airs weekdays at noon-PM ET. Melissa is also the anchor of the news program, Happening Now.
Her Father and Mother
Melissa released a tell-all memoir titled Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter. It was about her childhood and being raised by a very toxic and overbearing mother. She detailed all of the gruesome things she underwent being raised by her mom including one time when her mom threw her out of the car and asked her to find a way home. She was just 8 years old.
Melissa’s mother even stole the money she made from commercials and films. Her overbearing attitude drove her elder sister Tiffany into bad relationships which encouraged her to do drugs and alcohol. Tiffany would later die from addiction.
By the age of 15, Melissa became emancipated from her mother. She revealed just little about her father including that he owned a small business and worked very hard at it. Melissa also mentioned that her dad was a source of strength, motivating her that she could be anything she wanted if only she put her mind to it. However, for the most part, her father responded to her mom’s toxicity in a rather passive-aggressive manner which sadly wasn’t enough.
Fortunately for Melissa, she stayed strong and made the best out of her life, sadly the same cannot be said about her late sister who more often than not engaged in fights with their mom.
Net Worth – How Rich Is She?
Melissa may have lost a huge part of the money she made from acting, but thankfully she was able to recoup with a successful journalism career. She earns an estimated salary of $100,000 from FOX. Her net worth has been estimated at around $5 million.
Melissa Francis’ Husband
Melissa is married to Wray Thorn. She met him in Boston during her college years. Thorn proposed to her on top of the Empire State Building and they were married in 1997. Thorn is a managing director at Two Sigma Ventures. Per his LinkedIn profile, he began his career working at Chemical Bank as part of the acquisition finance group.
At Two Sigma, Thorn helms the private investment and ventures businesses. The couple shares three kids together including two sons and a daughter. Their daughter who is the youngest was born via surrogacy after their doctor revealed that a third pregnancy would be too risky for Melissa who had been diagnosed with a hereditary condition called Factor V Leiden. As a result of the condition, Melissa’s first two pregnancies were high-risk.
The family lives in a 3,100-square-feet loft in Carnegie Hil which they purchased in 2010 for over $4 million.