Melissa De Sousa

Melissa De Sousa is an American actress. She is best known for her role as Shelby in the 1999 romantic comedy-drama film The Best Man, its 2013 sequel The Best Man Holiday and the 2022 Peacock series The Best Man: The Final Chapters, Gabriella Jimenez in BET's Reed Between the Lines (2011), and Ana Lopez in Black Lightning.

Melissa De Sousa
New York City, U.S.
Years active1992–present

Early lifeEdit

Born and raised in New York City by Panamanian parents,[1] Melissa De Sousa attended the High School of Performing Arts as a ballet major, and began her career as a principal dancer with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Company before transitioning into acting.


De Sousa is best known for her performance as Shelby in the Universal Studios franchise The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday starring opposite Terrence Howard, for which she earned an NAACP Image Award nomination. Currently recurring as Mirta Herrera on Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida, she also led the cult hit series Single Ladies for BET.

De Sousa also starred opposite Matthew Perry in the TNT original presentation of The Ron Clark Story, which garnered an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Made For Television Movie. Other film work includes Laurel Canyon, Miss Congeniality, and Constellation. Her television credits include series regular roles on Reed Between The Lines, Second Time Around, One on One, The $treet, Valley of the Dolls, and Damon. Guest star credits include Criminal Minds, Elementary, Shameless, and countless others.

In 2021, De Sousa appeared in the final season of Black Lightning as Police Chief Ana Lopez.

Personal lifeEdit

De Sousa currently resides in New York.


Film and TV MoviesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1996 Spark Nina Short
1998 Ride Leta
1999 The Best Man Shelby
2000 Lockdown Krista
Miss Congeniality Karen Krantz, Miss New York
2001 30 Years to Life Natalie
I Shaved My Legs For This Melissa
2002 Laurel Canyon Claudia
2003 Biker Boyz Sheila
2005 Constellation Lucy Boxer-Seras
2006 The Ron Clark Story Marissa Vega TV movie
Saturday Night Life Darlene Maye Short
2007 Bats: Human Harvest Lieutenant O'Neal TV movie
2008 A Good Man Is Hard To Find Monica Video
Danny Fricke Erika Valdez TV movie
2009 The Killing of Wendy Angie
2010 The Bannen Way Catalina
Ashes Camille
2012 She Is Not My Sister Stacey
2013 The Best Man Holiday Shelby
2014 C.R.U. Michelle Hughes
2015 Supermodel Detective Lacey
2017 Haters Graciela TV movie


Year Title Role Notes
1992 The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Cricket Episode: "Sweet Sixteen"
CBS Schoolbreak Special Melissa Skyler Episode: "Words Up!"
1993 Getting By Randee Episode: "Do the Fright Thing"
Silk Stalkings Ellie Rose Episode: "Tough Love"
1993-94 Living Single Lisa / Carmen Episode: "In the Black Is Beautiful" & "Who's the Boss?"
1994 The Sinbad Show Actress Episode: "David Goes Skiing
Valley of the Dolls Neely O'Hara Main cast
1995 Simon Brenda Episode: "Simon Hunts a Rat"
1996 Married... with Children Jaclyn Episode: "The Hood, the Bud & the Kelly: Part 1 & 2"
ER Estella Episode: "Baby Shower"
1997 The Wayans Bros. Charmaine Episode: "I Do..."
Moesha Jennifer Episode: "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number"
1998 Damon Stacy Phillips Main cast
1999 Grown Ups Donna Recurring cast
2000-01 The $treet Donna Pasqua Main cast
2002-03 One on One Natalie Odessa Recurring cast: season 2-3
2004-05 Second Time Around Coco Herrera Main cast
2006 Ghost Whisperer Christine Nelson Episode: "The Ghost Within"
2009 CHICK: Within Me Lives a Superhero Wildfire Episode: "Episode #1.1 & #1.5"
2010 Castle Liz Penn Episode: "A Deadly Game"
2011 Reed Between the Lines Gabriella Jimenez Main cast: season 1
2013 Shameless Tina Episode: "May I Trim Your Hedges?"
2015 Single Ladies Austin Aguilera Main cast: season 4
2017 Family Time Shauna Episode: "College Bound"
2018 Criminal Minds Adele McCord Episode: "Bad Moon on the Rise"
Elementary Luz Horowitz Episode: "The Visions of Norman P. Horowitz"
Ladies of the Law Tina Main cast
2019 On Becoming a God in Central Florida Mirta Herrera Recurring cast
2021 Black Lightning Ana Lopez Recurring cast: Season 4
Our Kind of People Alex Rivera Recurring cast
2022 The Best Man: The Final Chapters Shelby Main cast


  1. ^ "The Roster". Panamanian Council of New York. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2008-07-15.

External linksEdit