Meredith Dawn Salenger is an American actress who came to prominence for portraying the titular character in the film ‘The Journey of Natty Gann’, Lainie Diamond in the movie ‘Dream a Little Dream’, and Lisa Sanders in the series ‘Hollywood Heights’. A native Californian, Salenger received her degree in psychology from Harvard University. She subsequently earned certificates in "Court-Based Mediation of Family Law Matters" and "Mediating the Litigated Case" from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. When she is not working on films or TV shows, she serves as a mediator for the Agency for Dispute Resolution in Beverly Hills, California. In 1982, Salenger made her screen debut in an uncredited role in the comedy drama ‘Annie’. At the time she was about 12 years old. She continued to act until her 18th birthday after which she took a hiatus to attend Harvard. After she returned to acting, she began to gradually build an impressive filmography. Over the course of a nearly four-decade-long career, Salenger has been associated with about 70 projects. In 1986, she won the Young Artist Award for Best Starring Performance by a Young Actress - Motion Picture for her performance in ‘The Journey of Natty Gann’.
Childhood & Early Life
Meredith Salenger was born in a Jewish family in Malibu, California, USA, on March 14, 1970. Her parents are interior designer Dorothy Salenger and dentist Gary Salenger. Since she was a child, she was interested in acting and used to perform before her relatives and friends. When she was eight years old, her mother enrolled her in an acting class.
Between 1988 and 1992, Salenger studied at Harvard University, pursuing a degree in psychology and graduating cum laude. She later completed two courses, "Court-Based Mediation of Family Law Matters" and “Mediating the Litigated Case" from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, at Pepperdine University School of Law in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
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Meredith Salenger began her career in 1982, portraying an orphan dancer in the comedy drama film ‘Annie’. She was subsequently cast to play the titular character in the family adventure ‘The Journey of Natty Gann’.
In 1986, she made her small screen debut in a season 30 episode of ‘The Magical World of Disney’. That year, she also starred in the television film ‘The Last Frontier’
In 1988, she worked with River Phoenix and Ann Magnuson in ‘A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon’. Directed by William Richert, the film garnered her a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama nomination.
In 1988, she also appeared in the horror film ‘The Kiss’; for which she was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.
After she turned 18, she temporarily left acting to study at Harvard. Following her return to the world of entertainment, she appeared in films like ‘Lake Placid’ (1999) and ‘The Third Wheel’ (2002).
In 2001, Salenger portrayed the recurring character Jane Ensler in the season two of Showtime’s drama series ‘Resurrection Blvd’. She made her debut as a voice actress in a 2004 episode of the animated series ‘Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!’
Between 2009 and 2013, Salenger voiced several characters, including Jedi Padawan Barriss Offee, Ione Marcy, and Che Amanwe Papanoida, in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’. She was also part of the cast of the 2015 live-action feature ‘Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens’.
Salenger lent her voice to multiple characters in the second, third, and fourth seasons of Cartoon Network’s animated series ‘Mad’.
In 2012, Salenger portrayed Lisa Sanders, a doting mother whose past has come back to haunt her, in Nick at Nite and TeenNick’s family-drama ‘Hollywood Heights’.
In 2018, she guest-starred in the episode ‘No Good Deed’ of season three of Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’. Salenger is set to star in the upcoming TV movie ‘Sleepovers’.
When she is not working on any films or TV shows, she fills the role of a mediator for the Agency for Dispute Resolution in Beverly Hills, California.
Meredith Salenger is best known for her debut role in the film ‘The Journey of Natty Gann.’ The film, which received positive reviews from the critics, also starred Lainie Kazan, John Cusack, and Ray Wise.
Family & Personal Life
Meredith Salenger has been married to actor and comedian Patton Oswalt since November 4, 2017. They had become engaged in July 2017 after meeting online in February.
Prior to this marriage, Oswalt was married to true crime writer and journalist Michelle McNamara, who passed away on April 21, 2016, due to both formerly undiagnosed medical conditions and issues involving prescribed medication.
In 2005, Salenger served as the featured artist on Koishii and Hush’s trance song ‘Flow Through Me’.