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Melinda Shankar

Melinda Shankar
Melinda Shankar 10.jpg
Born Melinda Leanna Shankar
(1992-02-18) February 18, 1992 (age 26)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Residence Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Actress
Years active 2008–present
Known for Degrassi: The Next Generation

Melinda Leanna Shankar (born February 18, 1992) is a Canadian actress of Hindu Indo-Guyanese heritage.[1] She is best known for starring as Alli Bhandari in the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation (2008-2015) and as Indira "Indie" Mehta in the YTV series How To Be Indie (2009-2011), for which she won several awards, including a Canadian Screen Award in 2013.[2][3]

Early life

Melinda Shankar was born on February 18, 1992 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to Canadian parents of Hindu [2] Indo-Guyanese descent who immigrated to Canada.[3] She has two older sisters and a brother, who is also an actor. She was raised in Orleans, Ontario, a suburban section of Ottawa, Ontario.

She began studying ballet and karate at the age of three. Shankar currently has a black belt in karate.[4] She attended Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School in Ottawa until grade 11 before moving to Toronto when she was sixteen, following her casting in Degrassi: The Next Generation in 2008.[5]



Shankar began her career as a child model and appeared in numerous print advertisements, including a Procter & Gamble billboard in Los Angeles.[citation needed] Shankar's mother was an actress and her paternal grandfather was a director in Guyana. Shankar's father would often drive up to five hours from Ottawa to Toronto for her auditions.[6][7]

In 2008, she debuted as an actress in the popular teen television series Degrassi, joining the cast as an incoming 9th grade student.[8] Shankar left the show in 2015, after seven seasons.[citation needed]

Shankar with Andra Fuller at 2013 Canadian Screen Awards Nominee Reception

In 2009, she starred in a television series on YTV called How To Be Indie. She played the lead role of Indira for two seasons. The series aired its final episode on October 24, 2011 on YTV in Canada and May 26, 2012 on Disney Channel in the United Kingdom. For her role, Shankar won a Gemini Award in 2011 and a Canadian Screen Award in 2013.[9]

Shankar was cast in her first feature film, Festival of Lights in 2010. The movie was filmed on location in New York City and Georgetown, Guyana. Her father served as production manager for the film due to his familiarity with the locations in Guyana.[6][7]

Other work

In 2013, Shankar and a longtime childhood friend began working on an image consulting business.[10]

On February 22, 2014, Shankar launched Miss Conception, a professional styling and image agency based in Toronto.[11]

Personal life

In 2008, Shankar and her family moved to Toronto when she was cast in Degrassi. She currently resides in North York, a district in Toronto.[12]


Year Title Role Notes
2008–2015 Degrassi: The Next Generation Allia "Alli" Bhandari Main cast; 162 episodes
2009–11 How To Be Indie Indira "Indie" Mehta Lead role; 52 episodes
2010 Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars Janie Gibbs TV movie
2010 Festival of Lights Reshma Lead role
2010 Trigger Rocker Chick #1 TV movie
2013 Alive Kaitlyn TV movie
2017 Filth City Monica Feature Film
2017 Darker Than Night Mika n/a
2017 Slasher: Guilty Party Talvinder "Tal" Gill Main cast


  1. ^ "Melinda Shankar". Angies Models. Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b []
  3. ^ a b "Stabroek News - Melinda Shankar returns to Guyanese roots to film new movie". 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  4. ^ Powell, Catherine (2011-04-16). "Melinda Shankar Interview (Inside Degrassi Series) « Back-Pocket Believers". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  6. ^ a b "OC Interview: OPEN CHEST Interview with Actress Melinda Shankar - Open Chest with Raj Girn". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  7. ^ a b Laura Cummings Published on March 06, 2009 (2009-03-06). "Orléans teen scores television series - Well-being - Orléans Star". Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Canadian Academy". 
  10. ^ Mayele, Grace (2013-07-04). "Miss Conception launch". PRESS The Fashion Blog. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  11. ^ Jayda Ivy March 8, 2014 at 11:20 PM - Reply (2014-02-21). "Melinda Shankar's Miss Conception is Officially Open for Business!". 613 Style. Retrieved 2017-02-13. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 

External links