With a degree in drama and literature from the University of Pennsylvania, Melissa Fitzgerald made her onscreen debut alongside Denis Leary and Famke Janssen in the Irish gangster drama "Monument Ave. " (1998) That same year and again in 2000, Fitzgerald appeared in bit roles opposite her then husband, Noah Emmerich, in the reality-TV fable "The Truman Show" and the time-traveling family drama "Frequency." Her role as Melanie in the feature-length dramedy "Love & Sex" (which again reunited the actress with Emmerich and Janssen) primed her for a long line of similarly indie-natured romantic tales, including the country-doctor drama "Simple Things," the dark rom-com-cum-political-satire "This Is Not a Test," and such shorts as "In an Instant," and "What She Really Wants." In an appropriate nod to her politically involved mother, Fitzgerald is perhaps most widely recognized as Carol Fitzpatrick, the assistant to the White House Press Secretary on the hit dramatic series "The West Wing" (1999-2006). A prominent contributor to global causes herself, the actress won top honors in a Darfur writing contest sponsored by the New York Times. Fitzgerald is also the founder of a Los-Angeles-based community theater known as Voices in Harmony.