Melinda Heather "Mindy" Cohn (born May 20, 1966) is an American actress, voice actress, comedian and singer. She is known for her role as Natalie Green, the student of Edna Garrett (played by Charlotte Rae) in the long-running sitcom The Facts of Life, and for being the voice of Velma Dinkley in the Scooby-Doo franchise from 2002 to 2015. She resides in Beverly Hills.[3]

Early life and career

Cohn was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1966, and was raised Jewish.[4] She was discovered by actress Charlotte Rae when Rae and other producers of The Facts of Life visited Westlake School in Bel Air, California, while doing research for the show.[5] Cohn was cast as Natalie Green and portrayed the character for the series' entire run (1979–88), as well as in the reunion movie (2001). Her work on The Facts of Life was honored when she was ranked 43rd on VH1's List of 100 Greatest Kid Stars. She said in 2013 with Charlotte Rae falling in love with Mindy's character: "Mr. Reynolds calls me into his office. It seemed that Charlotte Rae had fallen madly in love with me, in part because I reminded her of her best childhood friend Natalie — and I was irrepressible, charming, and hilarious. So she asked the producers to create a part for me in the show. Honestly, the whole thing seemed so fantastic I didn’t know what to think." After the show, she still remains friends with Rae. Just 2 months before her acting mentor's 90th Birthday in 2016, when Cohn was unavailable to attend The Facts of Life reunion interview, she even bestowed Rae a video message praising her decades-long friend for teaching Cohn the craft of acting.[6]

Education

Cohn has a degree in cultural anthropology from Loyola Marymount University[7] and is a founding member of the weSpark cancer support center.[8]

Later career

Cohn has continued her acting career outside of The Facts of Life. In 1984 she had a leading role as the daughter alongside Stockard Channing in RKO's video production of "Table Settings". In 1986, she appeared in The Boy Who Could Fly playing the part of Geneva. She also had guest appearances in other popular TV shows, including Charles in Charge (playing Buddy's sister Bunny, a young alcoholic, in the 1988 episode "Bottle Baby"), and two guest appearances in the second season of the cop drama 21 Jump Street (playing Rosa in the 1987 episode "Christmas In Saigon" and the 1988 episode "Chapel of Love"). In 2004 Cohn appeared in the WB comedy The Help. In 2010, Cohn played the role of Violet, the leading character in Casper Andreas's movie Violet Tendencies, and appeared on the Season 8 premiere of TLC's What Not to Wear on October 29, 2010. She appeared in an episode of Hot in Cleveland on July 13, 2011, on The Secret Life of the American Teenager on March 26, 2012, and in The Middle on May 21, 2014.

Cohn said that one of the reasons she did The Facts of Life Reunion in 2001 was that the actors in the long-running series have been wrongly denied a cut of the syndication and DVD profits from the series. "We all never got paid and still don't get paid for DVDs and reruns ... we felt we were owed."[9]

Cohn reprised her Velma Dinkley role in Lego Dimensions.

Personal life

Cohn has never married and has no children.[10][11] She is also a strong supporter of the LGBT community and has stated that she is proud to be a "fag hag."[10][11]

Accolades

In 2003 Cohn was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on the TV show What's New, Scooby-Doo?, for which she provided the voice of Velma Dinkley. She reprised her role of Velma on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and in several Scooby-Doo movies.

She received a positive notice from Variety for her role in the 2007 Daniel Waters' comedy film Sex and Death 101.[12]

Filmography

Actress

YearTitleRoleNotes
1979–1988The Facts of LifeNatalie GreenMain cast (202 episodes)
1980Diff'rent StrokesNatalie GreenEpisode: "The Slumber Party"
1981Diff'rent StrokesNatalie GreenEpisode: "The Older Man"
1982The Facts of Life Goes to ParisNatalie GreenTV film
1985Double TroubleJanie BlakemoreEpisode: "Funny Girl"
1986The Boy Who Could FlyGeneva GoodmanFeature film
1986Friday Night VideosHerself (host)Episode dated September 19, 1986
1987The Facts of Life Down UnderNatalie GreenTV film
198721 Jump StreetSal's WifeEpisode: "Christmas in Saigon"
198821 Jump StreetRosa BanducciEpisode: "Chapel of Love"
1988Charles in ChargeBunny LembeckEpisode: "Bottle Baby"
1991Dream OnMarieEpisode: "Toby or Not Toby"
1993–1994The Second HalfMaureen TuckerMain cast (13 episodes)
1999Suddenly SusanCindyEpisode: "Revenge of the Gophers"
1999The Chimp ChannelCandy Yuponce (voice)Main cast (13 episodes)
2001Alone with a StrangerToniFeature film
2001Virtually CaseyJoanne CollinsTV film
2001The Facts of Life ReunionNatalie GreenTV film (The Wonderful World of Disney)
2002Under the GunGaleFeature film
2003One on OneMs. SorelEpisode: "Daddy, I Don't Need an Edumacation"
2003SwingMarthaFeature film
2004The HelpMaggie, the CookMain cast (7 episodes)
2005The Adventures of Tango McNorton: Licensed HeroLunch LadyShort film
2005The Third WishBridgetteFeature film
2007Sex and Death 101TrixieFeature film
2010Violet TendenciesVioletFeature film
2011Hot in ClevelandCassieEpisode: "Love Thy Neighbor"
2012The Secret Life of the American TeenagerDylan's MomRecurring role (8 episodes)
2013Holiday Road TripArtieTV film
2014The MiddleKimberlyEpisode: "The Wonderful World of Hecks"
2014Operation MarriageKathyShort film
2014BonesValentinaEpisode: "The Puzzler in the Pit"
2014FreakMeAprilTV pilot episode (unaired)
2015You're Killing MeKarenFeature film
2016Worst Cooks in AmericaHerself (contestant)Season 9: Celebrity Edition 2 (8 episodes)
2016A Cinderella ChristmasZeldaTV film
2017Hollywood DirtThelmaFeature film (currently filming)

Animation

YearTitleVoice roleNotes
1999–2001The Kids from Room 402Nancy FrancisTV series (34 episodes)
2002–2006What's New, Scooby-Doo?Velma DinkleyTV series (41 episodes)
2003Dexter's LaboratoryLibrarianEpisode: "Voice Over/Blonde Leading the Blonde/Comic Stripper"
2003Kim PossibleMs. WhispEpisode: "Naked Genius"
2004Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness MonsterVelma DinkleyDirect-to-video film
2005Aloha, Scooby-Doo!Direct-to-video film
2005Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy?Direct-to-video film
2006Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy!Direct-to-video film
2006Family GuyNatalie GreenEpisode: "Prick Up Your Ears"
2006Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!Velma DinkleyEpisodes: "Shags to Riches" and "Almost Ghosts"
2007Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!Direct-to-video film
2008Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin KingDirect-to-video film
2009Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai SwordDirect-to-video film
2010Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-DooDirect-to-video film
2010–13Scooby-Doo! Mystery IncorporatedTV series (52 episodes)
2010Scooby-Doo! Camp ScareDirect-to-video film
2011Batman: The Brave and the BoldVelma Dinkley / Ticket GirlEpisode: "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases!"
2011Scooby-Doo! Legend of the PhantosaurVelma DinkleyDirect-to-video film
2012Scooby-Doo! Music of the VampireDirect-to-video film
2012Scooby-Doo! Spooky GamesDirect-to-video short
2012Big Top Scooby-Doo!Direct-to-video film
2012Scooby-Doo! Haunted HolidaysDirect-to-video short
2013Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue FalconDirect-to-video film
2013Scooby-Doo! Stage FrightDirect-to-video film
2013Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky ScarecrowDirect-to-video short
2013Scooby-Doo! Mecha Mutt MenaceDirect-to-video short
2014Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania MysteryDirect-to-video film
2014Scooby-Doo! Ghastly GoalsDirect-to-video short
2014Scooby-Doo! FrankencreepyDirect-to-video film
2015Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster MadnessDirect-to-video film
2015Scooby-Doo! and the Beach BeastieDirect-to-video short
2015Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll MysteryDirect-to-video film

Video games

YearTitleRoleNotes
2004Scooby-Doo! Mystery MayhemVelma DinkleyVoice role
2005Scooby-Doo! UnmaskedVoice role
2006Scooby-Doo! Who's Watching Who?Voice role
2009Scooby-Doo! First FrightsVoice role
2010Scooby-Doo! and the Spooky SwampVoice role
2015Lego DimensionsVoice role