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Born and raised in New York City by Panamanian parents, MELISSA DE SOUSA (Shelby) attended the renowned High School of Performing Arts. De Sousa began her career as a dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater before transitioning into acting.

Most recently, De Sousa starred on BET Networks' Reed Between the Lines, where she played Gabriella Jimenez, a passionate Puerto Rican from New York, and starred alongside Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Girlfriends).

De Sousa starred opposite Matthew Perry in the TNT made-for-television movie The Ron Clark Story. She is best known for her performance as Shelby from Universal Pictures' The Best Man, for which she earned an NAACP Image Award nomination.

De Sousa's other film work includes Lisa Cholodenko's Laurel Canyon, with Frances McDormand; Donald Petrie's Miss Congeniality, opposite Sandra Bullock; and the indie hit Constellation, alongside Zoe Saldana.

De Sousa's additional television credits include Second Time Around; One on One; Darren Star's The $treet; Valley of the Dolls; and Damon, with Damon Wayans. Her guest-starring credits include Castle and Shameless, among others.

De Sousa currently resides in Los Angeles.

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