In this photo: Marina Pearl LeBlanc in the arms of her parents, Melissa McKnight and Matt LeBlanc | Source: Industrious.
Melissa McKnight, the British delight that had robbed the hearts of many men back in the day and the feature of top magazines, is also the one that has failed to earn the hearts that matter the most, her spouses.
Born: March 10, 1965 (age 55 years), United States
Children: Marina Pearl LeBlanc, Jacqueline Esposito, Tyler Esposito
Spouse: Matt LeBlanc (m. 2003–2006), Anthony Esposito (m. 1990–1996) (Described below)
Though she got to be in the spotlight after her marriage to the famous “Friends” actor, Matt LeBlanc, she had been on his side before he got fame and love from the world. But sadly just like all the good things in the world, the perfect couple that they made wasn’t one to last.
It was, however, not Melissa’s shortcomings at being a wife that called off the wedding, but the disloyalty of Matt Leblanc. Despite Melissa being the one who had been there through all the ups and downs of his life and career, he wasn’t there for her.
Childhood And Upbringing
Melissa, often known by the name “Missy”, was born in England on March 10, 1965, and then, later on, moved to America with her family at a young age.
Besides her birthday and the nickname of “Missy”, there really isn’t much that she has revealed to the media from her interviews and interactions. It truly is surprising how she has kept this room of her personal life locked while being in the spotlight of showbiz more than once.
Melissa McKnight Career
Many of known Missy from her relationship with the star actor of Friends, Matt LeBlanc, but her own career began way before she had met him.
She began her career as a model for various fashion brands and commercials, where she hooked the eyes of top brands and magazines.
Having appeared on magazine covers like Elle, The Cosmopolitan, and Vogue she had made a successful enough modeling career, This was when she enchanted our favorite Joey Tribbiani aka Matt Lablanc.
Rising to fame from her modeling and brand representations, she aired on the big screen for the first time in 2001. It was a movie called Amine Bitar, Triangles, and Tribulations.
The movie centers around a professor who falls in love with Triangle and desires to become the best in the world at it. Though she did not receive much time on the screen, she did manage to get herself a deal on VH1: Access, from where she would start on her journey to better roles.
Her fame rose high enough to bring her on the pedestal of “The 31st Annual People’s Choice Awards” in 2005. But as it was high time for her career to thrive, she could not invest herself as much because of struggles of motherhood to Marina LaBlanc in her early days of life.
Followed by the heartbreaking separation of the ship-worthy couple of the time, Melissa LeBlanc did not get enough courage to step back into the light of her career but instead stepped back to take on her duties to her ill daughter.
Being the charmer that she was, Melissa McKnight tried the blinds of love twice in her life. She married twice and got a divorce both times.
Anthony Esposito was the go-to bassist for any Rock band back in the days. He made his first debut with the Lynch Mob in 1989, also the year he met the gorgeous Melissa.
Esposito is not only known for his heart-full riffs from the bass but also for his creative songwriting and recording studio.
He owns his own recording studio in Dillsburg, PA, and is affiliated with Guns N Roses (the deal, however, never happened for some unknown reasons) gives him a big name and talent in the rock Genre.
After meeting Esposito in 89’, Melissa dated him for a happy one year and got married in the next one. There is not much light in the showbiz on this marriage and relationship, and neither do we get much from Melissa McKnight to know.
After having two children, a boy and a girl, something didn’t seem to go right and the two got separated only to be divorced a year later in 1997.
There is not much about Matt LeBlanc that we don’t already know, his time on the famous friends show had earned the struggling actor enough attention from the audiences . But he wasn’t always the TV star that we see him to be today.
He is best known for his appearance in the Heinz commercial where he lands a Heinz over a building. The exuberant performance attracted big names like KFC, Doritos, and Levi’s to cast him in the commercials.
Though not a sudden jump, his career has been a gradual climb to success. He appeared in a number of music videos and made his introduction to T.V in the 90s with the likes of Charlie’s Angels. Melissa met LeBlanc in 1997 when they were both introduced by a mutual friend, Lou Diamond Phillips.
As stated by LeBlanc himself during the happy days of his marriage to Melissa that she was the support and help that he had never asked for.
The two grew fond of each other upon the first meet and had a romantic first year of dating. They would live to be fiance for the next six years as LeBlanc proposed Missy in 1998.
While the two enjoyed the soft breezes of love, LeBlanc saw a pike in his career as he was cast as Joey in the famous Friends T.V series.
The two had an admiring relationship and thriving careers during their time of engagement as Melissa got her first movie and T.V series cast as well post 2001.
They finally got to marry and tie the knot in 2003 in Hawaii, which was known to be the biggest celebrity gathering at that time. All the main characters from Friends weren’t to miss something that big and were all present there along with some other big names.
Melissa had a daughter with Matt, and after a struggling few years of marriage, the couple broke up and got a divorce in October 2008 because of LeBlanc’s excessive womanizing and infidelity.
Why Her Marriage To LeBlanc Had Failed?
As happy as the couple seemed to be for the years since their engagement, they both had a rough time to see after marriage.
Two years after the big day, they had a daughter who was born with a rare brain disease, “Cortical Dysplasia”. It is a threatening disease to the child because it obstructs the child’s ability to talk by affecting the vocal cords and ability to talk, as stated by LeBlanc.
The difficult time for the happy couple had them both take breaks from their careers and give in all they could to help their daughter fight the disease. Thankfully Marina outgrew the condition 8 months later.
Another thing that followed the happiness of Marina’s well-being was the world-wide fame of Matt LeBlanc he got from the T.V Series Friends. The couple had more than a few bumps along the way as there was always doubt about the loyalty of Matt.
Melissa McKnight has remained unmarried after the second separation and divorce, whereas LeBlanc has had a couple of failed relationships after that as well.
Melissa had two children from her first marriage, Tyler, Born 1991, and Jacquelyn, born 1993. Just like the rest of her personal life, there is not much on the mainstream that Melissa has shared about the upbringing and life of her children except for their healthy relationship with her. Both her kids for the first marriage attended her marriage to LeBlanc.
The prodigal child that stepped into fame from her birth was the one who was introduced from her marriage to Matt LeBlanc. We know more about her daughter Marina because of Matt’s expressive and unconditional love for her.
Marina was diagnosed with a rare brain condition at birth that could possibly risk her walking and talking in the future.
Despite many hard times, there came a moment of relief as the attention, love, and care given to her by her parents bore fruit and Marina overcame the illness.
Melissa and LeBlanc co-parent their daughter and decided not to go to a court for her custody. She spends nourishing time with her mother and full-of-life time with her father. LeBlanc takes her outdoors to keep the stigma of modern-day gadgets taking away the simpler pleasures of childhood.
Some More About Matt LeBlanc
Matt LeBlanc, born in Massachusetts in July of 1967, played the famous Joey we know from friends. Despite “Friends” being the peak achievement of his life, that is not all that his career is confined to.
He moved to New York City in pursuit of his Modeling Dream, which was shunned away from due to his short height.
Taking the blow to come back stronger, LeBlanc tried his luck in acting and made it to commercials soon after that. He first starred in the commercial for Heinz, after which the bigger brand names followed. His acting career began by 1991 with him starring in the sitcom, Married…With Children.
His continuous pursuit of fulfilling his dream of becoming a star was met with substance when he starred in the NBC sitcom “Friends”
A top-quality show doubled with his amazing acting brought heights to his career that he had set out to achieve in the first place. He has been nominated thrice in the Golden Globe Awards, and has won one.
Following the breakup with his wife, Melissa, and the end of the series “Friends”, LeBlanc’s return to the big picture was in “Episodes”, a BBC Series. BBC had more for LeBlanc other than the series as he was to replace Jeremy Clarkson in the most-watched car show of the age, Top Gear, and star beside Henry Cavil 2016 onward.