Melora Hardin’s First Apartment Was As Charming As She Is
Welcome to My First Apartment! Whether it’s your first studio, a four-bedroom deep in the city shared with a handful of roommates, or even an entire house (lucky you!), there’s something special about moving into the first place that’s truly your own. In this series, we’ll showcase actors, artists, entrepreneurs, and beyond—asking them to revisit that oh-so-sweet nostalgia of newly-found freedom.
You might have seen Melora Hardin most recently as Jacqueline Carlyle, “The Bold Type”‘s fearless editor-in-chief—guiding her millennial magazine staff (and learning a thing or two from them along the way). She’s the kind of boss we all wish we’d had to help us through our first jobs, the kind who knows how to both push you and protect you, and when you need which (often before you do).
Or you might remember her as Jan Levinson, Vice President of Northeast Sales for Dunder Mifflin on “The Office,” or as Tammy Cashman from her Emmy-nominated stint on “Transparent.” You could also recognize her from her numerous roles on your favorite classic TV binges—she’s accumulated a whopping 114 acting credits (according to IMDB) during her 40 years as an actress on shows like “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Quantum Leap,” “Friends,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “Monk.”
The bottom line? We’ve spent a *lot* of time on our own couches watching Hardin. And with that in mind, I thought it would be cool to venture back to when she was the one figuring everything out (even though her 20s could be considered mid-career for her!) Not surprisingly, her first apartment was actually more old-world bohemian than corporate cool, complete with Klimt prints, a big brass bed, and high-beamed ceilings.
Interested? Read on as she looks back on her first Los Angeles one-bedroom:
My First Apartment: Melora Hardin
City: Hollywood, California.
Neighborhood: Fairfax District.
Size: One bedroom.
Rent: Can’t remember exactly, but around $1,000 a month.
How you paid your rent: With the money I made from acting.
Why you decided to live there: I loved the building, the high ceilings, the neighborhood—I was taken with the old Tudor charm of the place. I could walk to everything.
What you did on the first night: I remember sitting on the floor of my gorgeous living room looking up at the beautiful beamed, very high ceiling, and just enjoying the space so much.
Set the scene in three words: Majestic, old-world-charm, bright.
Three things on your wall: a Klimt print of Danaë, a big antique mirror with gold frame, a framed picture of my naked back that my best friend took of me in college.
Who came over the most?: My boyfriend.
The craziest thing your neighbor ever did was: Complained to the landlord that I was making too much noise. It was ludicrous and the landlord had the gall to call my father, even though I was 22 years old. My awesome father thought it was outrageous that the landlord would call and “tell on me,” so he advised me to turn my music on louder. I was so proud of my Dad for handling it this way.
Thing you hated most about living there: My neighbors.
Thing you loved most about living there: The neighborhood. I could walk to everything.
One feature you’d never live with again: The teeny, tiny kitchen.
One feature you’d never live without: Beautiful hardwood floors.
Song that will always take you back: Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.”
Best memory: I remember a specific phone conversation with my then boyfriend (now husband) when we broke up for a period of time; he said to me, “Whatever happens, I’ll always love you.” He wasn’t lying!
Smell that will always remind you of it: Kind of a musty smell of wood beams.
Favorite piece of furniture: My antique brass bed.
What you had too much of: Time.
What you had too little of: I really had so much, I cannot think of anything that I had too little of.
Thing you wish you knew back then: Don’t compare your path to other people’s path.
What you did on the last night: Had Chinese food on the floor by candlelight.
Why did you move out?: It was time to move on.
Did you get the security deposit back?: Yes.
One item you still have today: Those art photographs my friend took of me in college.
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.