Merle Dandridge

Merle Dandridge biography
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Interesting Biography Facts

Real name

Merle Andrea Dandridge


TV and theater actress, dancer, singer

Birth Date

May 31, 1975


46 years

Zodiac Sign



Okinawa, Japan


Papillion La Vista High School; Roosevelt University in Chicago



Merle Dandridge family members

Father's Name

Andrew Dandridge

Mother's Name

Kiyoko Pedersen

Siblings names

at least four siblings, two of them are dead

Is Merle Dandridge a lesbian/bisexual?


What is Merle Dandridge marital status?


Who is Merle Dandridge husband?

Christopher Johnston (ex-husband)

Merle Dandridge husband

Christopher Johnston (ex-husband; were married in 2011-2019)

Christopher Johnston husband Merle Dandridge


Merle tied a knot with Christopher Johnston on May 21, 2011. They exchanged the votes at a closed private ceremony, and Merle’s fans knew, that she had gotten married, just when she mentioned her husband in her interview with “Architectural Digest”. Then she confessed, that kissing her husband and their pet –a terrier – was the first thing she did when she came home from work.

In 2019 the actress filed for divorce. It turned out, that the couple had already lived separately to that moment. The marriage was officially ended that very year.

Who are Merle Dandridge parents?

Andrew Dandridge (father)

Andrew Dandridge father Merle Dandridge


Date of birth: September 28, 1942

The name of Merle’s father is Andrew Dean Dandridge. The actress has never told, whether her parents still live together, or they have separated. In any case, she maintains warm close relationships with her dad.

Her father resides in Council Bluffs, IA. His occupation is not publicized. Nevertheless, it was he, who inspired Merle to try dancing.

Kiyoko Pedersen (mother)

Kiyoko Pedersen mother Merle Dandridge


Date of birth: April 8, 1942

Merle is especially close to her mother, Kiyoko Sang Pedersen. The woman is of Korean-Japanese origin, and she came to the USA without knowing English, just with the hope in her heart. The mother of 5 children, she knows, what it means to lose the kid because two of them died.

Kiyoko earned her living as a nurse. She worked a lot to maintain her kids. Besides, she taught her daughter to love and understand nature and to make her home cozy, using various Feng shui tips. Besides, she is a great chef. Till now Merle’s favorite dish is an Asian-style ramyun, cooked by Mama Kiyoko. This food looks like a strong beef bouillon and a crackled egg.

Merle Dandridge siblings

One late sister

Merle used to tell in her Mother’s Day letter, that her mother had an infant girl, who died in a hospital to the fault of the doctor. That had a dramatic effect on her mom, but she managed to get control of herself and move on.

Other three siblings

In that very Mother’s Day letter Merle told, that her mom gave birth to five kids in general, but two of them (including an infant girl) she lost. So as of 2020, Merle has at least two siblings, but there’s no information about them at all.


The famous actress Merle Dandridge gained initial popularity at the Broadway. She played the part of Lady of the Lake in the award-winning musical “Spamalot”. Besides, she was busy with the musicals “Tarzan”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Rent” and many others. In addition to her stage work, she boasts with many screen roles, which include Nikki on “Third Watch”, Leah on “Suits”, Charlotte on “Rosewood” and many others.

Merle Andrea Dandridge is a person of an interesting fate. She was born in Japan but raised in Nebraska. She started performing in Papillion La Vista High School when she chose drama as an optional school subject. She entered Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she continued her train as an actress, and at the end of her studying, she had already become a well-prepaid professional performer.

She debuted on Broadway, being still a college student in 2000. Merle’s talent was noticed by the casting director Bernie Telsey, who encouraged her to start her career. Her first show was named “Jesus Christ Superstar”. After a long time on Broadway, where she sang, danced, and created great roles, she moved her way on television. This work she likes even more because she considers herself a morning person, but she had to start her working day late at night, when she performed on Broadway. Among her recent screen appearances, there’s the main role in Oprah Winfrey drama series “Greenleaf”.

Interesting and fun facts

  1. She participated in international tours around Europe and the USA five times. Besides, she took part in lots of theater events, including the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
  2. Merle Dandridge is single as of 2020. She doesn’t have any kids.
  3. He is known in the world of video games, too. Merle voices Alyx Vance in the shooter “Half Life 2” and Evelyn in the action game “Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End”.
  4. The favorite song, which she sings in the shower, depends on her mood. She likes Whitney Houston’s “All My Love for You” when she feels quite bold and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” of the same performer when she wants to party a little. In any case, Merle likes Whitney’s songs, but considers them as hard to perform, so she enjoys them when she is alone.
  5. Her friends nicknamed her as “Squirrel” because of Merle’s funny manner to behave in a tight circle of her friends. Besides, her name rhymes with this word.
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