Melissa hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota. After graduating from Minnesota State University with theater as one of her majors, she was cast as Madeline Monroe in Hey City Theater's production of Tony & Tina's Wedding. Melissa had more than 600 performances before she went on to work as a writer and performer at the improvisational comedy theater The Brave New Workshop. While with the Brave New Workshop, she also performed at the Chicago Improv Festival and the Big Stink Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas.
Melissa made her film debut as Hooker #2 in the Coen brothers' Oscar-winning movie Fargo. She recently wrapped the family comedy Recipe For Disaster and appeared in the feature comedy How High with Fred Willard, Hector Elizondo, Spalding Gray and Method Man. She also recently went back to her comedy roots as the host of 15 Minutes of Fem, a comedy showcase for women presented at the Egyptian Theatre and continues to write her own material with a one-woman show in the works.
Peterman currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, fellow actor John Brady, and their son, Riley.