Melody attended the University of Southern California, where she majored in music. She began her show business career at the age of three under the tutelage of renowned coach Ethel Meglin, who helped launch the career of Shirley Temple. Melody studied singing, tap dancing, ballet and jazz and became one of the Meglin Kiddies, performing at U.S.O. shows in Southern California. Melody made her motion picture debut at age eight in the Alfred Hitchcock film Marnie.
Melody is married to Edward Scott, executive producer of The Young and the Restless. In 1989, they co-founded the Save the Earth Foundation, an organization that endeavors to create awareness about environmental issues. The couple has three daughters, Alexandra, Jennifer and Elizabeth.
She joined the cast of the Young and Restless as Nikki Reed Newman in February 1979. She was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress Daytime Emmy in 1999.
Melody's prior television credits have included a recurring role on the CBS series The Waltons. She has also appeared on My Three Sons and Ironside. Additional television credits include the miniseries Studs Lonigan and the made-for-television movies Moviola and Secrets.
She has co-starred in films with some of Hollywood's most popular leading men, including The Shootist with John Wayne and Dirty Harry with Clint Eastwood. She appeared twice with the legendary Kirk Douglas in the films Posse and The Fury