Melinda Leanna Shankar joined the cast of Degrassi in its eighth season as Sav's little sister, Alli. Prior to this, she did runway and print modeling. In 2008, Melinda traveled to Ecuador with the organization "Free The Children." In 2011 Melinda traveled again with FTC, this time to Haiti. Documentaries of the trips were made for MTV and MuchMusic in Canada. In 2009, Melinda made her lead role debut as Indie Mehta for the YTV series How to Be Indie and for her work was nominated for a Gemini Award for "Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program."

Melinda played the role of Janie Gibb in the Disney Channel original movie Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars and also starred with Aidan Quinn in the independent film The Festival of Lights, for which she received a Best Actress award at the Ibiza Film Festival in Spain. The movie was filmed on location in New York City and Guyana. Melinda has a black belt in karate and has been studying martial arts for over 15 years. She also started taking ballet, pointe, and other forms of dance at only three years old. In February 2010, Melinda accepted an award for Actress of the Year at the Anokhi Magazine Gala.

In early 2013, Melinda appeared as Kaitlyn in Shawn Desman's 30-minute music and dance infused special for MuchMusic. In March 2013 Melinda nabbed a Canadian Screen Award for "Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program" for her role in How to be Indie. Most recently, Melinda co-hosted (alongside Degrassi castmate Munro Chambers) Free The Children's first U.S. "We Day" event in Seattle. She has explained that she is on good terms with all of her cast mates, but she is closest to Jessica TylerDylan Everett, Scott Paterson, Luke Bilyk, Munro Chambers, Alicia Josipovic and Aislinn Paul.


  • She is an Aquarius.
  • She is of Indo-Guyanese origin.
  • Despite the fact that her character Alli broke up with Johnny before Degrassi: The Next Generation's prom, Melinda took Scott Paterson (Johnny DiMarco) to her actual prom.
  • She has been doing ballet and tap-dancing since she was three years old.
  • She is a huge fan of the Backstreet Boys.
  • Her favourite fast food restaurant is McDonald's.
  • Her favourite Bollywood movie is Slumdog Millionaire.
  • Her favourite Hollywood movie is A Walk To Remember.
  • Her favourite book is The Outsiders.
  • She wears glasses, just not on the show.
  • Something quirky about her no one would know: "I am deathly afraid of anything involving the afterlife and ghosts and spirits - to the point of not going in my own basement without someone with me."
  • Her favourite feature on the opposite sex: "I LOVE defined cheek and jaw bones!"
  • She was featured on MTV's Cribs.
  • She has a tattoo that says Live.
  • Her Tumblr.
  • Her favourite cast member before she joined Degrassi was Cassie Steele. Source
  • She is allergic to cats.
  • She doesn't allow people to walk on her carpet with their shoes on.
  • Her inspired career after Degrassi is to be a Rapper like Degrassi Star, "Drake". Source
  • She was on Degrassi for 7 years.
  • She and her co-star Raymond Ablack auditioned together for Isabelle and Alec Lightwood in Shadowhunters but only Raymond got cast in a role.
  • She is only one day younger than Judy Jiao.


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