Melinda Clarke Joins the Cast of 'The Vampire Diaries'
Kris De Leon
Kris De Leon
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Vampire Diaries fans have another reason to celebrate when the show returns with new episodes beginning Thursday, January 21. According to Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello, Melinda Clarke, who is perhaps best known for her role as Julie Cooper on The O.C., is heading to Mystic Falls. She'll be stirring up trouble as Kelly Donovan, Matt's irresponsible, hard-drinking absentee mother.

This shouldn't be a problem for Clarke, who is no stranger to playing "unfit mother" roles.  On The O.C., she wooed viewers as the cunning and manipulative mother of Mischa Barton's Marissa Cooper. Clarke was initially set to appear in a few episodes but due to the extreme popularity of her character, she was eventually added as a series regular. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if Clarke goes beyond her three-episode arc on The Vampire Diaries unless she's one of the unlucky ones who bites the dust.

Clarke, who has also appeared as Lady Heather on CSI and most recently as Melinda on Entourage, will make her Vampire Diaries debut in March. Stay tuned for more details!

(Image courtesy of FOX)