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THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100

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    62. Melanie Cook
    Melanie Cook
    Partner, Ziffren Brittenham*

    Cook isn't the highest-ranked talent lawyer on this list simply because of her A-list client roster of directors (Tim Burton, Sam Mendes), producers (Scott Rudin, Richard Zanuck) and actors (Keanu Reeves). She's also a tireless philanthropist, lending her time and money to causes like Big Brothers/Big Sisters and THR's mentorship program while motivating hundreds of friends in the industry to get involved. "It's just part of who I am, I've always been crazy busy with my charities," she says.

    PHOTOS: THR's 2011 Women in Entertainment Power 100

    The daughter of a California judge, Cook studied dance at UCLA before deciding to put her own spin on the family business. She became the first female partner at the powerhouse Ziffren Brittenham firm at a time when few women were practicing entertainment law, and she now works to mentor young people in the business.

    In November, she accompanied fellow Power 100 women including CBS' Nina Tassler, WME's Nancy Josephson and attorney Jeanne Newman, on an outreach trip to Jerusalem. And with her kids grown, she and her husband of 26 years have been enjoying their new house near the water in Hermosa Beach: "I now have a monster paddleboard."

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