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Merle Dandridge is a Japanese-American actress who was born in Okinawa, Japan. Dandridge is primarily a stage actress, but has had several roles in television. She has gained a wider audience as the voice of Alyx Vance in the award-winning action game Half-Life 2 and its sequels, Episode One, Episode Two.
Her father was an African-American US serviceman from Memphis and her mother was a local Okinawan of Korean and Japanese descent. As well as Okinawa, Dandridge has lived in Sacramento, California, at Beale Air Force Base, and later at Offutt Air Force Base (home to the then-Strategic Air Command) in Bellevue, Nebraska, where she spent the majority of her childhood. She attended Papillion La Vista High School and participated in the play production class and theater department there.
She then attended the Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University (currently called the Chicago College of Performing Arts) with a scholarship that she earned at the International Thespian Festival.