Mayim bialik wearing yellow flower dress.png
Mayim bialik wearing a day of the dead makeup and a yellow flower dress.png

Mayim Hoya Bialik (/ˈməm biˈɑːlɨk/my-im bee-ah-lik; born December 12, 1975) is an American actress and neuroscientist. From early January 1991 to May 1995, she played the title character of NBC's Blossom. Since May 2010, she has played Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS's The Big Bang Theory. She was nominated twice for thePrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on The Big Bang Theory.[1]

Contents[edit | edit source]

 [hide*1 Early life and education

Early life and education[edit][edit | edit source]

Bialik was born in San DiegoCalifornia, to Barry Bialik and Beverly Winkelman.[2] Her grandparents emigrated from PolandCzechoslovakia, and HungaryIsrael's national poet Hayim Nahman Bialik was Barry's patrilineal great-great-granduncle. Bialik was raised as a Reform Jew.[3]

Bialik attended Walter Reed Junior High School and graduated from North Hollywood High School in North HollywoodCalifornia as part of the class of 1993.[4] At the end of Blossom, she chose to attend UCLA, although she also had been accepted to both Harvard and Yale.[5][6] She stated that she wanted to stay close to her parents and did not want to move to the East Coast. She earned a B.S. degree in NeuroscienceHebrew studies, and Jewish studies,[7] and went on to obtain a doctorate in neuroscience. She took a break from studies in 2005 to return to acting.[8] Bialik obtained her Ph.D. degree in 2007.[9] Her dissertation was an investigation ofhypothalamic activity in patients with Prader–Willi syndrome.[10][11]

Career[edit][edit | edit source]

Bialik started her career as a child actress in the late 1980s. Her early roles included the horror film Pumpkinhead (1988), her first acting job,[12] and guest appearances on The Facts of Life and Beauty and the Beast. It was for her Beauty and the Beast work, in which she played a sewer-dwelling girl named Ellie who had about 10 lines of dialogue, that Bialik obtained her Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card.[13] She appeared in three episodes of MacGyver as Lisa Woodman. She appeared in Beaches (1988), playing Bette Midler's character as a young girl. She also appeared in the video for the song "Liberian Girl" by Michael Jackson.

Between 1995 and 2005, Bialik mostly did voice-over work for cartoons, such as The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest and Recess.In 1990, Bialik was tied to two television pilots, Fox's Molloy and NBC's BlossomMolloy at first produced six episodes for a tryout run, followed by the shooting of the pilot special for Blossom. The latter actually aired two weeks before Bialik's Fox series and ultimately garnered higher ratings than it. When Molloy folded after its six episodes, Blossom was pursued as a regular series, airing until 1995. She had a major part in the Woody Allen comedy film "Don't Drink the Water" in 1994.

She appeared in the feature film Kalamazoo? (2005) and appeared in three episodes of the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm as Jodi Funkhouser, the lesbian daughter of a friend of Larry David. Bialik also made guest appearances as a fictionalized version of herself in the series Fat Actress, and made a guest appearance in an episode of Saving Grace.[14] She had a recurring role as the high school guidance counselor in ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager.

In 2009, Bialik was nominated by Clinton Kelly for a makeover on TLC's What Not To Wear.[15]

She joined the cast of The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler. Her first appearance was in the season 3 finale as a potential love interest for the character of Sheldon Cooper(Jim Parsons). In Season 4, she began as a recurring character playing Sheldon's "friend that's a girl, but not a girlfriend." Beginning with Season 4, Episode 8, she became part of the main cast.[16] Amy is a neurobiologist, or neuroscientist, which corresponds to Bialik's real-life educational pursuits. Bialik's performance in The Big Bang Theory earned her Emmy Award nominations in 2012 and 2013 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Bialik was one of seven actresses who had a "quirky" personality to audition for the role.[17]

Prior to her joining the cast, in the episode "The Bat Jar Conjecture", Raj suggests recruiting the real-life Bialik to their Physics Bowl team, saying "You know who's apparently very smart, is the girl who played TV'sBlossom. She got a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or something." She is cast as one of the guest stars on the Steve Carell 2014 improvisational sketch show Riot.[18][19][20]

On March 6, 2012, her book, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, was released.[21]

Personal life[edit][edit | edit source]

Bialik married Michael Stone on August 31, 2003, in a Victorian-themed ceremony with traditional Jewish customs.[22] Michael was born into a Mormon family and converted to Judaism. Several years later, his mother converted to Judaism as well.[23][24] Bialik and Stone had two sons together:

  • Miles Roosevelt Bialik Stone (born 2005)
  • Frederick Heschel Bialik Stone (born 2008)[25]

In 2010, Bialik returned to television so that she could spend more time with her children and stated, "I'm glad that I completed my PhD and I'm very proud of it, but the life of a research professor would not have suited my needs in terms of what kind of parenting I wanted to do."[17] In November 2012, her marriage ended in divorce.[26]

In a 2012 interview, Bialik stated that she would call herself "aspiring Modern Orthodox".[27] Bialik also has described herself as a "staunch Zionist".[3] She has appeared in several YouTube cameos as Blossom and Amy Farrah Fowler[28] asking questions about Jewish beliefs. The videos are produced by Allison Josephs, Bialik's Judaism study partner, whom she met with the help of Partners in Torah.[29] Bialik has been criticized for supporting views that go against the findings of science, including anti-vaccine and homeopathy.[30]

Bialik is a celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network.[31]

Bialik is a vegan[32] and a founding member of the Shamayim V'Aretz Institute.[33]

Filmography[edit][edit | edit source]

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Beaches Young Cecilia "CC" Carol Bloom
1988 Pumpkinhead Wallace kid
1994 Don't Drink the Water Susan Hollander
2005 Kalamazoo? Maggie Goldman
2011 The Chicago 8 Nancy Kurshan
2011 The Dog Who Saved Halloween Medusa Voice only
2012 Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire Maria Voice only
Year Title Role Notes
1987 Beauty and the Beast Ellie Episode:

  • "No Way Down"
1988 The Facts of Life Jennifer Cole Episodes:

  • "The Beginning of the Beginning"
  • "The Beginning of the End"
1988–1989 Webster Frieda Eight episodes
1989–1990 Empty Nest Laurie Kincaid Episodes:

  • "The R.N. Who Came to Dinner"
  • "Harry Knows Best"
1989–1990 MacGyver Lisa Woodman Episodes:

  • "Cease Fire"
  • "Twenty Questions"
  • "Hearts of Steel"
1990 Doogie Howser, M.D. Candace Episode:

  • "Ask Dr. Doogie"
1990 Molloy Molloy Martin Canceled after seven episodes
1990 Murphy Brown Natalie Episode:

  • "I Want My FYI"
1990–1995 Blossom Blossom Russo *114 episodes
1991 Sea World's Mother Earth Celebration (on Nickelodeon) Herself
1992 The Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten Petey
1993 The Hidden Room Jillie Episode:

  • "Jillie"
1994 Don't Drink the Water Susan Hollander
1994–1995 The John Larroquette Show Rachel Episodes:

  • "The Book of Rachel"
  • "Rachel and Ton"
  • "Rachel Redux"
1995–1996 The Adventures of Hyperman Brittany Bright Episodes:

  • 1.1
  • "Oceans a Leavin'"

Voice only

1996–1999 Hey Arnold! Maria Episodes:

  • "6th Grade Girls/The Baseball"
  • "Dinner for Four/Phoebe Skips"

Voice only

1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Lucy Episode:

  • "The Alchemist"

Voice only

1996 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Julia/French Woman Episode:

  • "Assault on Questworld:

Voice only

1997–2003 Recess Kirsten Kurst Episodes:

  • "The Break-In"
  • "The Girl Was Trouble"
  • "The Ratings Game"

Voice only

1997 Johnny Bravo Tour Guide Episode:

  • "Going Batty/Berry the Butler/Red Faced in the White House"

Voice only

1997 Extreme Ghostbusters Girl in Future Episode:

  • "Ghost Apocalyptic Future

Voice only

1998 Welcome to Paradox Rita Episode:

  • "Alien Jane"
2003 7th Heaven Cathy Episode:

  • "Dick"
2003–2004 Kim Possible Justine Flanner Episodes:

  • "The Secret Files"
  • "Partners"

Voice only

2005 Katbot Paula Voice only
2005 Fat Actress Herself Episodes:

  • "The Koi Effect"
  • "Holy Lesbo Batman"
2005–2007 Curb Your Enthusiasm Jodi Funkhauser Episodes:

  • "The Bowtie"
  • "The TiVo Guy"
  • "The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial"
2009 Saving Grace Esther Episode:

  • "Mooooooooo"
2009 What Not To Wear Herself
2009 Bones Genie Gormon Episode:

  • "The Cinderella in the Cardboard"
2009 'Til Death Herself Episodes:

  • "The Break-Up"
  • "Merit Play"
  • "Baby Steps"
2010 The Secret Life of the American Teenager Dr. Wilameena Bink Episodes:

  • "You Don’t Know What You’ve Got..."
  • "Just Say Me"
  • "Let's Try That Again"
  • "The Rhythm of Life"
2010–present The Big Bang Theory Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler Guest role: Season 3

Main role: Season 4–Present

Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2003 X2: Wolverine's Revenge Bush Pilot, May Deuce Voice only

Awards and nominations[edit][edit | edit source]

Result Category Award Show
1988 Won Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Fantasy Young Artist Award
1990 Nominated Best Young Actress Guest Starring in a Television Series
1992 Nominated Best Young Actress in a New Television Series
1993 Nominated Outstanding Young Comedian in a Television Series
2012-2013 Nominated Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Primetime Emmy Award
Nominated Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Screen Actors Guild Award
2012 Nominated Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film Satellite Award
2014 Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Screen Actors Guild Award
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