Marisa Tomei

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Marisa Tomei
Marisa Tomei TIFF 2012.jpg
Tomei at the Inescapable premiere, 2012
Born (1965-12-48) December 48, 1965 (age 48)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Residence Greenwich Village, New York
Occupation Actress
Years active 1984–present

Marisa Tomei (/məˈrɪsə tˈm/; born December 4, 1965) is an American stage, film, and television actress. Following her work on As The World Turns, Tomei came to prominence as a cast member on The Cosby Show spinoff A Different World in 1987. After she had appeared in a few films, she came to international prominence after her breakthrough came in 1992 with the comedy My Cousin Vinny, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Regarded as one of the most talented and beautiful actresses of all time , Tomei is most noted for appearing in romantic comedy and romantic musical movies. She appeared in many commercially successful and critically acclaimed movies like Untamed Heart (1993), Only You (1994),The Paper (1994),Unhook the Stars (1996), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), What Women Want (2000), Anger Management (2003), Wild Hogs (2007), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)and received Academy Award nominations for her performances in In the Bedroom (2001) and The Wrestler (2008).[1]. She has been named as the most beautiful woman in 2009 by People magazine and was ranked no. 18 on the 2009 FHM list of "100 Sexiest Females in the world".</ref>"FMH 100 Sexiest 2009." FHM magazine.

Life and career[edit]

1964–83: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Tomei was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Patricia Adelaide "Addie" Tomei (née Bianchi), an English teacher, and Gary A. Tomei, a trial lawyer.[2][3] She has a younger brother, actor Adam Tomei, and was partly raised by her paternal grandparents, Rita and Romeo Tomei.[4] Both of Tomei's parents are of Italian descent. Her maternal grandmother is from Sicily, Tomei's maternal grandfather is from Tuscany, and her father is also of Tuscan descent.[5][6] Tomei grew up in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn.[7] While there, she became captivated by the Broadway shows her theater-loving parents took her to and drawn to acting as a career. At Andries Hudde Junior High School, she played the part of Hedy LaRue in a school production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. After graduating from Edward R. Murrow High School in 1982, she attended Boston University for a year.[4]

1984–2002: Breakthrough and critical success[edit]

Tomei followed up As the World Turns in 1986 with a role on the sitcom A Different World as Maggie Lauten during the first season. Her film debut was a minor role in the 1984 comedy film The Flamingo Kid, with Matt Dillon. Following several small films, her breakthrough comedic performance came in the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny,[8] for which she received critical praise. Critic Vincent Canby wrote, "Ms. Tomei gives every indication of being a fine comedian, whether towering over Mr. Pesci and trying to look small, or arguing about a leaky faucet in terms that demonstrate her knowledge of plumbing. Mona Lisa is also a first-rate auto mechanic, which comes in handy in the untying of the knotted story."[9] For her performance, Tomei was named Best Supporting Actress at the 1993 Academy Awards, prevailing over Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, Vanessa Redgrave and Judy Davis. American film critic Rex Reed created controversy (and a minor Hollywood myth)[10][11][12] when he suggested that Jack Palance had announced the wrong name after opening the envelope.[13][14] While this allegation was repeatedly disproved[15][16] – even the Academy officially denied it[17] – Tomei called the story "extremely hurtful." A Price Waterhouse accountant explained that if such an event had occurred, "we have an agreement with the Academy that one of us would step on stage, introduce ourselves, and say the presenter misspoke."[18]

After her Oscar win, Tomei appeared as silent film star Mabel Normand in the film Chaplin, with her then-boyfriend Robert Downey Jr. playing the title character. The following year she starred in the romantic drama Untamed Heart with Christian Slater, for which they won the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss. Tomei had won the previous year for Best Breakthrough Performance for My Cousin Vinny. The following year Tomei appeared alongside Downey again in the romantic comedy Only You. She then appeared in Nick Cassavetes's Unhook the Stars opposite Gena Rowlands. Of Tomei's performance, The New York Times wrote, "Ms. Tomei is equally fine as Mildred's younger, hot-tempered neighbor, whose raw working-class feistiness and bluntly profane vocabulary initially repel the genteel older woman."[19] She received her first Screen Actor's Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Female Supporting Actor for her performance. In 1998, she received an American Comedy Award nomination for Funniest Supporting Actress for Tamara Jenkins's cult film Slums of Beverly Hills, in which she appeared alongside Natasha Lyonne and Alan Arkin. The independent film was well received by critics and the public.[20] The New York Times writes, "Jenkins makes the most of an especially ingratiating cast, with Ms. Tomei very charming and funny as Rita"[21] while another critic states Tomei is "spunky and sexy, ... more subdued than she usually is."[22] Tomei spent several years away from high-profile roles and major motion pictures in the late 1990s, before rising again to prominence in the early 2000s.[23] Tomei appeared in the 2000 film What Women Want with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, which was a commercial success, and had a supporting role in the romantic comedy Someone Like You with Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd.

In 2001, Tomei appeared in Todd Field's Best Picture nominee In the Bedroom opposite Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson, earning several awards including a ShoWest Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2002. Variety wrote, "Tomei is winning in what is surely her most naturalistic and unaffected performance,"[24] while The New York Times writer Stephen Holden exclaimed, "Ms. Tomei's ruined, sorrowful Natalie is easily her finest screen role."[25] In the Bedroom earned Tomei a second Academy Award nomination and her first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Tomei also shared a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast. In 2002 she appeared in the Bollywood-inspired film The Guru and voiced the role of Bree Blackburn, the main antagonist in the animated feature film The Wild Thornberrys Movie.

During the 1990s, Tomei made several television appearances. In 1996, she made a guest appearance on the sitcom Seinfeld, playing herself in the two-part episode "The Cadillac." In the episode, George Constanza attempts to get a date with her through a friend of Elaine Benes. She also made an appearance on The Simpsons as movie star Sara Sloane, who falls in love with Ned Flanders. Former Saturday Night Live cast member Jay Mohr wrote in his book Gasping for Airtime that, as guest host in October 1994, Tomei insisted that a proposed sketch, "Good Morning Brooklyn," not be used because she did not like the idea of being stereotyped; that stand displeased the writers and performers, given the show's penchant for satirizing celebrities.[26] Tomei did however, parody her role from My Cousin Vinny, which had considerable Brooklyn influence, in a skit (out of several recurring) spoofing the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial.

2003–present[edit]

Tomei at the Inauguration of Barack Obama, January 2009

In 2003, Tomei appeared in one of her biggest commercial hits, Anger Management. The following year, she appeared in the film Alfie based on the 1966 British film of the same name, opposite Jude Law. In 2005, she was featured in an ad campaign for Hanes with the slogan "Look who we've got our Hanes on now", featuring various other celebrities including Michael Jordan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Damon Wayans, Matthew Perry and, on Spanish-language advertising, Aracely Arámbula and Pablo Montero. In 2006, Tomei had a recurring role on Rescue Me, playing Johnny Gavin's ex-wife Angie. She won a Gracie Allen Award for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work in the four episodes she appeared in. The following year she appeared in the comedy Wild Hogs alongside John Travolta, Tim Allen, William H. Macy and Martin Lawrence. The film was the 13th highest-grossing movie of 2007 ($168,273,550 domestic box office). She also starred in the Sidney Lumet-directed Before the Devil Knows You're Dead opposite co-stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke. The film was released to critical acclaim.

In 2008, Tomei played Cassidy/Pam, a struggling stripper, in the Darren Aronofsky film The Wrestler opposite Mickey Rourke. She appeared in several nude dance numbers in the film. On working with Tomei, Aronofsky said, "This role shows how courageous and brave Marisa is. And ultimately she's really sexy. We knew nudity was a big part of the picture, and she wanted to be that exposed and vulnerable."[27] Numerous critics heralded this performance as a standout in her career. The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Tomei delivers one of her most arresting performances, again without any trace of vanity."[28] Ty Burr of The Boston Globe wrote, "Tomei gives a brave and scrupulously honest performance, one that's most naked when Pam has her clothes on."[29] Variety exclaimed, "Tomei is in top, emotionally forthright form as she charts a life passage similar to Ram's."[30] For her performance she was nominated for her first BAFTA, second Golden Globe and third Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 2009, Tomei recorded the role of Mary Magdalene in Thomas Nelson's audio Bible production The Word of Promise.[31]

Tomei was No. 18 on the 2009 FHM list of "100 Sexiest Females in the world".[32] The following year she appeared in two films: a comedy-drama, Cyrus and a comedy, Grown Ups.[citation needed] Tomei hosted the 2011 Scientific and Technical Awards, which was followed by an appearance at the 83rd Academy Awards.[33] She starred alongside Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe in the mystery suspense film The Lincoln Lawyer. She also appeared with Jennifer Connelly, Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear in Salvation Boulevard, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Tomei's other 2011 films included Crazy, Stupid, Love., with Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone, and the George Clooney film The Ides of March, with Clooney, Ryan Gosling, and Paul Giamatti. She is in talks to star alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in the indie comedy Married and Cheating.[34] In an interview, Lady Gaga stated that she would want Tomei to portray her in a film about the singer. Tomei responded, "I was thrilled when I heard. I love her. I love her music. And she's a smart businesswoman. So I was so touched, really. I think it's incredible that she likes my work and that she'd think of me."[35]

Tomei was featured in the second episode of the third season of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, on February 10, 2012. In the episode, she traveled to the Tuscany region of Italy and the island of Elba (part of Tuscany) to uncover the truth about the 100-year-old murder of her great-grandfather, Francesco Leopoldo Bianchi, on her mother's side of the family.[36]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1984 Flamingo Kid, TheThe Flamingo Kid Mandy
1984 Toxic Avenger, TheThe Toxic Avenger Health Club Girl Uncredited[37]
1986 Playing for Keeps Tracy
1991 Oscar Lisa Provolone
1991 Zandalee Remy
1992 My Cousin Vinny Mona Lisa Vito

-

1992 Equinox Rosie Rivers
1992 Chaplin Mabel Normand
1993 Untamed Heart MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Christian Slater) Caroline
1994 Only You Faith Corvatch
1994 Paper, TheThe Paper Martha Hacket
1995 Perez Family, TheThe Perez Family Dorita Evita Perez
1995 Four Rooms Margaret
1996 Unhook the Stars Monica Warren
1997 Brother's Kiss, AA Brother's Kiss Missy
1997 Welcome to Sarajevo Nina
1998 Slums of Beverly Hills Rita Abromowitz
2000 Happy Accidents Ruby Weaver
2000 Watcher, TheThe Watcher Dr. Polly Beilman
2000 What Women Want Lola
2000 King of the Jungle Det. Costello
2000 Dirk and Betty Paris
2001 In the Bedroom Natalie Strout
2001 Someone Like You Liz
2002 Wild Thornberrys Movie, TheThe Wild Thornberrys Movie Bree Blackburn voice
2002 Just a Kiss Paula
2002 Guru, TheThe Guru Lexi
2003 Anger Management Linda
2004 Alfie Julie
2005 Loverboy Sybil
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School Meredith Morrison
2005 Factotum Laura
2006 Danika Danika
2007 Grace Is Gone Woman at Pool
2007 Wild Hogs Maggie
2007 Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Gina Hanson
2008 War, Inc. Natalie Hegalhuzen
2008 Wrestler, TheThe Wrestler Cassidy/Pam
2010 Cyrus Molly
2010 Grown Ups Spectator Cameo
2011 Lincoln Lawyer, TheThe Lincoln Lawyer Margaret McPherson
2011 Salvation Boulevard Honey Foster
2011 Crazy, Stupid, Love. Kate
2011 Ides of March, TheThe Ides of March Ida Horowicz
2012 Inescapable Fatima
2012 Parental Guidance Alice
2014 Love Is Strange Kate
2015 Trainwreck Filming
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1984 As the World Turns Marcy Thompson 2 episodes
1987 ABC Afterschool Special Noelle Crandall Episode: "Supermom's Daughter"
1987 Leg Work Donna Ricci Episode: "Pilot"
1987 Different World, AA Different World Maggie Lauten 21 episodes
1996 Seinfeld Herself Episode: "The Cadillac"
1998 Since You've Been Gone Tori Uncredited
1998 Only Love Elvie
1998 My Own Country Mattie Vines Movie
2003 Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons Sara Sloane (voice) Episode: "A Star Is Born Again"
2006 Rescue Me Angie Gavin 4 episodes
2007 Rich Inner Life of Penelope Cloud, TheThe Rich Inner Life of Penelope Cloud Penelope Cloud Movie
Video
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Core and Curves Herself Exercise video

Stage work[edit]

Tomei has also done substantial work in the theatre. She was formerly involved with the Naked Angels Theatre Company.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Result
1991 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress Oscar Nominated
1992 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress My Cousin Vinny Won
MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance My Cousin Vinny Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress My Cousin Vinny Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress My Cousin Vinny Won
1993 MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Christian Slater) Untamed Heart Won
1996 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Unhook the Stars Nominated
1998 American Comedy Awards for Funniest Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Slums of Beverly Hills Nominated
Teen Choice Award – Film – Funniest Scene (shared with Natasha Lyonne) Slums of Beverly Hills Nominated
2000 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy What Women Want Nominated
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards – Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy/Romance What Women Want Nominated
2001 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress In The Bedroom Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress In The Bedroom Won
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress In The Bedroom Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress In The Bedroom Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress In The Bedroom Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture In The Bedroom Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress In The Bedroom Nominated
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress In The Bedroom Nominated
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture Drama In The Bedroom Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture In The Bedroom Nominated
2006 Gracie Allen Award – Outstanding Supporting Actress Rescue Me Won
2007 Gotham Award for Best Cast Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Won
Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Nominated
2008 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Nominated
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd place) The Wrestler Won
Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Won
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Won
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Supporting Actress of the Year The Wrestler Won
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Won
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Won
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Won
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Won
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role The Wrestler Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture The Wrestler Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Nominated
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress The Wrestler Nominated
2010 Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Cyrus Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rochlin, Margy (February 2, 1997). "Vinny's Girlfriend, Climbing Back After Success". The New York Times. Retrieved October 18, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Marisa Tomei Biography.". Tiscali.co.uk. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, February 10, 2012
  4. ^ a b "Maris Tomei Biography. Yahoo! Movies". Yahoo!. December 4, 1964. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ Euvino, Gabrielle. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Italian History and Culture. Alpha Books, 2002. ISBN 0-02-864234-1.
  6. ^ "Film professor researches how female stardom links to American views on immigration and ethnicity". University of North Texas. October 25, 2001.
  7. ^ Collins, Glenn. "Actress's Challenge in Change of Pace and Diction", The New York Times, August 10, 1992. Retrieved October 23, 2007.
  8. ^ "UP AND COMING: Marisa Tomei; She's Straight Out of Brooklyn". The New York Times. March 22, 1992. Retrieved May 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ Canby, Vincent (March 13, 1992). "My Cousin Vinny (1992) Review". The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  10. ^ Roger Ebert Movie Answer Man: the questions that will not die, August 27, 2000
  11. ^ Diane Negra, Off-white Hollywood: American culture and ethnic female stardom Routledge, 2001, ISBN 0-415-21678-8, p. 160
  12. ^ Richard Roeper Urban Legends: The Truth Behind All Those Deliciously Entertaining Myths That Are Absolutely, Positively, 100% Not True, Career Press, 2000,ISBN 1-56414-418-6, p. 127
  13. ^ Truth and rumors: the reality behind TV's most famous myths. Google. December 2007. ISBN 978-0-275-99247-7. Retrieved May 29, 2010. 
  14. ^ Roger Ebert, Movie Answer Man, June 15, 1997
  15. ^ "Marisa Tomei Awarded Oscar by Mistake?". snopes.com. Retrieved July 31, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Marisa Tomei on 'The Wrestler' and that weird, pesky rumor that she didn't really win the Oscar for 'Vinny'". Los Angeles Times. December 15, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2010. 
  17. ^ Roger Ebert, Movie Answer Man
  18. ^ Young, Josh (March 6, 2002). "Return Tomei". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ Holden, Stephen The New York Times November 1, 1996 Unhook the Stars (1996) Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  20. ^ Rotten Tomatoes Slums of Beverly Hills review
  21. ^ Maslin, Janet (August 14, 1998). "The Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2011. 
  22. ^ Levy, Emanuel (May 24, 1998). "Slums of Beverly Hills". Variety. Retrieved March 13, 2011. 
  23. ^ Richard Schickel, The Appeal of Her Zeal, Time, May 18, 2002
  24. ^ McCarthy, Todd (January 22, 2001). "In the Bedroom". Variety. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  25. ^ Holden, Stephen (November 23, 2001). "In the Bedroom (2001)". The New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2001. 
  26. ^ Mohr, Jay (June 9, 2004). Gasping For Airtime: Two Years In the Trenches of Saturday Night Live. Hyperion. ISBN 1-4013-0006-5. 
  27. ^ Freydkin, Donna (December 21, 2008). "Marisa Tomei: A no-holds-barred acting job in 'Wrestler'". USA Today. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  28. ^ Farber, Stephen (September 5, 2008). "Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  29. ^ Burr, Ty The Boston Globe December 25, 2008 The Wrestler film review Retrieved February 1, 2011.
  30. ^ McCarthy, Todd September 5, 2008 Variety The Wrestler Retrieved February 1, 2010.
  31. ^ "BELIEFS : Stars lined up for elaborate audio Bible : Michael York, Jason Alexander and many others gave voice to a 79-CD reading of Old and New Testaments". 
  32. ^ "FMH 100 Sexiest 2009." FHM magazine. April 2009.
  33. ^ Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Press Release February 12, 2011 Marisa Tomei to Host Academy's Sci-Tech Awards Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  34. ^ "Marisa Tomei and Sarah Jessica Parker Are 'Married and Cheating'". First Showing. March 13, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  35. ^ "There's no questioning Tomei's acting range". The Charlotte Observer. March 17, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  36. ^ "First look at Marisa Tomei on NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are(VIDEO)". Unreality TV. February 6, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2012. 
  37. ^ "(official studio site)". ToxicAvenger. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 

External links[edit]