|Born||Mayim Chaya Bialik
December 12, 1975
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Education||PhD in Neuroscience, Bachelors in neuroscience, Hebrew and Jewish studies|
|Alma mater||UCLA (BS, PhD), North Hollywood High School|
|Occupation||Actress, neuroscientist, author|
The Big Bang Theory
|Religion||Modern Orthodox Judaism|
(m. 2003; div. 2012)
Mayim Chaya Bialik (/ /, MY-im bee-AH-lik; born December 12, 1975) is an American actress and neuroscientist. From 1991 to 1995, she played the title character of NBC's Blossom. Since 2010, she has played Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler – like the actress, a neuroscientist – on CBS's The Big Bang Theory, a role for which she has been nominated four times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and won a Critic's Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
Bialik was born in San Diego, California, to Barry (d. 2015) and Beverly (née Winkleman) Bialik. Three of her four grandparents emigrated from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. Bialik was raised as a Reform Jew, but now considers herself to be Orthodox. Her first name is the Hebrew word for water.
Bialik attended Walter Reed Junior High School (now Walter Reed Middle School) and graduated from North Hollywood High School in North Hollywood, California, as part of the class of 1993. At the end of Blossom, she chose to attend UCLA, although she also had been accepted at both Harvard and Yale. She stated that she wanted to stay close to her parents and did not want to move to the East Coast.
Bialik earned a B.S. degree in neuroscience, with minors in Hebrew and Jewish studies, and went on to study for a doctorate in neuroscience. She took a break from studies in 2005 to return to acting. Bialik earned her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2007, her dissertation being an investigation of hypothalamic activity in patients with Prader–Willi syndrome, titled "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader–Willi syndrome."
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, 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. 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. In 1990, Bialik was tied to two television pilots, Fox's Molloy and NBC's Blossom. Molloy 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 premiered as a mid-season replacement on January 3, 1991, and aired until May 22, 1995. She had a major part in the Woody Allen comedy film Don't Drink the Water in 1994. On September 8, 1992, Bialik was a celebrity contestant guest in the episode "Disturbing The Heavenly Peace", the first episode of the second season of the game show "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?". Between 1995 and 2005, Bialik mostly did voice-over work for cartoons, such as The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Disney's Recess and Kim Possible, Cartoon Network's Johnny Bravo, and Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold!. 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.
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. 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. Amy is a neurobiologist, which is a field related to Bialik's real-life academic career in neuroscience. Bialik's performance in The Big Bang Theory earned her Emmy Award nominations in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Bialik was one of seven actresses who had a "quirky" personality to audition for the role. 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's Blossom. 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.
In August 2014, Bialik began hosting a revival of Candid Camera on TV Land alongside Peter Funt. On March 6, 2012, her book, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, was released. Her most recent movie appearance was in a Lifetime Christmas movie, The Flight Before Christmas in 2015.
Bialik married Michael Stone on August 31, 2003, in a Victorian-themed ceremony that included traditional Jewish wedding customs. Stone was born into a Mormon family and converted to Judaism. Several years later, his mother converted to Judaism as well. Bialik and Stone have two sons, Miles Roosevelt Bialik Stone (b. 2005) and Frederick Heschel Bialik Stone (b. 2008).
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." In November 2012, her marriage ended in divorce.
In a 2012 interview, Bialik stated she sees herself as an "aspiring Modern Orthodox". Bialik has also described herself as a "staunch Zionist". During the July–August 2014 Israeli operation in Gaza, she reportedly donated money to the IDF for armored vests. She has appeared in several YouTube cameos as Blossom and Amy Farrah Fowler asking questions about Jewish beliefs. The videos are produced by Allison Josephs, Bialik's Judaism study partner, whom she encountered with the help of Partners in Torah. She has stated that she has vaccinated her children and is for the practice. Bialik is a celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network.
Other works and writings
In August 2015, Bialik launched her own lifestyle website, GrokNation, which caters to women and includes wide-ranging topics such as religion, popular culture, parenting, and Hollywood. Bialik also mentioned on her interviews that her website's title was in reference to the classic 1961 sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land and was derived from the word 'grok' which means to fully grasp something in the deepest way possible.
Bialik has also written two books with pediatrician Jay Gordon. Beyond the Sling is about attachment parenting, while Mayim's Vegan Table contains over one hundred vegan recipes written by Bialik.
Awards and nominations
|1988||Beaches||Young Cecilia "CC" Carol Bloom|
|1990||The Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten||Petey||Voice|
|1994||Don't Drink the Water||Susan Hollander|
|2011||Chicago 8, TheThe Chicago 8||Nancy Kurshan|
|2011||The Dog Who Saved Halloween||Medusa||Voice|
|2012||Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire||Maria||Voice|
|2014||Stan Lee's Mighty 7||Lady Lightning||Voice|
|2015||The Flight Before Christmas||Stephanie Michelle Hunt|
|1987||Beauty and the Beast||Ellie||"No Way Down" (Season 1, Episode 4)|
|1988||Facts of Life, TheThe Facts of Life||Jennifer Cole||"The Beginning of the Beginning" (Season 9, Episode 23)
"The Beginning of the End" (Season 9, Episode 24)
|1988–89||Webster||Frieda||Recurring role (Season 6)|
|1989-1990||Empty Nest||Laurie Kincaid||"The R.N. Who Came to Dinner" (Season 2, Episode 8)
"Harry Knows Best" (Season 3, Episode 11)
|1989–90||MacGyver||Lisa Woodman||"Cease Fire" (Season 5, Episode 4)
"Twenty Questions" (Season 5, Episode 19)
"Hearts of Steel" (Season 6, Episode 4)
|1990||Doogie Howser, M.D.||Candace||"Ask Dr. Doogie" (Season 2, Episode 3)|
|1990||Molloy||Molloy Martin||Lead role|
|1990||Murphy Brown||Natalie||"I Want My FYI" (Season 2, Episode 16)|
|1990||The Earth Day Special||Herself||Television special|
|1990–95||Blossom||Blossom Russo||Lead Role|
|1993||The Hidden Room||Jillie||"Jillie" (Season 2, Episode 6)|
|1994–95||John Larroquette Show, TheThe John Larroquette Show||Rachel||"The Book of Rachel" (Season 2, Episode 8)
"Rachel and Ton" (Season 2, Episode 21)
"Rachel Redux" (Season 3, Episode 3)
|1995–96||Adventures of Hyperman, TheThe Adventures of Hyperman||Brittany Bright||Voice; Main role|
|Hey Arnold!||Maria||Voice; "6th Grade Girls/The Baseball" (Season 1, Episode 5)
"Dinner for Four/Phoebe Skips" (Season 4, Episode 5)
|1996||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||Cindy||Voice; "Wake Me When It's Over" (Season 3, Episode 12)|
|1996||Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, TheThe Real Adventures of Jonny Quest||Lucy / Julia||Voice; "Assault on Questworld" (Season 1, Episode 8)
"The Alchemist" (Season 1, Episode 12)
|1997; 2000||Recess||Kirsten Kurst||Voice; "The Break-In" (Season 1, Episode 1)
"The Girl Was Trouble" (Season 2, Episode 9)
"The Ratings Game" (Season 3, Episode 16)
|1997||Johnny Bravo||Tour Guide||Voice; "Going Batty" (Season 1, Episode 11)|
|1997||Extreme Ghostbusters||Girl in Future||Voice; "Ghost Apocalyptic Future" (Season 1, Episode 18)|
|1998||Welcome to Paradox||Rita||"Alien Jane" (Season 1, Episode 7)|
|2001–02||Lloyd in Space||Mean Cindy||Voice; Recurring role (Season 1–2)|
|2003||7th Heaven||Cathy||"Dick" (Season 7, Episode 20)|
|2004||Kim Possible||Justine Flanner||Voice; "Partners" (Season 2, Episode 22)|
|2005||Katbot||Paula||Voice; Recurring role|
|2005||Fat Actress||Herself||"The Koi Effect" (Season 1, Episode 3)
"Holy Lesbo Batman" (Season 1, Episode 4)
|2005; 2007||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Jodi Funkhauser||"The Bowtie" (Season 5, Episode 2)
"The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial" (Season 6, Episode 3)
"The TiVo Guy" (Season 6, Episode 7)
|2009||Saving Grace||Esther||"Mooooooooo" (Season 3, Episode 5)|
|2009||Bones||Genie Gormon||"The Cinderella in the Cardboard" (Season 4, Episode 20)|
|2009||'Til Death||Herself||"The Break-Up" (Season 4, Episode 13)
"Merit Play" (Season 4, Episode 19)
"Baby Steps" (Season 4, Episode 32)
|2010||The Secret Life of the American Teenager||Dr. Wilameena Bink||Recurring role (Season 2–3)|
|2010||Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?||Herself / Expert||Season 8|
|2010–present||Big Bang Theory, TheThe Big Bang Theory||Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler||Guest role (Season 3)
Main role (Season 4–present)
|2013||Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler
Who Can Also Travel Through Time
|B.O.O.T.H.||Voice; "Second Season Prequel" (Season 2, Episode 7)|
|2014||Candid Camera||Host||Season 38|
|2016||YidLife Crisis||Chaya||"The Double Date" (Season 2, Episode 3)|
|2003||X2: Wolverine's Revenge||Bush Pilot / May Deuce||Voice|
- Bialik, Mayim (2007). Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome (Doctoral Dissertation). Los Angeles: UCLA Proquest. p. 285. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
- Bialik, Mayim; Jay Gordon (Introduction) (2012). Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way. Touchstone. ISBN 978-1451662184.
- Bialik, Mayim; Jay Gordon (2014). Mayim's Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours. Da Capo Lifelong Books. ISBN 978-0738217048.
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- "Mayim Bialik: Mourning My Father's Death". Kveller. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Obituaries - Obituaries". Jewish Journal. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
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- , additional text.
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- "'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF". The Washington Times. 2013-07-30.
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- "I would like to dispel the rumors about my stance on vaccines. I am not anti-vaccine. my children are vaccinated. There has been so much hysteria and anger about this issue and I hope this clears things up as far as my part." (Press release). Subject's Facebook page. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
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