Up's and Down's
Wisecracks, biological clocks, great dialogue delivery and just downright cute, character Mona Lisa Vito in My Cousin Vinny charmed audiences and critics alike. Pairing Marisa with Joe Pesci was a stroke of genius which would later raise its regal head with an Academy Award for Marisa Tomei for Best Supporting Actress.
Since winning an Oscar, Marisa admits her career has had it's ups and downs. From Oscar (1991) to The Watcher (2000), Chaplin (1992) to In The Bedroom (2001), Marisa proves she has stamina and enough true acting ability to perform with leading actors like Jude Law, Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves and Michael Keaton. Marisa doesn't fit a Hollywood mold and that's intriguing. She is spunky, feminine and pretty to look at and that's a bonus. Topping it all off is the fact Marisa Tomei happens to be very talented.
"I don't prefer much of film over stage. The only thing I prefer
is the paycheck." Marisa Tomei
Childhood and Family:
Pretty dark-haired Marisa Tomei was born on December 4, 1964 in Brooklyn, New York. Marisa's family consisted of her brother Adam and her parents, Gary (lawyer) and Addie (English teacher). Because of her parents' busy schedule, Marisa spent a great deal of time with her grandmother, Rita, who helped raise her.
Marisa attended Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, New
York and one year of college at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts
before accepting the role of Marcy Thompson Cushing (1983-1985) in the daytime
television series As the World Turns.
Mona Lisa Vito
After two years of playing the role of teenager Marcy Thompson Cushing in the popular soap opera As the World Turns, Marisa Tomei worked on such films as The Flamingo Kid (1984), Playing for Keeps (1986) and TV's Supermom's Daughter (1987). In 1987 Marisa took the role of Maggie Lauten (1987-1988) in television's series A Different World. Marisa also played a part in TV's Parker Kane (1990), Oscar (1991, starring Sylvester Stallone) and Zandalee (1991).
In 1992 the hilarious comedy My Cousin Vinny hit the big screen, starring Joe Pesci as Vincent Gambini and Marisa Tomei as his girlfriend Mona Lisa Vito. Marisa charmed audiences with her character and was awarded an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the role.
Although Marisa's character in My Cousin Vinny is certainly her brightest moment, Tomei has acted in numerous projects following the release of the comedy. Marisa can be seen as Rosie Rivers in Equinox (1992), Mabel Normand in Chaplin (1992) and in 1993 Marisa starred with Christian Slater in the heartfelt drama Untamed Heart. Some other highlights of Marisa's career include Ron Howard's The Paper (1994), starring Michael Keaton, Robert Duvall and Glenn Close, the thriller The Watcher (2000), starring James Spader and Keanu Reeves, and What Women Want (2000), starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. In 2003 Marisa paired up with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler in the comedy Anger Management.
Marisa can be seen acting with Jude Law in 2004's Alfie and 2005's Loverboy, starring Kevin Bacon and Sandra Bullock.
- MTV Movie Award, Best On-Screen Kiss (shared with Christian Slater) Untamed Heart, 1993
- MTV Movie Award, Breakthrough Performance, My Cousin Vinny, 1992
- Academy Award, Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, My Cousin Vinny, 1992
- Los Angeles Dramalogue Award, Best Actress, Beirut, 1987
- Theatre World Award, Best Actress, Daughters, 1996