“Hollywood is a hard world for grownups, so it's a really hard world for a kid. Rejection was rough. It still is. I'm working overtime as a mom right now, but I would love to do another sitcom eventually. I'm interested to see if I'm the kind of child star who can make it as an adult.” Mayim Bialik
American actress Mayim Bialik is recognized for starring as Blossom Russo on the NBC sitcom “Blossom” from 1990 to 1995. She was nominated for two Young Artist Awards for the role. The California native launched her career as a child actor in the late 1980s and began gaining notice as the young incarnation of Bette Midler on the Garry Marshall movie “Beaches” (1988), for which she took home a Young Artist Award. She also nabbed a Young Artist nomination for guest starring in “Empty Nest” (2 episodes, 1989-1990). Following the demise of “Blossom,” Bialik did voiceover work in “Hey Arnold,” “Recess” and “Kim Possible,” among other animated TV shows, while pursuing her studies at UCLA. She did not resume her acting career until 2005 and has since appeared in the television series “Fat Actress” (2 episodes, 2005), “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (3 episodes, 2005-2007), “Bones” (1 episode, 2009), “Saving Grace” (1 episode, 2009), “'Til Death” (3 episodes, 2010), “The Big Bang Theory” (1 episode, 2010) and currently appears in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” 2010). She also appeared in the movie “Kalamazoo” (2006) and will play a role in the upcoming film “The Chicago 8,” alongside Gary Cole.
Bialik currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her husband Michael Stone and their two children. She is actively involved in protecting wildlife and is a member of an adoptive endangered pet organization. She is also a celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network.
An accomplished dancer, Bialik dances Hip Hop, Tap, Ballet and Jazz. She can also play the piano, trumpet and bass guitar.
Childhood and Family:
On December 12, 1975, in San Diego, California, Mayim Hoya Bialik was born to John Bialik, a high school drama teacher, and Barbara Bialik, a nursery school director. Her first name means water in Hebrew. Her grandparents, European immigrants from the Holocaust, immigrated from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary to the United States in the late 1930s. She was raised Jewish and has one brother named Isaac Bialik. She was tomboy as a youth and loved all kinds of sports, including basketball, running, football and softball.
Mayim attended Ardsley High School in Westchester, New York. She was later accepted to Yale and Harvard, but decided to attend the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) so she could remain close to her parents. She received a B.A. in neurophysics, Jewish and Hebrew from UCLA in 2000 and went on to pursue a PhD in neuroscience at UCLA. In 2005, Mayim took a break from her studies and returned to acting. She returned to school in 2008.
“Giving birth to my son was a beautiful experience. The pain was forgotten as soon as I held him up and looked into his eyes, I never wanted our first encounter to end.” Mayim Bialik
Mayim married Michael Stone on June 5, 2002. The couple has two sons, Miles Roosevelt Bialik Stone (born on October 10, 2005) and Frederick Heschel Bialik Stone (born on August 15, 2008).
The Chicago 8
Mayim Bialik made her television acting debut at age 12 with a guest spot in the cult favorite series “Beauty and the Beast” (1987). She then landed a two episode role in the NBC sitcom “The Facts of Life” in 1988 and played Frieda on several episodes of the ABC sitcom “Webster” during 1988-1989. Her first film gig arrived when she was featured in the 1988 horror film “Pumpkinhead,” the directorial debut of Stan Winston. The movie, starring Lance Henriksen and Jeff East, earned mixed reviews upon its debut, but has since garnered a cult following.
Bialik received her first real break when she was cast as the young Cecilia in Garry Marshall's Academy Award nominated dramatic comedy “Beaches” (1988), an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Iris Rainer Dart. The performance brought her a 1989 Young Artist for Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Fantasy. She then took on the role of Lisa Woodman in the “MacGyver” episode “Cease Fire,” which was broadcasted on October 9, 1989. She would reprise the role in two more episodes in 1990 titled “Hearts of Steels” and “Twenty Questions.” Her appearance in “Empty Nest” (2 episodes; 1989-1990), brought her a 1990 Young Artist nomination for Best Young Actress Guest Starring in a Television Series. She also acted in the series “Murphy Brown” (1 episode, 1990) and “Doogie Howser, M.D.” (1 episode, 1990), but did not land her first leading role until she was cast as Molloy Martin on the ill fated show “Molloy” (1990), opposite Jennifer Aniston.
Bialik made it big when she starred in NBC’s teen series “Blossom,” created by Don Reo. The show, about a teenage girl living with her dad and two brothers, became a favorite among young audiences and ran from July 1990 to May 1995. Bialik was nominated for Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress Starring in a New Television Series (1992) and Outstanding Young Comedienne in a Television Series (1993) for her performance in the series.
While on the show, Bialik also worked on other projects. She provided the voice of Petey in the direct to video animated movie “The Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten” (1992), which also starred the voices of Scott Menville and Marnette Patterson, and portrayed Jillie in an episode of “The Hidden Room” called “Jillie” (1993). She then made her television film debut with ABC's “Don't Drink the Water” (1994), which was written and directed by Woody Allen, and began her recurring role of Rachel on “The John Larroquette Show.”
“I come from an immigrant family where going to college is one of the most important things you can do, so I always wanted to go to college. I was two years out of high school when 'Blossom' ended, so I was ready. Also, to be on a sitcom in 1994 was not a popular way to have an acting career. Offers for movie and stage roles didn't come pouring out so unless I wanted to do another sitcom, I needed to take a break.” Mayim Bialik
After “Blossom” left the airwaves, Bialik decided to change focus to her education and attended UCLA. However, she did perform voiceover work in “The Adventures of Hyperman” (2 episodes, 1995-1996), “The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest” (2 episodes, 1996), “Extreme Ghostbusters” (1 episodes, 1997), “Johnny Bravo” (1 episodes, 1997), “Hey Arnold” (2 episodes, 1996-1999) and “Recess” (3 episodes, 1997-2000). She briefly returned to acting in 1998 when she played Rita in an episode of the anthology series “Welcome to Paradox” called “Alien Jane.” Three years later, she appeared on stage in a Chicago production of “The Vagina Monologues” (2001), directed by her distant cousin Rob Kolson. In May 2003, she guest starred as Cathy in the long running family drama “7th Heaven,” followed by the voice role of Justine Flanner in a 2004 episode of “Kim Possible” called “Partners.”
In 2005, Bialik portrayed a comedic version of herself on the Showtime short lived series “Fat Actress,” starring Kirstie Alley. The same year, she also portrayed Jodi Funkhouser in an episode of HBO's “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” a role she would recreate in two more episodes in 2007. She then returned to the big screen with the costarring role of Maggie Goldman in David O'Malley's comedy “Kalamazoo” (2006). In 2009, she played Genie Gormon in an episode of “Bones” called “The Cinderella in the Cardboard” and Esther Weinstein in an episode of “Saving Grace.”
Recently, in 2010, Bialik had a recurring role on the Fox sitcom “'Til Death” (3 episodes), where she was reunited with two of her “Blossom” costars, Michael Stoyanov and Jenna von Oÿ. She also played Amy Farrah Fowler on the episode “The Lunar Excitation” of the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” She currently often appears on the ABC teen drama “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” (2010).
Bialik is scheduled to portray Nancy Kurshan on an upcoming film titled “The Chicago 8” (2010), for director/writer Pinchas Perry. The cast also includes Gary Cole, Scott Lowell, Philip Baker Hall, Danny Masterson, Aaron Abrams, Steven Culp, David Julian Hirsh, Orlando Jones and Thomas Ian Nicholas.
“Do as much learning and living outside of the industry as possible. Help those in need and volunteer as a person, not a celebrity. Studying something of value can also be very empowering and helpful.” Mayim Bialik (advice for today's young stars)
Young Artist: Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Fantasy, “Beaches,” 1989