Who Is Mayim Bialik?
Mayim Bialik was raised in Los Angeles as a Reform Jew. Beginning her acting career as a child, she played a young version of Bette Midler's character in the 1988 film Beaches, and went on to star in her own television show, Blossom, from 1990 to 1995. Bialik then pursued a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA and returned to acting, coincidentally playing neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory from 2010 to 2019.
American actress Mayim Hoya Bialik was born in San Diego, California, on December 12, 1975, to first-generation Jewish-American parents who raised her in Reform Judaism. She grew up in Los Angeles, and attended both public and religious schools.
'Pumpkinhead,' 'MacGyver,' 'Beaches'
Bialik began acting in the late 1980s. Her first acting job, in the horror film Pumpkinhead, was followed by numerous guest appearances on some of the most well-known shows of the 1980s and '90s, including MacGyver, The Facts of Life and Webster. In 1988 Bialik played Bette Midler's character as a young girl in the film Beaches, and she later appeared in a music video for the song "Liberian Girl," by Michael Jackson.
Bialik's breakout role was that of Blossom, the main character on the TV show of the same name. From 1990 to 1995, Bialik enjoyed Blossom's success, as the show garnered high ratings: Her character, Blossom, was known as "the quirky girl with the signature flower hat."
After Blossom ended, Bialik did some voice-over work for cartoons and appeared as a guest star on several television shows, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fat Actress, Saving Grace and What Not To Wear.
'The Big Bang Theory'
Rededicating herself to acting, Bialik appeared in the season 3 finale of The Big Bang Theory in 2010, before joining the regular cast of the hit sitcom for season 4. Her character of neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler, the girlfriend and eventual wife of Jim Parsons' Sheldon Cooper, mirrored Bialik's real-life educational interests. Her performance on the show garnered her several Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
After her run on Blossom, Bialik took a step back from acting to focus on her school work: She attended the University of California, Los Angeles, despite gaining acceptance to both Harvard and Yale, in order to stay close to her parents and remain on the West Coast. Bialik earned a bachelor's degree in neuroscience, Hebrew and Jewish studies in 2000, and then went on to the university's Ph.D. program in neuroscience, which she completed in 2007.
Parenting and Religious Views
Having returned to the acting world's spotlight and asked about her religious views, Bialik confirmed that she aspired to be Modern Orthodox. She began writing for the Jewish parenting blog Kveller.com, and is a founding member of the Shamayim V'Aretz Institute, a center for Jewish spirituality.
In her book Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, released in March 2012, Bialik presented her views on "attachment parenting," and provided insight into the way she and now ex-husband Michael Stone — who converted to Judaism prior to marrying Bialik in 2003 — raised their two sons, Miles and Frederick, together.
Just months later, in November 2012, Bialik announced that she and Stone were splitting in a blog post on kveller.com, writing: "After much consideration and soul-searching, Michael and I have arrived at the decision to divorce due to 'Irreconcilable Differences.'" The couple finalized their divorce in May 2013, after nine years of marriage.
Car Accident and #MeToo
Following an August 15, 2012, car accident in Los Angeles, Bialik suffered severe lacerations to her left hand and thumb. The media frenzy that ensued speculated that she could lose a finger as a result, but, using social media, Bialik confirmed that she would keep all of her fingers.
Following the explosive revelations of Harvey Weinstein's behavior that sparked the #MeToo movement, Bialik in October 2017 penned an op-ed in The New York Times in which she discussed her experiences in an industry that objectifies women. However, she came under fire for noting how she dresses "modestly" and makes a point of not flirting with men, drawing responses from women who recalled how they were assaulted regardless of their behavior and clothes. Bialik subsequently apologized and participated in a Facebook Live discussion to clarify her points.
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