Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik

Bialik at PaleyFest 2013 for
The Big Bang Theory
Born Mayim Chaya Bialik
(1975-12-12) December 12, 1975
San Diego, California, U.S.
Education PhD in Neuroscience, Bachelors in neuroscience, Hebrew and Jewish studies
Alma mater UCLA (BS, PhD)[1][2], North Hollywood High School
Occupation Actress, neuroscientist, author
Years active 1987–present
Television Blossom
The Big Bang Theory
Religion Modern Orthodox Judaism
Spouse(s) Michael Stone
(m. 2003; div. 2012)
Children 2

Mayim Chaya Bialik (/ˈm.əm biˈɑːlk/, MY-im bee-AH-lik; born December 12, 1975)[3] is an American actress and neuroscientist.[4] 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,[5] and won a Critic's Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Early life

Bialik was born in San Diego, California, to Barry (d. 2015) and Beverly (née Winkleman) Bialik.[6][7][8] Three of her four grandparents emigrated from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary.[9] Bialik was raised as a Reform Jew,[9] but now considers herself to be Orthodox.[10] Her first name is the Hebrew word for water.[11]

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.[12] At the end of Blossom, she chose to attend UCLA, although she also had been accepted at both Harvard and Yale.[13][14] 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,[15][16] and went on to study for a doctorate in neuroscience. She took a break from studies in 2005 to return to acting.[17] Bialik earned her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2007,[18] 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."[4][19][20]


Bialik at the rehearsal for the 1989 Academy Awards

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,[21] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24]

Bialik at the 36th Annual Gracie Awards, in 2011.

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.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28][29][30]

In August 2014, Bialik began hosting a revival of Candid Camera on TV Land alongside Peter Funt.[31] On March 6, 2012, her book, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way, was released.[32] Her most recent movie appearance was in a Lifetime Christmas movie, The Flight Before Christmas in 2015.

Personal life

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.[33][34] Bialik and Stone have two sons, Miles Roosevelt Bialik Stone (b. 2005) and Frederick Heschel Bialik Stone (b. 2008).[35]

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."[27] In November 2012, her marriage ended in divorce.[36]

In a 2012 interview, Bialik stated she sees herself as an "aspiring Modern Orthodox".[37] Bialik has also described herself as a "staunch Zionist".[9] During the July–August 2014 Israeli operation in Gaza, she reportedly donated money to the IDF for armored vests.[38] She has appeared in several YouTube cameos as Blossom and Amy Farrah Fowler asking questions about Jewish beliefs.[39] The videos are produced by Allison Josephs, Bialik's Judaism study partner, whom she encountered with the help of Partners in Torah.[40] She has stated that she has vaccinated her children and is for the practice.[41] Bialik is a celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network.[42]

Bialik is a vegan[43] and a founding member of the Shamayim V'Aretz Institute, a Jewish organization that advocates for the ethical treatment of animals.[44]

She stated on The Late Late Show with James Corden that she identified herself as a feminist.[45]

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.[46][47][48]


Bialik has also written two books with pediatrician Jay Gordon. Beyond the Sling[49][50] is about attachment parenting, while Mayim's Vegan Table contains over one hundred vegan recipes written by Bialik.[51][52]


Mayim is an active blogger on the website kveller where she actively blogs about Judaism and parenting.[53]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1988 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Fantasy Beaches Won
1990 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress Guest Starring in a Television Series Empty Nest Nominated
1992 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress in a New Television Series Blossom
1993 Young Artist Award Outstanding Young Comedian in a Television Series
2012 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series The Big Bang Theory
Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Satellite Award Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2013 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
2014 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Young Hollywood Awards Best On-Screen Couple (with Jim Parsons)
TV Guide Awards Favorite Duo (with Jim Parsons)
2015 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
2016 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Beaches Young Cecilia "CC" Carol Bloom
1988 Pumpkinhead Wallace kid
1990 The Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten Petey Voice
1994 Don't Drink the Water Susan Hollander
2005 Kalamazoo? Maggie Goldman
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
Year Title Role Notes
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 12)
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 23)
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
Year Title Role Notes
2016 YidLife Crisis Chaya "The Double Date" (Season 2, Episode 3)
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2003 X2: Wolverine's Revenge Bush Pilot / May Deuce Voice

Written works


  1. "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive ... - Mayim Chaya Bialik - Google Books". Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  2. "Q&A with Mayim Bialik: An observant Jew in Hollywood". The Jerusalem Post - Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  3. "Mayim H Bialik - California, Birth Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  4. 1 2 Bialik, Mayim C. "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome" (PhD Diss., UCLA, 2007).
  5. Russo, G. (2012). "Turning point: Mayim Bialik. Actress makes the shift from television to neuroscience and then back again". Nature. 485 (7400): 669–669. doi:10.1038/nj7400-669a.
  6. "Mayim Bialik: Mourning My Father's Death". Kveller. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  7. "Obituaries - Obituaries". Jewish Journal. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  8. Berkman, Meredith "Mayim Bialik: the young feminist", Entertainment Weekly, March 8, 1991. Retrieved on 11 February 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 Stein, Jason (2011). "Big Bang Theory star thought she was auditioning for a game show". Jewish Telegraph. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  10. "Mayim Bialik Discusses Being Orthodox in Hollywood | Religious and Reform". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  11. King, Larry (6 May 2014). "Mayim Bialik & Melissa Rauch" (Video interview). Larry King Now. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  12. Kleid, Beth (February 8, 1993). "Television". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  13. Carter, Alan (1993-07-16). "Blossom Flowers: Mayim Bialik Grows into Adult Roles". Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  14. Mayim Bialik; Playing the Role Of an American in Paris Michael E. Hill; The Washington Post; Sep 19, 1993; Y.07;
  15. Biography - official website of Mayim Bialik
  16. Jacobson, Judie. "Q&A with Mayim Bialik". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved on 15 March 2016.
  17. "Alumni Stories – Notable Alumni". Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  18. "Biography". Mayim Bialik. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  19. "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader–Willi syndrome (Book, 2007)". []. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  20. "Life After Child Stardom – Not by the Numbers". 2006-11-24. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  21. Pierce, Leonard (2009-01-28). "Mayim Bialik: Random Roles". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
  22. "How Did You Get Your SAG-AFTRA Card?" TV Guide. January 13, 2014. p. 10.
  23. Patterson, Jean. "Young 'Blossom' Fans Soon Can Purchase Her Fashions". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2014-09-08.
  24. "Mayim Bialik Learns What Not to Wear". 2010-11-15. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  25. , additional text.
  26. Ausiello, Michael (2010-11-15). "'Bang Theory' ups Mayim Bialik to Regular". Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  27. 1 2 Perricone, Kathleen (2012-08-28). "Why Mayim Bialik returned to TV after getting her PhD | Goddess: Celebrity Moms and Dads - Yahoo Celebrity". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  28. Kroeger, Jake (April 8, 2014). "Fox Improv Show RIOT Will Feature Steve Carell, Jason Alexander, Cheryl Hines". Nerdist. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  29. Geddes, Robin (April 8, 2014). "Steve Carell, Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik for new Fox series Riot". Digital Spy. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  30. Swift, Andy (April 8, 2014). "Exclusive: Steve Carell and Cheryl Hines Among Celebrity Guests in Fox Improv Series Riot". TV Line. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  31. "'Big Bang Theory' Star Mayim Bialik to Host 'Candid Camera' Reboot". TheWrap. July 24, 2014. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  32. Weaver, Stephanie (March 5, 2012). "Actress Mayim Bialik writes book on 'attachment parenting'". USA Today.
  33. Bialik, Mayim (2011-03-09). "Mayim Bialik's Husband, Mike, was a Mormon". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  34. Bialik, Mayim. "From Mormon to Jew - Kveller, Jewish Family & Children". Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  35. Allin, Olivia (May 21, 2012). "Mayim Bialik talks about attachment parenting, sharing a family bed".
  36. ""Big Bang Theory" star Mayim Bialik and husband to divorce after nine years". CBS News. 23 November 2012.
  37. Cohen, Marla (May 2012). "Geek Love, Parenting, and Judaism". Jewish Federation of Rockland County.
  38. "'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF". The Washington Times. 2013-07-30.
  39. "'Science vs. Religion: Mayim Bialik and the Other Big Bang Theory', Jew in the City". 2011-10-31. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  40. "Mayim Bialik to Guest Star on a Very Special Jew in the City!". 2009-05-20. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  41. "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.
  42. "Meet Mayim Bialik: Actress and Holistic Mom". 2009-07-07. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  43. "Exclusive: Mayim Bialik Gets Her Eco On At The Go Green Expo In Los Angeles". 2010-01-20. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  44. "The Shamayim V'Aretz Institute - A Center For Jewish Spirituality and Leadership - Leadership". 2013-03-21. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  45. "Watch The Late Late Show - #Cleavagegate: Mayim Bialik Flashes Hers to Piers Morgan trailer -AT&T U-verse". Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  46. "Big Bang Theory Star Mayim Balik Launches Lifestyle Site GrokNation - Great Ideas :". People Great Ideas. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  47. "Mayim Bialik launches own website". The Times of Israel. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  48. Gabe Friedman (August 11, 2015). "Mayim Bialik Launches Her Own Website, GrokNation". The Forward. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  49. "Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way: Ph.D. Mayim Bialik Ph.D., Dr. Jay Gordon: 9781451662184: Books". Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  50. "Beyond The Sling - Mayim Bialik - Simon and Schuster". Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  51. "Writing". Mayim Bialik. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  52. "Mayim's Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours: Mayim Bialik, Jay Gordon: 9780738217048: Books". Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  53. "Mayim Bialik". Kveller. Retrieved 2016-11-29.
  54. "About the book - BEYOND THE SLING". Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  55. "Mayim's Vegan Table". 2014-01-19. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
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