Long before she rose to become a household name following her performance in 1992’s smash hit film My Cousin Vinny, Marisa Tomei spent her childhood enamored with the beauty and luster of Broadway. During her upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, her parents brought her to shows frequently. It was no surprise that in high school she began appearing in the school’s stage productions, and after graduating from high school she left her undergraduate studies at Boston University in pursuit of a full-time career as an actress.
Marisa’s first breakthrough was in a recurring role on A Different World in 1986. A small role in the Flamingo Kid followed in 1984, and then roles in the Toxic Avenger (1984), Playing for Keeps (1986), Oscar (1991), and Zandalee (1991.) But it was her role as Mona Lisa in the film My Cousin Vinny (1992), which set Tomei’s career on a rocket ride to success, earning her critical acclaim and a Best Supporting Oscar for her role. Since that time, Marisa Tomei has appeared in nearly forty films, and the list continues to grow. Notable appearances include her roles in: Chaplin (1992), Unhook the Stars (1996), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), What Women Want (2000), In the Bedroom (2001), Someone Like You (2001), Anger Management (2003), Grace is Gone (2007), The Wrestler (2008), Crazy Stupid Love (2011), The Ides of March (2011), and Parental Guidance (2012.) Marisa earned additional Oscar nominations for her roles in The Wrestler and In the Bedroom, and she has also been nominated for or received numerous additional awards, including two Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Golden Globe Award nominations.
Marisa Tomei has also performed on stage throughout the decades in a new number of key roles, including roles in the plays: Daughters, Beirut, The Comedy of Errors, Slavs!, Wait Until Dark, Salome, and Marie and Bruce. Most recently, Marisa Tomei was featured on the NBC series Who Do You Think You Are, in which genealogists brought her back to Tuscany, Italy to trace her family’s heritage. Tomei will be seen both on stage and screen in 2014, in Love is Strange, and in the role of Pony Jones in the stage production of the Realistic Joneses.