Date of Birth: December 4, 1964
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Marisa Tomei saw the play A Chorus Line at age 12 and gained
reverence for the magic of the theatre. During her junior high school years she studied
acting and dancing and during the summers she performed in plays at the Golden Bridge
Colony in upstate New York. Tomei attended Boston University for one year. That summer
she had a six-week career as a waitress. While her father wanted her to return to college,
her friend Allison encouraged her to continue acting.
Tomei made a stab at films with bit parts in The Flamingo Kid and Playing for Keeps (1986).
She had roles on the soaps As The World Turns and One Life to Live before landing a
primetime gig as one of Lisa Bonet's roomates on A Different World from 1987-88. Her
major stage debut was in the play Daughters, which won her a Theatre World Award. She
then returned to the stage in a play called What the Butler Saw.
Between films, she was on stage in New York with the elite group Naked Angels whose
members include Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lili Taylor, and Fisher Stevens.
She returned to the medium after a five-year absence with two 1991 flops: in the
Sylvester Stallone comedy Oscar (as his daughter), and the Nicolas Cage erotic
thriller Zandalee. But then came Tomei's star-making part. She put her Brooklyn
heritage to good use in her Oscar-winning performance as Joe Pesci's sassy, auto-mechanic
fiancee in the surprise hit comedy, My Cousin Vinny (1992).
Her Oscar win did not necessarily guarantee good roles for this quirky actress.
Tomei was a dead ringer for an unflatteringly-drawn Mabel Normand in Sir Richard
Attenborough's biopic Chaplin (1992); was a waitress romanced by Christian Slater
in the interesting Untamed Heart (1993), co-starring Rosie Perez; and was Michael
Keaton's very pregnant reporter wife in The Paper (1994), Ron Howard's comedy-drama
about the fourth estate. She tried an Audrey Hepburn make-over opposite Robert
Downey, Jr., her Chaplin co-star, in Norman Jewison's Only You (1994), as a
headstrong bride who leaves her would-be groom at the altar to search for her
true soul mate, then turned to grittier fare as a Cuban refugee in 1980 in Mira
Nair's The Perez Family (1995). A brief cameo in the disastrous Four Rooms (also 1995)
probably did little long-term damage.
Roles in Unhook the Stars (1996), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998) and Happy Accidents (1999) did little to keep up any momentum from her Oscar win, but a role in What Women Want (2000) alongside Mel Gibson, as well as a critically-acclaimed performance in In the Bedroom (2001), which got her a second Oscar nomination in 2002, brought Tomei's face and name back into the public's attention. In 2002, she was named Supporting Actress of the Year at the ShoWest Convention.
In 2009 she received her third Academy Award nomination for her work in The Wrestler (2008).
She is engaged to actor Logan Marshall-Green, whom she has been in a relationship with since 2008.
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
The Ides of March
The Lincoln Lawyer
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Just A Kiss
The Wild Thornberrys Movie
In the Bedroom
Someone Like You
What Women Want
The Slums Of Beverly Hills