Whether you love it or hate it, The Big Bang Theory is one of the most successful shows on television. Already on its eleventh season, the show’s viewership runs in the millions and it’s the most watched show internationally. So, how does a show about nerds making references on Star Trek and the periodic table of elements do so well? The geeky sitcom manages to keep an audience because of their constant jokes, uncomplicated plots, and the simple reason that there really is no difference between a genius and a regular person.
If you’re a big fan of the show, you may know a thing or two about the personal lives of Kaley Cuoco (Penny), Jim Parsons (Sheldon), and Johnny Galecki (Leonard), but how well do you know actress Mayim Bialik, who plays Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on the comedy show? Here’s one thing that may surprise you: just like her character, which is a neurobiologist, Bialik actually earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCLA. So there really is someone who knows what they’re talking about on the show!
In fact, there are 15 pretty interesting and even mind-blowing facts about Mayim Bialik you probably never knew. She’s also been doing a lot more than playing a brainiac on The Big Bang Theory. So check out this list about the star, and we’re sure you’ll definitely be left totally surprised.
15 Her First Name Has A Meaning Behind It
Actress Mayim Bialik was born in San Diego, California to parents Barry and Beverly Bialik. She was raised as a Reform Jew but considers herself to be Orthodox Jewish. She's also from a family from different backgrounds. Three of her four grandparents emigrated from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. Her name is quite unusual too, that is if you don't know the Hebrew language. In Hebrew, the Hollywood star's name means "Water." Bialik's middle name, Chaya, also means "Life" in Hebrew.
14 Mayim Bialik Is Best Known For Her Lead Role In Blossom
We all might know Mayim from her superb acting skills on The Big Bang Theory, but before playing Dr. Amy Fowler, she was the lead character in the 1990's sitcom Blossom. She played Blossom Russo, a teenager living with her divorced father and two brothers—one who is not so bright and the other who is a recovering substance abuser. The show made a significant impact for television, especially having a female play a leading role in a series that was both smart and spunky. During an interview with Today, when asked where would Blossom be now, the star answered, "Probably a practicing lawyer and working for the rights of the underprivileged as a lawyer."
13 At The Age Of 12, She Played A Young Bette Midler
Mayim Bialik has been acting since she was just a kid. At the age of 12, she snagged the role as the young Bette Midler in the 1988 classic movie Beaches. While the role of C.C. Bloom required singing, something Mayim can actually do, Midler wanted someone who sounded more like her at that young age. So, another singer was substituted for the musical parts of the film. Twenty-eight years later, she and co-star Marcie Lee, who played Barbara Hershey, recreated the scene where their characters meet for the first time on a beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey. If you haven't watched it yet, you definitely should.
12 Bialik Has Guest Starred In A Ton Of Your Favorite Shows
Soon after her role as a young Bette Midler in the iconic Beaches film, Mayim Bialik starred in a number of shows and movies. Her early roles included the dark fantasy horror film Pumpkinhead (which was actually her first acting job) and guest appearances on beloved TV shows such as The Facts of Life, MacGyver, Webster and Murphy Brown. In 1994, Bialik appeared in Woody Allen's film, Don't Drink The Water, acting alongside Michael J. Fox. And that's not all. The star has also starred in HBO's Fat Actress, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and she's been in several episodes of the super funny show Curb Your Enthusiasm. That's a pretty impressive acting resume, wouldn't you agree?
11 The Star Has Also Done Voice Over Work For Cartoons
You can say that Mayim Bialik is a woman of many talents. Between 1995 and 2005, the actress did a ton of voice-over work for cartoons that you probably watched as a kid. Some of the cool TV shows she has worked on in the past included The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest, Disney's Recess and Kim Possible, Cartoon Network's Johnny Bravo, and Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold and AAAHH!!! Real Monsters. But Bialik didn't just stop at doing cartoon voice-overs, as she also lends her voice to the video game X2: Wolverine's Revenge. Is there anything she can't do?
10 She Earned Her Doctorate In Neuroscience From UCLA
Mayim Bialik received her Bachelor's Degree in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies from UCLA and continued her schooling to gain her Ph.D. in Neuroscience. The talented star earned her doctorate in 2007 and is probably the only actor on The Big Bang Theory that actually knows what she's talking about. Strangely enough, before making her debut on the show, in the episode titled "The Bat Jar Conjecture," Raj suggests that for their Physics Bowl team, they should recruit the real Bialik. He suggested, "You know who's apparently very smart is the girl who played TV's Blossom. She got a Ph.D. in Neuroscience or something."
9 She's Also A Published Author Of Two Books
Mayim is an accomplished author and has written two books. After giving birth to two boys in 2005 and 2008, the actress wrote a book about attachment parenting titled Beyond The Sling. Her book talks a great deal about co-sleeping, breastfeeding, how to "wear" your baby in a sling and experience a closer bond, and disciplining your child gently. In her second book, Bialik decides to share over 100 healthy vegan recipes for her readers to try. The family-friendly recipe book is titled Mayim's Vegan Table. Did you buy one or both her books?
8 The Mom Of Two Is A Certified Lactation Educator Counselor
Mayim gave birth to her first son named Miles in 2005, and later gave birth to her second son named Frederick in 2008. Her second son was born at home, and she had no assistant in the birthing process until it was time to push. You go, girl! Bialik breastfed both her sons for a combined 6 1/2 years and became a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor. With that title, Mayim proudly offers women free counseling and lactation support. The star has had to defend her decision to breastfeed her sons until they were toddlers. She's been an advocate and supporter in attachment parenting, which you can read about in her book.
7 Mayim Is Childhood Friends With One Of Her Big Bang Theory Co-stars
Bialik has been longtime friends with her Big Bang Theory co-star, Johnny Galecki, since they were teens. Galecki, who plays Leonard in the comedy, even guest-starred on Mayim's show Blossom when they were both 14 years old. In the episode, the two shared their first onscreen kiss. Bialik later admitted that it might have been her first ever kiss in real life. The two stars remained close friends after sharing a smooch, and she even invited him to her Sweet 16 party. She once told CBS, "I don't know if it was my most memorable birthday, but Johnny Galecki got into a motorcycle accident on my way to my sweet 16. I never invited him to a party again."
6 Not Only Is She A Scientist, But She's A Musician As Well
So we've learned that not only is Bialik an actor, a voice-actor, a Ph.d. graduate, a scientist, and an author, but she's also apparently a talented musician. On season 5 of The Big Bang Theory, Bialik had to play the harp and sing Everybody Hurts. Instead of pretending to know how to play the lovely instrument for the show, the star actually wanted to learn how to play it. And with a very short amount of time to learn it, she actually did a fantastic job. However, learning to play the harp was no big deal for the star since she already knew how to play the piano, guitar, and trumpet.
5 She's Related To A Pretty Famous Guy
The Big Bang Theory star isn't the only famous person in her family. In fact, her first cousin three times removed is the Israeli national poet Hayim Nahman Bialik. He gave a voice to the Jewish people and his most famous work consists of his nationalistic poetry, which calls reawakening of the Jewish people. His many brilliant poems have been translated into at least 30 different languages and some of his poems, which have been created into songs, are still a staple to the culture of modern Israel.
4 Bialik Appeared In A Michael Jackson Music Video
Yes, that's correct. You can actually spot Mayim Bialik in Michael Jackson's 1989 music video for the song Liberian Girl. Wearing an oversized jean jacket, you can watch Bialik jump up and down and shake it off for a few seconds at the 2:20 mark. She was among a bunch of Jackson's celebrity friends, including Paula Abdul, John Travolta, Quincy Jones, and a few other famous names. The song is off of the iconic singer's album Bad. So not only is Mayim an actress (and everything else we've mentioned in previous entries), but you can also say she's also a video girl.
3 The Star Has A Whopping 15 Piercings
Mayim is a huge fan of piercings, particularly on her ears. The actress has eight piercings on her right ear and seven piercings on her left ear, totalling a whopping 15. On her blog, called Groknation.com, Bialik wrote, "I love how piercings look, I love accessorizing with hoops and studs and fun earrings." Although she's very religious and dresses rather conservatively, Bialik can't help her love for jewelry. She also admitted that piercing her ears was "the one rebellion I could have as a teenager that was acceptable if you were on television." She does have to take her earrings off for The Big Bang Theory, though.
2 She And Co-Star Jim Parsons Shot The Famous Season 10 Proposal In One Take
Fans of the show were given a cliffhanger on the final episode of Big Bang Theory's season ten (The Long Distance Dissonance) when Sheldon proposes to Amy. What you probably didn't know was that Mayim and Jim did the scene all in one take and in front of a live studio audience! We have to give major props to both stars, especially since it was not only the last episode of the season, but it was one of the most major scenes in the entire sitcom! It was perfection at its finest! Spoiler alert if you haven't caught up to the new season: She did said yes!
1 She's Given Herself Some Wise Advice For Her Younger Self
Mayim Bialik has got some advice to her younger self. In a video posted on her website, Groknation.com, she admits, "I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to pay really close attention to parents and to grandparents and to older people – see how they act, see how they do things – because it becomes increasingly important in ways that my younger self would have never understood if I said it." Sounds like some solid advice if you ask us, although we think Mayim Bialik has done pretty well for herself.