Marisa Tomei Biography

Marisa Tomei is an American film, television and theater actress. This biography of Marisa Tomei profiles her childhood, life, acting career, achievements and timeline.

Marisa Tomei
Quick Facts

Birthday: December 4, 1964

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Marisa Tomei College Dropouts

Age: 54 Years, 54 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Sagittarius

Born in: Brooklyn, New York, U.S

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Females


father: Gary A. Tomei

mother: Patricia Adelaide

siblings: Adam Tomei

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Andries Hudde Junior High School, Edward R. Murrow High School, Boston University

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Marisa Tomei is an American film, television and theatre actress. She made her acting debut in television as Marcy Thompson in the series ‘As the World Turns’. Her big screen debut was with ‘The Flamingo Kid’, a comedy film where she did a trivial one line part. Alongside TV and films, she has performed consistently in theatre as well. Her first play ‘Daughters’ earned her accolades and won her the ‘Theatre World Award’. Following several flicks, she finally landed up with her breakthrough role in ‘My Cousin Vinny’ that gave her international recognition. The film fetched her ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ apart from ‘Chicago Film Critics Association’ award and the ‘MTV Movie Awards’. Her success followed by several other critically acclaimed performances in films like ‘Untamed Heart’, ‘Unhook The Stars’, ‘Before the Devil Knows You're Dead ’, ‘Slums of Beverly Hills’ and ‘Love is Strange’. Her two other breathtaking performances that earned nominations at the ‘Oscar’ are ‘In The Bedroom’ and ‘The Wrestler’. Some of her box office hits that garnered big bucks are ‘Wild Hog’, ‘What Women Want’, ‘Parental Guidance’ and ‘Anger Management’. She received the ‘Drama Desk Award’ for playing Pony Jones in the stage drama ‘The Realistic Joneses’. Her other praiseworthy stage performances include ‘Top Girls’ and ‘Wait Until Dark’.

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Marisa Tomei
Childhood & Early Life
  • Marisa Tomei was born on December 4, 1964 in Brooklyn, New York, in an Italian family to Gary A. Tomei and Patricia Adelaide "Addie" Tomei. Her father was a trial lawyer and her mother was an English teacher.
  • She was brought up by her paternal grandparents for a while.
  • She often used to visit the Broadway theatre with her parents and was intrigued by the shows that led to her passion for acting.
  • She attended the ‘Andries Hudde Junior High School’ and in 1982 completed her graduation from the ‘Edward R. Murrow High School’ in Brooklyn, New York.
  • She joined the Boston University, Massachusetts, for the period 1982-1983, but dropped out to pursue acting, debuting with the ‘CBS’ television series ‘As the World Turns’ .
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  • Her journey as an actress began in 1983 with the television series ‘As the World Turns’ which she continued till 1985. Meanwhile, she entered into the big screen playing a one line scene of Mandy in the 1984 film ‘The Flamingo Kid’.
  • She met with little success in the 1980s films such as ‘The Toxic Avenger’ (1984) and ‘Playing for Keeps’ (1986). Though her big screen flicks were not clicking much, she got favourable acclaim for her portrayal of Maggie Lauten in the 1987 television series, “A Different World’.
  • She was engaged with the New York based American theatre company ‘Naked Angels’ as one of its actresses. Her first stage performance in 1986 as Cetta in the play ‘Daughters’ not only earned her accolades but also won her the ‘Theatre World Award’ as a debutant.
  • After doing a couple of films in the 90s, her real breakthrough came with the comic role of Mona Lisa Vito in the 1992 film ‘My Cousin Vinny’. She earned global recognition and positive critical reviews for her characterisation and went on to win the ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in 1993.
  • In 1992, she featured as actress Mabel Normand in the silent film ‘Chaplin’ opposite Robert Downey Jr., her then boyfriend who appeared in the role of Chaplin.
  • Some of her films of the 90s received critical acclaim. These include ‘Untamed Heart’ (1993) for which she received ‘MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss’, ‘Unhook The Stars’ (1996) – that fetched her first nomination for ‘Screen Actor's Guild’, and ‘Slums of Beverly Hills’(1998).
  • Her television performances continued off and on in the 1990s. The appearances include being a host in 1994 ‘Saturday Night Live’ and playing herself in the episode ‘The Cadillac’ of the 1996 sitcom series ‘Seinfeld’. She played Mattie Vines in 1998 movie ‘My Own Country’ in which her younger brother Adam was also in the cast.
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  • Her string of stage performances in the 90s include as Adriana in ‘The Comedy of Errors’ (1992), as Katherine Serafima Gleb in ‘Slavs!’ (1994) and as Susy Hendrix in ‘Wait Until Dark’ (1998) among others.
  • She swung up the career path with some great commercial hits in the 2000s that garnered millions of dollars starting with the 2000 film ‘What Women Want’ co-starring with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. The success list continued with films like ‘Anger Management in 2003, ‘Wild Hogs’ in 2007, and ‘Parental Guidance’ in 2012.
  • Along with commercial hits she received critical acclaim in several other films during that period. Some of them are the 2001 film ‘In The Bedroom’, ‘Before the Devil Knows You're Dead’ in 2007, ‘The Wrestler’ in 2008’, ‘Cyrus’ in 2010 and ‘Love is Strange’ in 2014. She received nomination for the ‘Academy Award’ for her performance in ‘In The Bedroom’.
  • While enjoying success in her film career, she essayed her role Angie Gavin in the 2006 TV drama series ‘Rescue Me’ for four episodes and received the ‘Gracie Allen Award’.
  • She stood out with her role of a stripper Cassidy/Pam in the 2008 film ‘The Wrestler’ that fetched her ‘Academy Awards’, ‘Golden Globe’ and ‘BAFTA’ nominations. The film fetched her several critics’ awards including that of ‘Detroit Film Critics Society’, ‘Florida Film Critics Circle’, ‘Online Film Critics Society’ and ‘San Francisco Film Critics Circle’ among others.
  • Her fitness DVD ‘Marisa Tomei: Core & Curves’ came out in 2010.
  • In 2011, she was the host of ‘Scientific and Technical Awards’.
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  • On February 10, 2012, she appeared in one episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ that featured her travelling to the Elba Island and Tuscany to unveil the century old murder mystery of Francesco Leopoldo Bianchi, her great-grandfather.
  • Her stage performances in the 2000s includes her enactment as Salome in ‘Salome’ (2003), as Isabella Bird/Joyce/Mrs. Kidd in ‘Top Girls’ (2008), as Marie in ‘Marie and Bruce’ (2011) and as Pony Jones in ‘The Realistic Joneses’ (2014). She won a special ‘Drama Desk Awards’ for the latter.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 1993, she won the ‘Academy Award’ as ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for playing the comic role of Mona Lisa Vito in the 1992 film ‘My Cousin Vinny’.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • In early 1990s she was involved with Robert Downey Jr. She has starred with him in two films, ‘Chaplin’ (1992) and ‘Only You’ (1994).
  • She was in a relationship with actor Dana Ashbrook and TV writer and artistic director Frank Pugliese.
  • She has been linked with actor Logan Marshall-Green since 2008.
  • She is the Godmother of Zoë Kravitz.
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  • In 2008, the ‘FHM’ charted her at No. 18 in the list of ‘100 Sexiest Females in the world’.
  • She has revealed that she holds dual citizenship of both the United States of America and Italy and often travels using the Italian passport.
  • In Italian language ‘Tomei’ means invisible.

1. My Cousin Vinny (1992)

  (Crime, Comedy)

2. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

  (Adventure, Sci-Fi, Action)

3. The Wrestler (2008)

  (Drama, Sport)

4. Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

  (Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi)

5. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

  (Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure)

6. The Big Short (2015)

  (Biography, History, Drama, Comedy)

7. Chaplin (1992)

  (Drama, Comedy, Biography)

8. In the Bedroom (2001)

  (Crime, Drama)


Academy Awards(Oscars)
1993 Best Actress in a Supporting Role My Cousin Vinny (1992)
MTV Movie & TV Awards
1993 Best Breakthrough Performance My Cousin Vinny (1992)
1993 Best Kiss Untamed Heart (1993)

See the events in life of Marisa Tomei in Chronological Order

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Article Title
- Marisa Tomei Biography
- Editors,
Last Updated
- September 14, 2017

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