Mayim Hoya Bialik (born December 12, 1975) is an American actress. She is known for her lead role as Blossom Russo in the early-1990s NBC television sitcom Blossom.
Bialik was born in San Diego
, to Jewish
parents Barry Bialik and Beverly Winkelman. Her grandparents were European
refugees from the Holocaust
, immigrating from Poland
. Bialik was raised in the Reform Jewish
religion. One of her ancestors is the famed poet Chaim Nachman Bialik
, but she is not related to Wall Street Journal
online columnist Carl Bialik
. Her name means water
Bialik had a career as a child actress in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1989, Bialik won the Young Artist Award
for "Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Fantasy" for her role in Beaches
(1988). She also made a notable guest appearance as Lisa Woodman in MacGyver
Her greatest success came in 1991 when Blossom joined NBC's Monday night lineup following The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Both shows enjoyed popularity, especially among younger viewers, for the first couple of years of their respective runs. Blossom was finally canceled in 1995.
After more than ten years away from show business, Bialik appeared in the feature film Kalamazoo? released in late 2005. She also appeared in an episode of the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm as Jodi Funkhouser, the lesbian daughter of a friend of Larry David. Bialik also had a major part in the series Fat Actress.
At the end of Blossom
, she chose to attend UCLA
, despite reports that she was accepted at both Harvard
. She stated that she wanted to stay close to her parents and did not want to move all the way to the East Coast
. She earned a bachelor's degree
in 2000 in neuroscience
, and Jewish studies
, and went on to the Ph.D
. program in neuroscience. A 2002 interview stated that Bialik is now involved in Conservative Judaism
She took a break from these studies in 2005 to return to acting. As of 2006, she is completing work on her thesis, an investigation of Prader-Willi syndrome.
She is married to Michael Stone. She gave birth to their first child, a son, Milo on October 10, 2005, and she is expecting her second child in fall 2008.