With her thick New York accent, Marisa Tomei was an unlikely candidate to become a serious actress, but she has proven critics and audiences wrong. Marisa was born on December 4, 1964 in Brooklyn. Her parents introduced her to the theater at a young age and her love of acting developed from there. She attended Boston University, but soon transferred to New York University when she landed a role on the soap opera As The World Turns in 1983. In 1989, she joined the cast of the Cosby Show spin-off A Different World, playing Lisa Bonet's roommate for the show's first season. Her breakthrough role took full advantage of her Brooklyn background, playing the tough-talking girlfriend of Joe Pesci in the 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinny, a role that won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Her post-Oscar career was filled with moderately successful films like Only You with Robert Downey Jr. and What Women Want with Mel Gibson. She was again recognized by the Academy Awards with a nomination for her supporting role in the 2001 drama In the Bedroom. Marisa has made a recent comeback of sorts with a role in the hit comedy Wild Hogs and made headlines with 2007's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead featuring some highly provocative nude scenes with co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman. With new projects and roles on the horizon, Marisa continues to show why she's one of Oscar's golden girls.
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