Marisa Tomei is an Academy Award winning actress who got her start as an extra on the TV show "A Different World". She was born December 4th, 1964 in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents were avid fans of the theatre and took Marisa to Broadway. She became captivated and decided to become an actress.
After graduating high school, Tomei went to the Boston University but transferred to New York University in 1983 after she received a part in the soap opera "As The World Turns". She soon after quit college because her acting career was beginning to take off. Her next role was in a Cosby Show spinoff called "A Different World" in 1987.
In 1992, she had a breakthrough with a role in the film "My Cousin Vinnie" and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. There was a huge scandal over rumors that the wrong name was read from the envelope at the event. Even though these were denied by the Academy Awards, the rumors caused Marisa Tomei a great deal of distress. The Academy Award led to several other roles in major films as well as independent productions such as "The Slums of Beverly Hills". Though these roles did not curtail Tomei's career into the limelight, they did establish her as a skilled actress capable of playing many complex characters in diverse settings. For her roles in the 2001 film "In The Bedroom", Tomei was nominated for an Academy Award and again for the 2008 movie The Wrestler.
In the 1990s, Marisa Tomei gained a lot of media attention for her relationship with Robert Downey, Jr. She also was in relationships with actor Dana Ashbrook and playwright Frank Pugliese. Boston University awarded Tomei an honorary degree.