Oscar Actors: Tomei, Marisa–Background, Career, Awards

Marisa Tomei has received various accolades, including an Oscar Award and nominations for a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

After working on the television series “As the World Turns,” Tomei came to prominence as a cast member on “The Cosby Show” spin-off, “A Different World” in 1987.

After some minor roles in a few films, she came to international attention in 1992 with the comedy “My Cousin Vinny,” for which she received for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

She received two additional Academy Award nominations, for “In the Bedroom” in 2001 and “The Wrestler” in 2008.

Tomei has appeared in a number of successful movies, including What Women Want (2000), Anger Management (2003), Wild Hogs (2007), and Parental Guidance (2012). Other films include Untamed Heart (1993), Only You (1994), The Paper (1994), Unhook the Stars (1996), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), Cyrus (2010), Love Is Strange (2014), The Big Short (2015) and The First Purge (2018). She also portrays Aunt May in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having appeared in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).

Tomei was involved with the Naked Angels Theater Company and appeared in plays, such as Daughters (1986), Wait Until Dark (1998), Top Girls (2008), for which she received a nomination for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, and The Realistic Joneses (2014), for which she received a special award at the Drama Desk Awards.

Marisa Tomei was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the daughter of Adelaide “Addie” (née Bianchi), an English teacher, and Gary A. Tomei, a trial lawyer. She has a younger brother, actor Adam Tomei, and was partly raised by her paternal grandparents. Tomei’s parents are both of Italian descent; her father’s ancestors came from Tuscany, Calabria, and Campania; while her mother’s ancestors are from Tuscany and Sicily.

While growing up in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, she became captivated by the Broadway shows to which her theater-loving parents took her and was drawn to acting as a career. At Andries Hudde Junior High School, she played Hedy LaRue in a school production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

She graduated from Edward R. Murrow High School in 1982, after which she attended Boston University for a year.