Plucky Brooklyn-born actress Marisa Tomei was one year into her college education at Boston University when she was tapped for a co-starring role on the CBS daytime drama As the World Turns. Her role on that show, as well as work on another soap, One Life to Live, paved the way for her entrance into film: In 1984, she made her film debut with a bit part in The Flamingo Kid.
Three years later Tomei became known for her role as Maggie Lawton, Lisa Bonet’s college roommate, on the sitcom A Different World. Her real breakthrough came in 1992, when she co-starred as Joe Pesci’s hilariously foul-mouthed girlfriend in My Cousin Vinny, a performance that won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Later that year, she turned up briefly as a snippy Mabel Normand in director Richard Attenborough’s mammoth biopic Chaplin, and was soon given her first starring role in Untamed Heart (1993). A subsequent starring role — and attempted… read more