From Molly Picon to Natalie Portman, the experiences of Jewish women in Hollywood have often been shaped by their Jewishness.
Mayim Bialik presents a frank discussion about Jewish women and Hollywood stardom -- from typecasting and "looking Jewish" to depictions of Jewish characters by Jewish and non-Jewish actresses.
Best known for her portrayal of a young Bette Midler in "Beaches" and her lead role as Blossom Russo in the 1990s sitcom "Blossom," Bialik went on to earn a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and has since returned to acting, appearing in HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Saving Grace," "Till Death," and "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." She will portray Nancy Kurshan in the film "Chicago 8," about the events leading up to the riots surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.
Now leading a more observant Jewish lifestyle than her Reform upbringing, Bialik speaks about how she balances aspects of her Jewish identity such as dressing modestly in an industry that leans toward provocative.
Mayim Bialik is best known for her lead role as Blossom Russo in the early-1990s NBC television sitcom "Blossom." Bialik was born in California to first generation Jewish American parents who were documentary film makers and teachers.
She played the young Bette Midler in "Beaches" and also had guest roles on some of television's most beloved shows of the 1980s and 1990s, such as "MacGuyver," "Webster," and "The Facts of Life." She also appeared in Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water" in 1994, and has more recently appeared in HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." She has been the guest on numerous talk shows, including "The Arsenio Hall Show," "The Tonight Show," and on Jon Stewart and Conan O'Brien's earliest forays into late-night.
Bialik earned a BS from UCLA in 2000 in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2007.
What a charming, intelligent, unapolagetic woman! It is refreshing to see a strong Jewish woman stand up for her faith, its traditions and share so honestly the internal struggles religious Jews face in a world that has been generally hostile to Jews. I am proud of the United States for being the safest, best place to be a religious Jew to live. She is an excellent role model for women of all faiths in my opinion.