Mayim Chaya Bialik (/ / MY-əm bee-AH-lik; born December 12, 1975) is an American actress, game show host, and author. From 1991 to 1995, she played the title character of the NBC sitcom Blossom. From 2010 to 2019, she played neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. For the latter role, Bialik was nominated four times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and won the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2015 and 2017.
Mayim Chaya Bialik
December 12, 1975
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles (BS, MS, PhD)|
(m. 2003; div. 2012)
In August 2021, it was announced that Bialik will host the primetime version of Jeopardy!. After Mike Richards stepped down from hosting the syndicated version of the show later that month, Bialik started concurrently hosting that version as well (sharing duties with Ken Jennings).
Mayim Chaya Bialik was born on December 12, 1975, in San Diego, California, to Barry and Beverly (née Winkleman) Bialik. Her family were Jewish immigrants who lived in The Bronx, New York City, and three of her four grandparents migrated from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. She was raised as a Reform Jew, but now considers herself Modern Orthodox Jewish. Bialik had a Bat Mitzvah. She has called herself a "staunch Zionist". Her personal name, Mayim ('water' in Hebrew), originates in a family nickname of her great-grandmother, Miriam. Poet Hayim Nahman Bialik was her great-great-great-granduncle.
Bialik graduated in 1993 from North Hollywood High School in North Hollywood, California. In acknowledgment of her acting commitments, she was granted a deferred acceptance and attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience, with minors in Hebrew and Jewish studies, in 2000.
Bialik has said she did not have the grades needed for medical school. She went on to study for a doctorate in neuroscience. She took a break from studies in 2005 to return to acting. She returned to earn her Doctor of Philosophy degree in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007 under Dr. James McCracken. Her dissertation was titled "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative and satiety behaviors in Prader–Willi syndrome".
Bialik started her career as a child actress in the late 1980s. Her early roles included the 1988 horror film Pumpkinhead (her first acting job) and guest appearances on The Facts of Life (two final-season episodes) and Beauty and the Beast. In 1988–89, she had a recurring role on the TV sitcom Webster playing Frieda, Webster's classmate, in eight episodes. It was for Beauty and the Beast, in which she played a sewer-dwelling girl named Ellie who had about 10 lines of dialogue, that Bialik obtained her Screen Actors Guild (SAG) card. She appeared in three episodes of MacGyver as Lisa Woodman. She appeared in Beaches (1988), playing Bette Midler's character as a young girl. Many contemporary reviews singled out her performance as a strong point in an otherwise emotionally contrived and formulaic film. She appeared in the music video for Michael Jackson's song "Liberian Girl". In 1990, she was tied to two television pilots, Fox's Molloy and NBC's Blossom. Molloy at first produced six episodes for a tryout run, followed by the shooting of the pilot special for Blossom. The latter aired two weeks before the Fox series and garnered higher ratings. When Molloy folded after its six episodes, Blossom premiered as a mid-season replacement on January 3, 1991, and aired until May 22, 1995.
On September 8, 1992, Bialik was a celebrity contestant guest in the episode "Disturbing The Heavenly Peace", the first episode of the second season of the PBS game show Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?. She had a major part in the Woody Allen comedy film Don't Drink the Water in 1994. Between 1995 and 2005, she mostly did voiceover work for cartoons, such as The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Disney's Recess and Kim Possible, Cartoon Network's Johnny Bravo, and Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold!. She appeared in the feature film Kalamazoo? (2005) and in three episodes of the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm as Jodi Funkhouser, the lesbian daughter of a friend of Larry David. The character transitioned to male in a later episode, going by the name Joey, and was recast to Chaz Bono, a trans man. Bialik also made guest appearances as a fictionalized version of herself in the series Fat Actress and in an episode of Saving Grace.
Bialik had a recurring role as the high school guidance counselor in ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager. In 2009, Clinton Kelly nominated her for a makeover on TLC's What Not To Wear. She joined the cast of The Big Bang Theory as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler in 2010. Her first appearance was in the season 3 finale as a potential love interest for the character of Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons). In season 4, she began as a recurring character playing Sheldon's "friend that's a girl, but not a girlfriend." Beginning with the 8th episode of season 4, she became part of the main cast. Amy is a neurobiologist, which is related to Bialik's real-life doctorate in neuroscience. Bialik's performance in The Big Bang Theory earned her Emmy Award nominations in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Bialik was one of seven actresses who had a "quirky" personality to audition for the role. Before she joined the cast, in the episode "The Bat Jar Conjecture", Raj suggests recruiting the real-life Bialik to their Physics Bowl team, saying "You know who's apparently very smart is the girl who played TV's Blossom. She got a Ph.D. in neuroscience or something." She is one of the guest stars on the 2014 Steve Carell improvisational sketch show Riot.
In August 2014, Bialik began hosting a revival of Candid Camera on TV Land along with Peter Funt. Her book Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way was released in 2012. Her most recent movie appearance was in a Lifetime Christmas movie, The Flight Before Christmas.
In 2019, Bialik appeared in a commercial for IBM. On August 20, 2019, it was announced that she and her new production company, Sad Clown Productions, had signed exclusive contracts with Warner Bros. Entertainment. Mackenzie Gabriel-Vaught, a former executive at Chuck Lorre Productions, is Sad Clown's head of development. Sad Clown Productions, in conjunction with Jim Parsons's That's Wonderful Productions, BBC Studios, and Miranda Hart, executive-produces a starring vehicle for Bialik, Call Me Kat, based on the British series Miranda. The series, a co-production of Warner Bros. and Fox Entertainment, premiered on Fox on January 3, 2021. The series was renewed for a second season in May 2021.
From May 31 to June 11, 2021, Bialik served as a guest host of Jeopardy! On August 11, 2021, it was announced that Bialik will host future primetime specials and spinoffs of the series. After executive producer Mike Richards resigned as host after one week, it was announced that Bialik would guest-host the show for three weeks. The contract was extended to seven weeks, and she will then alternate with Ken Jennings for the rest of the calendar year.
Other works and writingsEdit
Bialik founded Grok Nation (originally styled "GrokNation") in August 2015 to facilitate conversations among people of different ages and backgrounds about contemporary issues. It aimed to engage readers in online conversations that lead to offline action, mobilizing them to change the world as a community. To grok means to understand in a profound manner. The term comes from the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. Bialik had been writing on a similar area for JTA-affiliated Jewish parenting site Kveller for five years. She announced and described her new creation on Kveller.
Along with former Sassy writer and editor Christina Kelly, Bialik relaunched Grok Nation as a women's lifestyle site in March 2018. In March 2019, the site ceased updating, with new content shifting to Bialik's email newsletter.
Bialik has written two books with pediatrician Jay Gordon and two by herself. Beyond the Sling is about attachment parenting, while Mayim's Vegan Table contains over 100 vegan recipes by Bialik. Her third book, Girling Up, is about the struggles and ways in which girls grow up while showing the scientific ways in which their bodies change. The successor to Girling Up, Boying Up, was released in 2018. It analyzes the science, anatomy and mentality of growing up as a boy and discusses the physical and mental changes and challenges boys face while transitioning from adolescence to adulthood.
The New York Times op-edEdit
After the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations surfaced, Bialik wrote a New York Times op-ed in which she described the entertainment industry as one "that profits on the exploitation of women ... [and] the objectification of women". With regard to protecting herself from sexual harassment, Bialik wrote that she dressed modestly and did not act flirtatiously with men, adding, "In a perfect world, women should be free to act however they want. But our world isn't perfect. Nothing—absolutely nothing—excuses men for assaulting or abusing women. But we can't be naïve about the culture we live in." Bialik's article drew backlash from critics who said she was insinuating that modesty and a conservative wardrobe can guard one against sexual assault. Patricia Arquette tweeted, "I have to say I was dressed non provocatively at 12 walking home from school when men masturbated at me. It's not the clothes." In response, Bialik said she regretted that the piece "became what it became" and participated in a Facebook Live event hosted by The New York Times to answer questions about it.
Bialik has written and directed her first film, As Sick as They Made Us, about a divorced mom juggling her family's needs and her own quest for love. Dustin Hoffman and Candice Bergen are slated to star. Simon Helberg, Bialik's former The Big Bang Theory castmate, is also planned to appear in the film.
The film was expected to premiere in late 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed filming. Ash Christian was attached to the project, but died in August 2020. Principal photography began in June 2021.
Bialik married Michael Stone on August 31, 2003, in a Victorian-themed ceremony that included traditional Jewish wedding customs. Bialik and Stone have two sons together. The couple divorced in November 2012. In December 2018, Bialik revealed that she and her boyfriend of five years had broken up.
In 2010, Bialik returned to television so she could spend more time with her children. "I'm glad that I completed my PhD and I'm very proud of it, but the life of a research professor would not have suited my needs in terms of what kind of parenting I wanted to do", she said. In addition, she explained that her "health insurance was running out", via the COBRA program. She had sought out Screen Actors Guild (SAG) health insurance for herself and her sons.
In a 2012 interview, Bialik said she sees herself as an "aspiring Modern Orthodox". She has also described herself as a "staunch Zionist". She is a self-professed fan of The Maccabeats, an American Orthodox Jewish a cappella group based at Yeshiva University, and appeared with her sons lighting the menorah in the group's 2011 Hanukkah music video. During the 2014 Gaza Conflict, she donated money to the IDF for armored vests. She has also appeared in several YouTube cameos as Blossom and Amy Farrah Fowler asking questions about Jewish beliefs. The videos are produced by Allison Josephs, Bialik's Judaism study partner, whom she encountered with the help of Partners in Torah. Bialik is a celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network.
Bialik is a vegan and a founding member of the Shamayim V'Aretz Institute, a Jewish organization that advocates for the ethical treatment of animals. In 2017, she announced that she and vegan chef Ali Cruddas co-owned Bodhi Bowl, a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles that permanently closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a 2009 interview, Bialik said of her family: "We are a non-vaccinating family, but I make no claims about people's individual decisions. We based ours on research and discussions with our pediatrician, and we've been happy with that decision, but obviously there's a lot of controversy about it". In October 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she said that though she had not received a vaccination in 30 years, she planned to be vaccinated against both the flu and the coronavirus and that her children had received all required vaccinations.
|1988||Beaches||Young Cecilia "CC" Carol Bloom|
|1990||The Kingdom Chums: Original Top Ten||Petey||Voice|
|2011||The Chicago 8||Nancy Kurshan|
|TBA||As Sick as They Made Us||Director|
|1987||Beauty and the Beast||Ellie||Episode: "No Way Down"|
|1988||The Facts of Life||Jennifer Cole||Episodes: "The Beginning of the End" and "The Beginning of the Beginning"|
|1988–1989||Webster||Frieda||Recurring role (Season 6)|
|1989–1990||Empty Nest||Laurie Kincaid||Episodes: "The R.N. Who Came to Dinner" and "Harry Knows Best"|
|1989–1990||MacGyver||Lisa Woodman||Recurring role (Season 5 and Season 6)|
|1990||Doogie Howser, M.D.||Candace||Episode: "Ask Dr. Doogie"|
|1990||Molloy||Molloy Martin||Lead role|
|1990||Murphy Brown||Natalie||Episode: "I Want My FYI"|
|1990||The Earth Day Special||Herself||Television special|
|1990–1995||Blossom||Blossom Russo||Lead role|
|1991||Sea World's Mother Earth Celebration||Herself||Television special|
|1992||Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?||Herself||Guest role|
|1993||The Hidden Room||Jillie||Episode: "Jillie"|
|1994||Don't Drink the Water||Susan Hollander||Television film|
|1994–1995||The John Larroquette Show||Rachel||Episodes: "The Book of Rachel", "Rachel and Ton" and "Rachel Redux"|
|1995–1996||The Adventures of Hyperman||Brittany Bright||Voice; Main role|
|1996; 1999||Hey Arnold!||Maria||Voice; Episodes: "6th Grade Girls" and "Phoebe Skips"|
|1996||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||Cindy||Voice; Episode: "Wake Me When It's Over"|
|1996||The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest||Lucy / Julia||Voice; Episodes: "Assault on Questworld" and "The Alchemist"|
|1997; 2000||Recess||Kirsten Kurst||Voice; Episodes: "The Break-In", "The Girl Was Trouble", "Lawson and His Crew", "My Funny Valentines" and "Kurst the Not-So-Bad"|
|1997||Johnny Bravo||Tour Guide||Voice; Episode: "Going Batty"|
|1997||Extreme Ghostbusters||Girl in Future||Voice; Episode: "Ghost Apocalyptic Future"|
|1998||Welcome to Paradox||Rita||Episode: "Alien Jane"|
|2001–2002||Lloyd in Space||Mean Cindy||Voice; Recurring role (Season 1–2)|
|2003||7th Heaven||Cathy||Episode: "Dick"|
|2004||Kim Possible||Justine Flanner||Voice; Episode: "Partners"|
|2005||Katbot||Paula||Voice; Recurring role|
|2005||Fat Actress||Herself||Episode: "The Koi Effect" and "Holy Lesbo Batman"|
|2005; 2007||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Jodi Funkhauser||Episodes: "The Bowtie", "The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial" and "The TiVo Guy"|
|2009||Saving Grace||Esther||Episode: "Mooooooooo"|
|2009||Bones||Genie Gormon||Episode: "The Cinderella in the Cardboard"|
|2009||'Til Death||Herself||Episodes: "The Break-Up", "Merit Play" and "Baby Steps"|
|2010||The Secret Life of the American Teenager||Dr. Wilameena Bink||Recurring role (Season 2–3)|
|2010||Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?||Herself / Expert||Season 8|
|2010–2019||The Big Bang Theory||Amy Farrah Fowler||Guest role (Season 3)|
Main role (Season 4–Season 12)
|2011||The Dog Who Saved Halloween||Medusa||Voice; television film|
|2012||Survivor: One World||Herself/Attendant||Reality; Episode: "Reunion"|
|2014||Candid Camera||Host||Season 38|
|2014||Stan Lee's Mighty 7||Lady Lightning||Voice; Television film|
|2015||Blaze and the Monster Machines||Great Sphinx||Voice; Episode: "Race to the Top of the World"|
|2015||The Flight Before Christmas||Stephanie Michelle Hunt||Television film|
|2016||Star vs. the Forces of Evil||Willoughby||Voice; Episode: "Fetch"|
|2017||MasterChef Junior||Guest judge||Episode: "Batter Hurry Up"|
|2017||Rhett & Link's Buddy System||Glenda||Episode: "To Kill a Robot”|
|2017||Drop the Mic||Herself||Episode: "Mayim Bialik vs. Kunal Nayyar / Ashley Tisdale vs. Nick Lachey"|
|2020||Match Game||Herself||Celebrity panel|
|2020||Young Sheldon||Amy Farrah Fowler||Voice; Episode: "Graduation"|
|2021||Call Me Kat||Kat||Main role|
|2021||Jeopardy!||Herself||Syndicated host, 65 episodes|
|2013||Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler
Who Can Also Travel Through Time
|B.O.O.T.H.||Voice; Episode: "Second Season Prequel"|
|2016||YidLife Crisis||Chaya||Episode: "The Double Date"|
|2017||Rhett and Link's Buddy System||Pathologist|
|2017; 2018||Good Mythical Morning||Herself||Episodes: "What's On My Head?", "3 Monkeys Blindfold" and "Dissecting A Frog"|
|2018||The Super Slow Show||Herself||Episode: "Slow Learners"|
|2003||X2: Wolverine's Revenge||Bush Pilot / May Deuce|
- Bialik, Mayim Chaya (2007). Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome (PhD thesis). University of California, Los Angeles. OCLC 732917927. Retrieved May 5, 2018 – via ProQuest.
- Bialik, Mayim; Jay Gordon (Introduction) (2012). Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way. Touchstone. ISBN 978-1451662184.
- Bialik, Mayim; Jay Gordon (2014). Mayim's Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours. Da Capo Lifelong Books. ISBN 978-0738217048.
- Bialik, Mayim (2017) Girling Up: How to be Strong, Smart and Spectacular. Philomel Books. ISBN 978-0399548604.
- Bialik, Mayim (2018) Boying Up: How to be Brave, Bold and Brilliant. Philomel Books. ISBN 978-0525515975.
Awards and nominationsEdit
- Russo, G. (2012). "Turning point: Mayim Bialik. Actress makes the shift from television to neuroscience and then back again". Nature. 485 (7400): 669. doi:10.1038/nj7400-669a. PMID 22670263.
- Bialik, Mayim Chaya. "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome" (PhD Diss., UCLA, 2007).
- Davis, Nicola (September 11, 2015). "Mayim Bialik: Big Bang Theory is changing the way people think of nerds and geeks". The Guardian. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
Born in San Diego, California to first-generation Jewish-American parents.
- "Mayim Bialik". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
- "Mayim Bialik: Mourning My Father's Death". Kveller. April 21, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Obituaries". Jewish Journal. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Berkman, Meredith (March 8, 1991). "Mayim Bialik: the young feminist". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- Bialik, Mayim (June 26, 2018). "Episode 128: Mayim Bialik". Unqualified (Interview). Interviewed by Anna Faris. Anna Faris.
- Stein, Jason (2011). "Big Bang Theory star thought she was auditioning for a game show". Jewish Telegraph. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
- Pfefferman, Naomi (September 19, 2011). "'Big Bang Theory' Actress Lives at Intersection of Science, Religion [UPDATE]". Jewish Journal. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
- "Mayim Bialik Discusses Being Orthodox in Hollywood | Religious and Reform". The Jewish Journal. March 20, 2013. Archived from the original on March 24, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- Glassman, Marvin (May 11, 2015). "Jewish actress Mayim Bialik to speak". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
- Cohen, Marla (May 2012). "Geek Love, Parenting, and Judaism". Jewish Federation of Rockland County. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012.
- "Mayim Bialik & Melissa Rauch Talk 'The Bronze,' Bat Mitzvahs & Big Bang's Jewish Rivalry". March 16, 2016.
- King, Larry (May 6, 2014). "Mayim Bialik & Melissa Rauch" (Video interview). Larry King Now. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- "Mayim Bialik's Big Bang". Haaretz. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
My great-grandmother's name was Miriam, and the grandkids had a hard time pronouncing the resh in the middle, so they just called her Mayam and she was known as Bobbe Mayam. And then my parents thought it was cool in 1975 to name me Mayim.
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- Biography Archived June 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine - official website of Mayim Bialik
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- "Life After Child Stardom – Not by the Numbers". Abcnews.go.com. November 24, 2006. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
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- "How Did You Get Your SAG-AFTRA Card?" TV Guide. January 13, 2014. p. 10.
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- Patterson, Jean. "Young 'Blossom' Fans Soon Can Purchase Her Fashions". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
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- Kroeger, Jake (April 8, 2014). "Fox Improv Show RIOT Will Feature Steve Carell, Jason Alexander, Cheryl Hines". Nerdist. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
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- "The Flight Before Christmas (TV Movie 2015)". IMDb. December 1, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- "IBM Let's Put Smart to Work Oscars commercial – Feat. Mayim Bialik, Janelle Monae & more". alltvspots.com. September 6, 2019.
- "Mayim Bialik Signs Warner Bros. TV Production, Talent Holding Deal". variety.com. August 20, 2019.
- "'Big Bang Theory' Alums Jim Parsons, Mayim Bialik Set Comedy at Fox With Series Commitment". Variety. September 19, 2019.
- "'Big Bang's Mayim Bialik & Jim Parsons Reteam For Fox Comedy Series 'Carla' Based On UK's 'Miranda'". Deadline Hollywood. September 19, 2019.
- Peter White (May 10, 2021). "Call Me Kat Renewed For Season 2 At Fox; Showrunner Darlene Hunt To Exit". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
- "M Jeopardy! Guest Host Schedule". jeopardy.com. June 11, 2021.
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- Oliver Darcy; Brian Stelter (August 23, 2021). "Mayim Bialik to be first guest host of Jeopardy! following Mike Richards' departure". CNN. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
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- Bialik, Mayim (September 4, 2012). Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way. ISBN 978-1451662184.
- Mayim Bialik. "Beyond The Sling". Simon and Schuster. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Writing". Mayim Bialik. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Bialik, Mayim (2014). Mayim's Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours. ISBN 978-0738217048.
- Bialik, Mayim (October 13, 2017). "Mayim Bialik: Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein's World". The New York Times. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
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- Emily, Krauser (August 15, 2020). "Ash Christian, Actor and Emmy-Winning Producer, Dead at 35". WUSA. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
- Justin Chu Cary & Charlie Weber Join Dustin Hoffman In Mayim Bialik’s ‘As Sick As They Made Us’ – Cannes
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- "Watch The Late Late Show - #Cleavagegate: Mayim Bialik Flashes Hers to Piers Morgan trailer -AT&T U-verse". Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Mayim Bialik Talks Attachment Parenting with CBB". Retrieved July 1, 2021.
- Roberto, Melissa (October 2, 2020). "Mayim Bialik clears up rumors she's an anti-vaxxer, says she plans to get vaccinated for coronavirus, flu". Retrieved July 1, 2021.
- "Survivor season finale recap: Kim Spradlin wins". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
- Alexandra Del Rosario (January 13, 2021). "Jeopardy!: Mayim Bialik & Bill Whitaker Join Aaron Rodgers, Katie Couric To Guest Host Trivia Game". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
- "About the book – Beyond the Sling". Mayimbialik.net. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- "Mayim's Vegan Table". Mayimbialik.net. January 19, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- "Detroit Free Press". 'Big Bang Theory' star shares her wisdom in 'Girling Up'. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "Grok Nation". Mayim answers questions about her new book 'Boying Up'. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
- Berger, Judy. "Jew in the City to Award All-Stars in December". jewishlinknj.com. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
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