A feisty brunette who has enjoyed a roller-coaster career, Tomei started out on soaps before jumping to prime time as a regular on the sitcom A Different World. Her breakthrough role as a marriage-minded tough cookie in 1992's My Cousin Vinny showcased her comedic talents and Brooklyn accent, and snagged her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. When a number of her subsequent movies (Untamed Heart, The Perez Family) failed to live up to their promise, Tomei smartly switched her focus to indie films, earning a second Oscar nod for her work in the harrowing 2001 drama In the Bedroom. Supporting roles in mainstream pictures followed (Anger Management, Alfie), as did a handful of plum stage roles, notably her 2003 pairing opposite acting great Al Pacino in Salome on Broadway. She racked up yet another Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the 2008 drama The Wrestler, playing a stripper who befriends an aging wrestler who's one of her regular clients. While the role required her to have a number of fake tattoos, Tomei also has a tattoo in real life of an Egyptian symbol on her right foot.
- Was a member of the Naked Angels, a New York theater company that has also included Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rob Morrow, Mary Stuart Masterson, Nancy Travis and Gina Gershon.
- Played herself in the Seinfeld episode "The Cadillac," in which George becomes obsessed with dating her after hearing from a mutual friend that she likes quirky, bald-headed men.
- Co-starred with her brother, Adam, in the 1998 Showtime drama My Own Country.
- Won an Oscar for her supporting role in My Cousin Vinny---ahead of four very experienced actresses---and was then subjected to rumors that presenter Jack Palance had read the wrong name (either by mistake or as a joke). PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm that handles the Academy Awards balloting process, says her name was read correctly.
- 2002, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
- 1992, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Winner
- 2008, Independent Spirit Awards — Best Supporting Female: Nominee
- 2001, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2008, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
- 2015, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2009, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2008, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2009, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
- 2009, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Supporting Actress: Nominee
- 2015, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Guest Actor/Actress in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 1996, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 2002, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- Rita Tomei — Grandmother
- Gary A. Tomei — Father
- Logan Marshall-Green — Ex-significant Other
- Patricia Tomei — Mother
- Romeo Tomei — Grandfather
- Adam Tomei — Brother
- Attended Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- Birth Name: Marisa Tomei
- Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, United States
- Profession: Actor