Marisa Tomei was born on December 4, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, to mother Patricia "Addie" Tomei, an English teacher and father Gary Tomei, a lawyer. Marisa also has a brother, actor Adam Tomei. As a child, Marisa's mother frequently corrected her speech as to eliminate her heavy Brooklyn accent. As a teen, Marisa attended Edward R. Murrow High School and graduated in the class of 1982. She was one year into her college education at Boston University when she dropped out for a co-starring role on the CBS daytime drama As the World Turns (1956). Her role on that show paved the way for her entrance into film: in 1984, she debuted with a bit part in The Flamingo Kid (1984). Three years later, Marisa became known for her role as Maggie Lawton, Lisa Bonet's college roommate, on the sitcom A Different World (1987).
Her real breakthrough came in 1992, when she co-starred as Joe Pesci's hilariously foul-mouthed, scene-stealing girlfriend in My Cousin Vinny (1992), a performance that won he