Born: June 23, 1980
Date of Birth: June 23, 1980
The Big Bang Theory funny lady and New Jersey native Melissa Rauch was born in Marlboro Township, a town just 45 minutes south of Newark. Her parents are Susan and David, and she was raised in the Jewish faith, alongside her brother, Ben.
The performing arts were always a draw for the talented comedian, having attended arts camp from when she was very young, where she often performed stand-up comedy. She told Back Stage magazine, "I remember being like seven or eight, and being on stage...and thinking 'This is the best feeling ever.'"
While attending Marlboro High School, Melissa developed an early interest in acting. She pursued this passion at Marymount Manhattan College in New York, from which she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002. During this time, she performed stand-up comedy around Manhattan, where she began to make a name for herself. Her one-woman show, The Miss Education of Jenna Bush, garnered her mainstream attention and critical success, earning her an award for Outstanding Solo Show at the New York Fringe Festival. Portraying former president George W. Bush's daughter Jenna, Melissa co-wrote the play with writing partner Winston Beigel, whom she met in college and would later marry.
Melissa started out on as a commentator on VH1's Best Week Ever. Then, in 2006, the budding actress made her feature film debut — a small role in the offbeat drama Delirious (2006), starring Steve Buscemi. Next she had a three-episode guest run on the HBO series 12 Miles of Bad Road (2007), and a six-episode run on the short-lived comedy series Kath & Kim (2008).
It wasn't until 2009 that Melissa would earn her breakthrough role as Howard Wolowitz's girlfriend (and later wife) Bernadette on the massively popular series The Big Bang Theory. She and her cast members would go on to earn four SAG Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Melissa has appeared in a handful of films in between her starring role on Big Bang, including I Love You, Man (2009), In Lieu of Flowers (2013) and Are You Here (2014), as well as recurring roles on the TV shows True Blood (2008 to 2014) and The Office (2005 to 2013).
Melissa is also a talented voice actor, voicing characters for kid's animated series as Jake and the Never Land Pirates and Sofia the First.
Stage comedy has remained very much a part of Melissa's career trajectory, with the actress starring in the spoof stage show The Realest Real Housewives, which began running at the Upright Citizens Brigade in 2011.
Melissa can be seen starring alongside Gary Cole and Sebastian Stan in the independent comedy The Bronze (2016), which she co-wrote and co-produced with her husband, Winston. She's also lending her voice to the highly anticipated sequel Ice Age: Collision Course (2016).
Filmography:Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)