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, Marisas 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 made her film debut with a bit part in The Flamingo Kid (1984). Three years later, Marisa became known for her role as Maggie Lawton, Lisa Bonets college roommate, on the sitcom A Different World (1987). Her real breakthrough came in 1992, when she co-starred as Joe Pescis hilariously foul-mouthed, scene-stealing girlfriend in My Cousin Vinny (1992), a performance that won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Later that year, she turned up briefly as a snippy Mabel Normand in director Richard Attenboroughs biopic Chaplin (1992), and was soon given her first starring role in Untamed Heart (1993). A subsequent starring role -- and attempted makeover into Audrey Hepburn -- in the romantic comedy Only You (1994) proved only moderately successful. Marisas other 1994 role as Michael Keatons hugely pregnant wife in The Paper (1994) was well-received, although the film as a whole was not.