Every The Big Bang Theory fan, avid or otherwise, will know who the feisty but sweet microbiologist Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz is.
But there’s much more to actress Melissa Rauch’s life than simply Big Bang.
A girl born in Jersey, she quickly discovered she had a natural talent for making people laugh and a passion for performing, which pushed her down the path that lead her to nearly all of our TV screens.
Check out these Melissa Rauch facts on both her life and career below.
Melissa Rauch was born in Malboro Township in New Jersey.
She is 42 years old and was born on June 23, 1980.
Although she started her Big Bang career as a minor recurring character in Season 3, she became a member of the main cast, appearing in 89 episodes from Season 4 to the present day.
In an interview with Maxim as part of a photoshoot she did for them (more on that later), Melissa told them that, as Bernadette did in the early episodes of The Big Bang Theory, she waited tables at a couple of restaurants and bars whilst studying at college.
Melissa knew from an early age that she wanted to perform, or as she puts it herself, “I was a theater dork in high school and did all the plays.”
Before applying for the role of Bernadette, Melissa was already a massive Big Bang fan. She told Sequential Tart all about it in an interview with them, saying that “Big Bang was supposed to be a one-time guest star; luckily, kind of an actor’s dream, it turned into something more regular. I still pinch myself on a daily basis.“
Big Bang is also one of her father’s favorite shows, and she also said that “There’s not a ton of stuff that he loves, and it was a show that he absolutely loved.” So, needless to say, he was just as hyped as her when she got the part.
She is married to writer Winston Rauch, whom she met in college, and together they have collaborated on a few projects.
Melissa starred in a one-woman show called The Miss Education of Jenna Bush which she collaborated on with her husband, Winston.
She also collaborated with her hubby on a film called The Bronze, which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in early 2015. In The Bronze, Melissa plays a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, and whiskey-drinking former bronze gymnast and even did a rather gymnastic sex scene for this film!
Melissa had a small, 6-episode, recurring role in HBO’s big vamp-hit show True Blood as the character Summer, a girl who had a short fling with Hoyt.
She’s always had a thing for making people laugh. When asked in an interview what makes her come alive, Melissa answered, “Laughter. Either being made to laugh or igniting it.“
So it will come as no surprise that she took to the stage in college, doing several stand-up comedy shows in small clubs and bars in New York City. She even played a gig at the same open mike in Hamburger Harry’s, which is where Zach Galifianakis first took to the stage.
When asked about her taste in men, she said, “I absolutely love a funny guy. I am a sucker for it.“
She has said before that the voice she uses in The Big Bang Theory is based on her mother’s voice.
She also revealed that her father speaks a lot like Howard Wolowitz‘s mother in that “very low and raspy” voice.
As mentioned briefly earlier, Melissa did a very raunchy S&M-inspired shoot for the magazine Maxim in 2013, where she donned a very dashing black corset, not to mention a scary-big snake she had draped over her with the caption ‘Snakes on a Dame’!
Three of her biggest loves are arcades, boardwalk games like you see at carnivals, and roller-coasters. But of the three roller-coasters, her favorite as it took her so long to reach the height requirements for most of them, she swore never to take them for granted!
As a child, Melissa’s favorite superhero was Wonder Woman.
She absolutely adores Big Bang fans. When questioned about what her favorite part of comic-con appearances was, she replied, “to actually be able to shake hands with people and meet them, we get to feel their passion for the show, and that’s the same passion that we have.”
Melissa Rauch is much more than just her role as Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory. Her passion for performing and making people laugh started at an early age and has led her to a successful career in acting and stand-up comedy.
Rauch is grateful for her fans and their passion for the show and enjoys meeting them at comic-con appearances.