11 things to know about Mayim Bialik, who was named one of the new hosts of 'Jeopardy!'
Mayim Bialik was named one of the new hosts of "Jeopardy!" with executive producer Mike Richards.
Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience, will host "Jeopardy!" primetime specials and spinoff series.
A former child actor, she starred on "The Big Bang Theory" and plays the titular character in "Call Me Kat."
Mayim Bialik hosted "Jeopardy!" from May 31 to June 11 as one of the season's many celebrity guest hosts.
Celebrities such as Aaron Rodgers, LeVar Burton, Anderson Cooper, and Katie Couric also took turns guest-hosting the show.
Bialik will continue next season as the host of "Jeopardy!" primetime and spin-off specials such as the teachers' and college tournaments.
"Really really honored and astounded and excited for this — it's beyond anything I ever imagined could happen," Bialik wrote on Instagram following the announcement in August.
Bialik may have one of her kids (and TikTok) to partially thank for the "Jeopardy!" hosting gig.
"My 15-year-old heard on the TikTok universe that people were saying, 'That girl from "Big Bang Theory" should do it,'" Bialik told Insider in April while promoting a partnership with Neuriva when asked how her guest-hosting duties came about on the game show.
She continued: "I don't know if it was my 15-year old and having to email my agent that did it or if it was something that was already in the works, but I'm super excited and honored, especially as a woman and as a woman in science to be able to present in this way in 10 snazzy blazers."
Her appointment as "Jeopardy!" host is not without controversy.
Bialik has made controversial statements about vaccines in the past. She wrote in her 2012 book, "Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way," that her children had not received the typical schedule of vaccines, contributing to widespread perception that she is an anti-vaxxer.
She clarified in a YouTube video in October 2020 that "I have never, not once, said that vaccines are not valuable, not useful or not necessary, because they are," and shared that she planned to get both the COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot even though she had not gotten a vaccine in 30 years.
She also stated in the video that she believes children receive too many vaccines, and that they are "never 100% effective."
"Do I think we give way too many vaccines in this country compared to when I was a vaccinated child? Yes. Do I believe most people don't even know what Hepatitis B is but vaccinate their newborns for it anyway because they're simply told to? Yes," she explained, adding, "Does the medical community often operate from a place of fear in order to make money? Heck yeah, they do!"
Bialik also attracted criticism over a 2017 op-ed she wrote for The New York Times about the multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment made against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Bialik wrote that although she was "shocked and disgusted" by the accusations against Weinstein, she was not surprised by them, and chooses to conduct herself in a way she described as "self-protecting and wise."
"I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with," she wrote. "I dress modestly. I don't act flirtatiously with men as a policy."
The op-ed drew backlash from critics who said Bialik was insinuating that modesty and a conservative wardrobe can guard one against sexual assault.
Bialik issued an apology on Twitter.
"Let me say clearly and explicitly that I am very sorry," she wrote. "What you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection from assault, or does the way you dress or act in any way make you responsible for being assaulted; you are never responsible for being assaulted."
"Jeopardy!" isn't the first game show she's been part of.
She appeared as a panelist on "To Tell the Truth" and "Match Game" in 2019 and hosted the remote game show "Celebrity Show-Off" in 2020.
She's a former child star.
Bialik became known for her role as Blossom Russo in the '90s TV show "Blossom." She landed the part when she was 12 years old and played the character for six seasons.
She took a break from acting to earn a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA.
She earned her Bachelor's degree in neuroscience in 2000 from UCLA and her PhD from the same university seven years later. Her dissertation was titled "Hypothalamic regulation in relation to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome."
She returned to Hollywood and became a household name once again as Amy Farrah Fowler on "The Big Bang Theory."
Bialik appeared on "The Big Bang Theory" from 2010 until the series finale in 2019. Her scientific background came in handy playing neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler.
Bialik currently stars on "Call Me Kat" on Fox.
Bialik stars as Kat, a 39-year-old single woman who uses the money her parents have been saving for her wedding to open a cat cafe. The show was inspired by the BBC hit series "Miranda."
She once auditioned for a "Spider-Man" movie but didn't get the part.
Bialik told Insider's Kirsten Acuna in April that she'd love to appear in a superhero movie or TV show.
"I've tried very hard and I'd like to believe that one day it might happen," Bialik said. "I did audition to play the teacher in one of the 'Spider-Man' [movies], but I didn't get it."
She added: "I'm past the young ingenue character, but I still think there might be a place for me. I'm a huge Marvel and DC person, but obviously DC is my Warner Bros. family. I'm pretty partial to that."
She's written several books about parenting, as well as a vegan cookbook.
Bialik published "Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way" in 2012. She also wrote "Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant" and "Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular" for teen readers, as well as "Mayim's Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours."
She's making her screenwriting and directorial debut in the upcoming film "As Sick as They Made Us."
"As Sick as They Made Us" filmed in New Jersey in July and is in post-production. The cast includes Simon Helberg, Dianna Agron, Candice Bergen, Dustin Hoffman, and Charlie Weber.
Read the original article on Insider