Born: 4 December 1964
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
Best known as: The Oscar-winning actress from My Cousin Vinny
She grew up in New York and started college in Boston, but landing a role in the daytime serial As The World Turns (1983) put her on the path to show business. She made her film debut in the fluffy Matt Dillon comedy Pink Flamingoes (1984), but it was her part in the first season of TV's A Different World (1987) that brought attention to her comedic skills. The 1992 hit comedy My Cousin Vinny (starring Joe Pesci) made her a star and brought along her first Oscar nomination (she won for best supporting actress). Since then she's worked steadily in movies, television and theater -- not quite becoming a household name, yet known as an Italian beauty who every now and then hits one out of the park: she got a second Oscar nomination for her supporting role in In the Bedroom (2001, starring Sissy Spacek), and her third Oscar nomination for her supporting role in The Wrestler (2008, starring Mickey Rourke). Her other films include The Watcher (2000, with Keanu Reeves), What Women Want (2000), Anger Management (2003, starring Adam Sandler), Factotum (2005, also with Matt Dillon) and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007, opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman).
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