Mayim Bialik returned to acting and joined The Big Bang Theory because she needed insurance. The actress is known for playing Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon Cooper’s love interest. Before that, she was the star of her own show in Blossom, but after that ended, she retired from acting and went off to study neurobiology
In its first three years, Penny was The Big Bang Theory‘s only female lead. That all changed when the CBS sitcom decided to give the other boys their own love interests to diversify its story. Introduced as a potential love interest for Sheldon in the season 3 finale, Amy was positioned as the female version of the socially-inept genius. Despite his initial hesitation, they surprisingly hit it off right away. As they bonded over their shared quirks, their friendship eventually turned into a romantic relationship that ended up in marriage.
This wasn’t what Bialik envisioned her return to acting was going to be, however. As she revealed during a recent interview on The Graham Norton Show (via Digital Spy), she badly needed health insurance so she started going through acting auditions, hoping that she could score minor roles. As fate would have it, she ended up on The Big Bang Theory where she was a mainstay for nine seasons until it ended in 2019.
I left the industry for 12 years and I got a doctorate in neuroscience. I wanted to experience life where you’re valued for what’s in between your ears and not just for what you can provide for other people. I was literally running out of health insurance and thought that if I could get a few small parts it would help.
Interestingly, long before Amy was introduced in The Big Bang Theory, the show had already referenced Bialik and her old role as Blossom. In season 1, episode 13, “The Bat Jar Conjecture,” the boys enter the annual Physics Bowl, but Sheldon was kicked out because he was being insufferable. While contemplating what to do, Raj mentioned that they should recruit “the actress who played TV’s Blossom,” since she has “a Ph.D. in neuroscience or something.” That’s not the only connection between Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, however. Johnny Galecki, who played Leonard, also appeared in the former as Jason – a random guy who made out with Bialik’s character.
While the CBS sitcom is over, Bialik seems to have no plans of walking away from acting again. She’s now starring in the Jim Parsons-produced show, Call Me Kat, proving that she and the Sheldon actor love working with each other. As Amy, however, she recently made a cameo in The Big Bang Theory spin-off prequel Young Sheldon, where it was revealed that she and Sheldon now have a son named Leonard Cooper.