The Big Bang Theory actress Mayim Bialik made sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the room on Sunday at the Critics’ Choice Awards, when she dedicated her Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series award to her late father, Barry Bialik.
As MSN reports, Mayim was not expecting to win, and so she hadn’t prepared a speech. She joked that’s she’s “never won anything,” although she’s been cleaning up in major awards nominations since she first appeared as Amy Farrah Fowler on the hit CBS ensemble comedy. As of this writing, Mayim has been nominated for two Critics’ Choice Awards, four Emmy awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a People’s Choice Award. But she’d never taken home an award, until Sunday night.
Visibly taken aback, Mayim joked about her awards drought.
“The reason I look so surprised is I’ve never actually won anything! I literally didn’t prepare anything because I’ve never won anything — I didn’t think I’d be up here.”
Mayim then thanked her TBBT costars and writers, and then went on to give a heartfelt tribute to her dad.
“My dad died 9 1/2 months ago and he was my harshest critic, and he never lived to see me win anything. So Abba*, this is for you. Thank you.”
*”Abba” is a Hebrew word that can roughly be translated as “Dad” or “Daddy.”
Barry Bialik died in April, 2015, after a long illness. At the time, Mayim wrote about her father’s death on her blog, the Jewish parenting website Kveller.
“For those of you who have lost a parent, you know how I feel. You tell me you do. For those of you who have lost someone else you were close to, you also tell me you know how I feel. But you don’t. Because you’re not me losing my Abba.”
Bialik, who is devoutly Jewish, wrote on Instagram in December that, following Jewish tradition, she entered a one-year period of mourning, during which she wasn’t allowed to sing or listen to music.
“I recently strained my vocal cords and have had to take voice lessons even though, like many traditional Jews, I have not been listening to music or singing during the year of mourning.”
Since joining the cast of The Big Bang Theory in 2010, Mayim Bialik has become a beloved member of the Prime Time landscape. Originally cast in a one-off role, Bialik’s character, Amy Farrah Fowler, has become a beloved member of the ever-growing cast.
It was a career projection she never saw coming: after Blossom ended in 1995, Mayim all but dropped out of the entertainment industry, taking only a few roles here and there. The UCLA-educated actress eventually earned a PhD in neuroscience, and has worked on research studies of certain neurological diseases.
It was the perfect training for her TBBT role as a neuroscientist.
When she’s not behind the TBBT cameras, Mayim is a vegan, a “staunch Zionist,” and an outspoken advocate for what she calls “attachment parenting,” which she practices with her two sons, Miles and Fred. In a 2012 interview with Yahoo! Celebrity, Bialik explained what drove her and her then-husband, Michael Stone, to their parenting philosophy.
“What appealed to me and my husband was not really the kind of hands-on all-the-time parenting that it looked like our friends were doing, but as the kids got older, they weren’t the kind of parents that were yelling or putting their kids in the corner or doing timeouts. They were not ruled by fear or by anger or threats, and that’s honestly what appeals most to me and my husband.”
As for The Big Bang Theory, Mayim tells ET Online, via MSN, that she hopes the show will someday become the cultural touchstone with long-lasting popularity that Friends became.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]