While Mayim Bialik is most well known to newer generations as Amy Fowler, the crazy smart partner of the perhaps equally intelligent (if more awkward) Sheldon Cooper on the wildly successful CBS series The Big Bang Theory, those of us with a longer lifespan already knew her well by that point. Bialik has had a lengthy career in TV, starting when she was just 11 years old and taking off when she was 14. Among a variety of shows, arguably her biggest pre-Big Bang role was the titular teen on Blossom, but unlike a lot of other child stars, Bialik looks back fondly at her young career and appreciates it as one of a simpler time.
Mayim Bialik had recurring roles in so many TV shows in the late '80s and early '90s, but none really come close to her 5-year stint in Blossom. The character’s signature floppy flower hat certainly gave Bialik an innocent look in the sitcom, and it thankfully sounds like everything on the set matched that wholesome vibe. In an interview with Forbes, Bialik revealed that she didn’t have to worry about the pressures a lot of other child stars had to live through during her teenage years. In the Call Me Kat actress’ own words:
I grew up on television. I was 14 to 19 and spent all of my precious teen years there. I think one of the most important takeaways is how fortunate I was to work on a clean set. I didn’t see drugs, I didn’t see alcohol. There’s a lot of stories about child actors growing up in environments where there are no boundaries between adults and children. I am really grateful that I had the opportunity to grow up without those kind of pressures. It was also really nice that there was no social media, because everything was just simpler, especially for female actresses.
It’s unfortunately all too common for actors who, much like Mayim Bialik did, spend their youths on TV and movie sets to have troubles either during their childhood or much later. When you compare Bialik to other actors who share similar career histories and arcs, it's kind of easy to infer that Bialik was lucky to have landed a huge network show that was as ethically wholesome as the fictional family, at least as far as drug use, abusive workplace conduct and other negative occurrences are concerned.
You don’t have to look far to see how things could have turned out for Mayim Bialik. Other mega-stars like Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr were young actors who both had their struggles with drugs in the past, seemingly largely to do with their Hollywood-tethered upbringings. While Robert Downey Jr may have gone on to be a positively beloved figure, others have not been so lucky. So while times have certainly changed, though not always as much as we might like, it's excellent that Bialik can look back with fond and inspiring memories, as opposed to thoughts of intense pressure and worse.
With horror stories of how Hollywood treats its young stars, it’s honestly refreshing to hear Mayim Bialik describe her own experience as a child star. It’s nice to know that there are some nostalgic shows that we can still look at fondly that can remain pure in our eyes. Even though she’s all grown up now, you can catch Bialik in her new show Call Me Kat, which also stars another The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons, on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET on Fox.