While she may not have been there from the very first season, at this point, Melissa Rauch is without a doubt a key part of The Big Bang Theory. Her character, Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz, was a total breath of fresh air when fans first saw her in her Cheesecake Factory uniform serving alongside Penny, and it's been a blast to watch her evolve and grow on screen.
And, based on what a great job Rauch does with the character, it's a little bit crazy that she didn't get her big break even earlier in her acting pursuits! She seems absolutely made for television.
Now that The Big Bang Theory is coming to an end, many fans are wondering what the cast will do next. After all, they'll have a bunch of free time on their hands to pursue other projects now that they're not required to be on set week after week filming the show.
Perhaps Rauch will end up finding another television show to spend a few years on. Perhaps she wants to take a break from television altogether and strictly pursue movies.
Whatever her next steps, one thing is for sure—fans can't wait to see what she's got up her sleeve. But until then, here are 20 things fans may not have known about the talented and hilarious Melissa Rauch.
20 She Did Stand-Up Comedy In College
While she may seem like the leading lady type, Melissa Rauch's first foray into the entertainment industry was actually through comedy, not acting.
Rather than pursuing commercials, which is how many actors first get their start in the industry, Rauch did stand-up comedy in college in order to get in front of a crowd and test her skills.
It's definitely not an easy task, and we have a feeling it helped shape Rauch into the fearless actress she is today. After all, if you've spent a lot of time performing your own jokes in front of a crowd, performing lines in a script written by someone else must seem way less intimidating!
19 A Season Pass To Disneyland Was Her Go-To Cheer-Up Solution
Getting into the entertainment industry certainly isn't easy—and it can be majorly discouraging. So, when Melissa Rauch and her hubby moved to California, she ended up finding a solution to the occasional blues she experienced—Disneyland! Rauch bought a season pass to Disneyland, and whenever she had a bad day or was just feeling down, she'd head to the happiest place on earth in order to get a little perspective and joy. It's certainly an unconventional method of cheering yourself up, but we can totally see how it would work! I mean, who can be grumpy in a theme park surrounded by so many smiling faces?
18 She Was A Waitress — And Not Always A Good One
There aren't many individuals in the entertainment industry who haven't worked in the service industry at some point. After all, waitressing is one of the best jobs an actor can take since the flexible schedule can usually be fit around auditions. It turns out Melissa Rauch has some experience there—but not in Los Angeles.
Back when she was living in New Jersey, waitressing was how she made her money, and she got her start at a sports bar.
However, she wasn't always cheery and professional. As she dished, "People were afraid of me. There was a point where I got a little surly. There were only so many chicken wings I could serve before losing the smile on my face."
17 She Based Bernadette's Distinctive Voice On Her Mother's
If you've ever seen Melissa Rauch on screen in something other than The Big Bang Theory, you'll know that the high-pitched voice she so masterfully uses for Bernadette isn't actually her natural voice. It's a choice she made for the character, and we have to admit, it totally works! And it turns out, she actually based the voice on her mother's own voice. It just goes to show how such subtle details can totally make a character. While Rauch would have done a great job with her natural voice, that high-pitched voice definitely adds a whole other dimension to Bernadette's character.
16 She's Obsessed With Rollercoasters
Melissa Rauch doesn't immediately seem like a daredevil, but there's one gutsy thing she's absolutely obsessed with—roller coasters.
And, her love for them has a bit of a hilarious origin story.
As she explained in an interview, "I think the rollercoaster love comes from the fact that it took a really long time for me to reach the height requirement, so I promised myself very early on that when I reach that, I will not take it for granted." If she gushes about her love of the amusement park ride enough, perhaps she'll get a sponsorship deal with an amusement park!
15 Her Hubby, Winston, Is Her College Sweetheart
Hollywood can be an incredibly tough place to find a lasting, meaningful relationship. Luckily, Melissa Rauch doesn't have to worry about any of that—she found her husband when she was studying at Marymount Manhattan College! The duo ended up dating, eventually getting married, and even became writing partners. That's right—when Rauch isn't masterfully reading someone else's lines on a screen, she's hard at work writing her own! Her hubby definitely doesn't seem like the type to be intimidated by his wife's fame—in fact, he ended up taking her last name after they tied the knot, and goes by Winston Rauch.
14 She Loves NPR
While we have no doubt Rauch could play a ditzy character with as much ease as the brainy Bernadette, it turns out her cerebral characters are much closer to her actual personality.
As she dished in an interview with Sequential Tart, "I'm a major NPR listener. I've always hung around nerds and felt more comfortable in that nerd domain."
We can just imagine her, getting ready for red carpet events with NPR blasting in the background. Who knows, now that she had a bit more time on her hands, perhaps she'll venture into the domain of podcasts and start one for all things nerdy—she'd definitely be a phenomenal host.
13 Before Becoming A Cast Member, She Was A Big Fan Of The Big Bang Theory
It's probably not uncommon for an actor or actress who joins a show partway through to have not seen much of it previously. After all, no one can possibly watch every single show out there, and you never know which one will have openings for new roles. However, Melissa Rauch got lucky when it came to The Big Bang Theory. She commented to Sequential Tart that "I was so excited to walk on that set in Season 3, after watching it for a couple years already. It was like I was a big fangirl walking around trying to play it cool. I don't think people knew I was a fan of the show for a little while."
12 Her Favorite Comic Book Character Is Wonder Woman
Obviously, given how steeped in comic book culture the show is, many people wonder whether Rauch herself is interested in that type of thing.
While she may not be as much of a comic book lover as the guys on the show, she did have one character that came to mind as her favorite—Wonder Woman.
We don't blame her! Although unfortunately, we'll likely never get to see her play the character on screen, simply because of her physique. As she herself admitted, "as far as playing her, I think I'm a few inches too short." However, who knows—stranger things have happened in Hollywood!
11 She Loves Conventions Because She Enjoys Meeting Fans
Over the years, Melissa Rauch has attended quite a few comic conventions. After all, many of the show's fans are also fans of comic books, so it's a natural fit to have the cast there. And, it turns out, her favorite part is actually meeting the fans themselves. As she dished in an interview, "we do signings where people come through and get their posters signed, and you get to look in the eyes of each fan as they come by and meet them... it's really nice. We hear the show has a big fan base, but to actually be able to shake hands with people and meat them...it's so special, I'm so grateful that this forum exists."
10 She Struggled With Fertility Issues Before Having Her Daughter Sadie
It can seem like celebrities live totally charmed lives and never have any problems, but that definitely isn't the truth. They struggle with personal issues, just like the rest of us—including issues with fertility.
Rauch and her husband had a tough time conceiving when they decided that they wanted to have a baby but finally managed to have their daughter, Sadie.
Rauch shared a picture of her daughter on IG, commenting that "I will never take for granted the difficult road it took to get here. To those on that road: I'm sending you so much love today and always."
9 She Co-Wrote The Bronze With Her Husband
Many celebrities are married to individuals who really have no idea what the entertainment industry is like. Melissa Rauch's relationship is a little bit different, because not only does her hubby know the ins and outs of what she does, he's even her writing partner! Fans of Rauch might know the movie she starred in, The Bronze, where she played Hope Greggory, a washed-up gymnast who was reluctant to go from star to coach. What they may not know, though, is that Rauch and her hubby actually co-wrote the script for the movie! Who knows, perhaps when The Big Bang Theory wraps, Rauch is going to amp up her writing.
8 Her Accent In The Bronze Was Inspired By Her College Roommate
One thing is for sure—Melissa Rauch is a master at voices. Whether it's changing the pitch of her voice or the accent she speaks in, she definitely understands what a big part of a character their voice is.
In The Bronze, she speaks with a thick Ohio accent, and it turns out her particular accent was inspired by her college roommate.
"When we decided to set it in Ohio, I knew that that was something we wanted to add as a little flavor in the script," Rauch told Backstage. It's probably a lot easier to master an accent if you have someone specific in mind, but still—it's certainly a tall order!
7 She Loves Bold, Fearless Characters
Those Melissa Rauch may be petite, that doesn't mean she wants to play cute, gentle characters. In fact, as she told Backstage, "I've always been drawn to characters, male or female, that don't apologize for who they are. The people that I've always loved are like Bette Davis in All About Eve... they were never worried about making her appealing or likable. She didn't shy away from that anger and that was always something I wanted to play." We love that! Hollywood definitely needs a lot more strong female characters who are unapologetic about who they are and what they want.
6 She Wasn't Popular As A Teen
Given that she went on to star in the entertainment industry, you may have assumed Melissa Rauch was super popular in school. After all, she could have been either the prom queen or the class clown with her good looks and amazing sense of humor.
However, it turns out, that couldn't be further from the truth.
As she admitted in an interview on Conan, "at that age, I was made fun of a lot. I didn't have a boyfriend at that age." Luckily, her awkward teen years are behind her—now she's just a happily married, super successful movie star!
5 As A Kid, She Was Utterly Obsessed With Comedy
It seems comedy has been a major element in Melissa Rauch's life forever, even before she dreamed of being on stage in any capacity. As she told Sequential Tart, "I was a huge theatre and comedy dork as a kid, was obsessed with stand-up comedy and sitcoms. I would run home from school to finish my homework and watch reruns of the Carol Burnett Show or I Love Lucy." We imagine all those years spent paying close attention to stand-up and sitcoms helped develop her comedic timing and sense of how to deliver humorous lines in a scene. Even if she wasn't consciously studying the shows, she was still learning.
4 The Petite Celeb Is Only Four Ten And A Half
There are many actresses in Hollywood who are quite petite and look absolutely tiny when standing next to their male co-stars.
Melissa Rauch looks absolutely tiny standing next to anyone, and there's a reason for that—she's only four feet ten and a half inches in height.
As she joked once, "that extra half really counts. I need every bit I can get." Obviously, her height hasn't slowed her professional trajectory down whatsoever. It may make it a little trickier to learn stunts if she ever gets leading roles in action flicks, but hey—we have full confidence she could do anything she put her mind to.
3 She Dislikes Carnivals
You might think that, given where she grew up, Melissa Rauch loved everything to do with carnivals. After all, she was in close proximity to the Jersey Shore boardwalk, why wouldn't she be? Well, it turns out, while she loves rollercoasters and all the other carnival and fair elements, there's one thing she can't stand—the workers there. As she said in an interview, "we must take down the carnies. I think we need to start a campaign to defeat their scamming ways. I never win the boardwalk basketball game." Perhaps now that she's an A-List celebrity the workers will make the game a little easier for her?
2 She Had An Acclaimed One Woman Show Based On Jenna Bush
It's one thing to execute your role on an ensemble show well, and it's an entirely different thing to be the only person on stage, entertaining a crowd. The latter may seem totally nerve-wracking to most, but to Rauch, it was a way to get her start.
Back in her younger years, she put together a one-woman show entitled The Miss Education Of Jenna Bush, where she played, well, Jenna Bush.
It seems like a simple concept, but Rauch did such an incredible job that she got a ton of critical acclaim and was performing in front of sold-out audiences on the regular.
1 She's A Jersey Girl — But Knew She Had To Move Away
You probably never would have guessed it, given that she no longer has the strong accent she rocked growing up, but Melissa Rauch is actually a born and raised Jersey girl. She mainly left her home state to pursue a role in the entertainment industry, but part of the reason was that she was worried about what she might become if she stayed. As she confessed, "my fear is that, had I stayed in Jersey, I would have become Snooki because I'm just a bottle of hair dye away." We have to admit, we'd love nothing more than to see Rauch revisit her Jersey roots by playing a character straight out of Jersey Shore.
Sources: People, Fame10