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Marissa Jaret Winokur

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Occupation  Actress
Spouse  Judah Miller (m. 2006)
Height  1.51 m

Name  Marissa Winokur
Years active  1995–present
Children  Zev Isaac Miller
Marissa Jaret Winokur Marissa Jaret Winokur Picture 28 The World Premiere of
Born  February 2, 1973 (age 42) (1973-02-02) New York City, New York, U.S.
Role  Actress ·
Parents  Maxine Winokur, Michael Winokur
Movies and TV shows  Dancing with the Stars, The Talk, Dance Your Ass Off, Stacked, American Beauty
Similar People  Harvey Fierstein, Nikki Blonsky, Ricki Lake, Holly Robinson Peete, Sara Gilbert

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Marissa Jaret Winokur (born February 2, 1973), sometimes credited as Marissa Winokur, is an American actress known for her Tony-winning performance as Tracy Turnblad in the highly successful Broadway musical adaptation of John Waters' film Hairspray, as well as her work on the Pamela Anderson sitcom Stacked. Some of her other TV credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Moesha, The Steve Harvey Show, Just Shoot Me!, Felicity, and Dharma & Greg.


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She was a contestant on the popular reality competition series Dancing With the Stars and went on to host the similar Dance Your Ass Off. Though she served as a co-host on the daily daytime talk show The Talk, she did not return in 2011, instead focusing on her clothing line and a new cable TV show. The cable TV show in question, when it premiered, proved to be a late-night talk show titled All About Sex, whose co-hosting duties she shared with Margaret Cho, Heather McDonald, and Dr. Tiffanie Davis Henry, and which TLC transmitted at 11:00 PM Eastern time on Saturday nights.

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Early life

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Winokur was born in New York City, the daughter of Maxine, a teacher, and Michael Winokur, an architect. She is Jewish. Winokur was a cheerleader and captain of her high school soccer team at Fox Lane High School. She later studied at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, graduating from the integrated program.

Stage, screen and television

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Winokur won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Drama Desk Award, Theatre World Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in Hairspray. After she started her run in Hairspray, Winokur was diagnosed with cancer, but she informed none of her cast-mates or any of the members of the crew to prevent them from worrying about her. She underwent surgery later in 2003; after her recovery and declaration of being cancer-free, she was healthy enough to return to Broadway. It is said that while traveling to and from her cancer surgery she sang "Good Morning Baltimore," one of the musical's show-stoppers. She made her first appearance on Broadway after successfully undergoing cancer treatment. She had previously appeared on Broadway as "Pink Lady Jan" in the revival of Grease.

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Winokur has also played roles in films such as American Beauty, Never Been Kissed, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, the send-up Scary Movie, Beautiful Girl (for ABC Family), Fever Pitch, and Fugly, and she provided one of the voices in Shrek the Halls, a CGI-animated holiday-oriented film.

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Winokur co-starred in the TV series Stacked, which starred Pamela Anderson. She also appeared on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where she lost a physical fight with Larry David over the first appointment at a doctor's office. She was called Marissa Winokur in the episode, but was credited simply as "Woman In Elevator."

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Marissa was set to star in a new comedy pilot for CBS titled Fugly, from the creator of My Name Is Earl. The show was originally pitched to FOX as a vehicle for Pamela Anderson, but was turned down in favor of Stacked. It was later revamped into a television film and aired to poor reviews in 2007. She returned to Hairspray on December 9, 2008 and played Tracy until the show's closing on January 4, 2009.

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Winokur hosted the reality competition series Dance Your Ass Off on the Oxygen Network. In October 2010 she joined Julie Chen, Holly Robinson Peete, Sharon Osbourne, Leah Remini, and Sara Gilbert in a new talk show, The Talk, that was intended to focus on stories of parenting, everyday life and events in the headlines. The program began airing on CBS October 18, 2010. On January 14, 2011, she announced via People Magazine that she would leave The Talk to focus on her clothing line and a new cable TV show she was developing.

She reprised the role of Tracy Turnblad in the Hollywood Bowl production of Hairspray, which ran from August 5–7, 2011.

Winokur joined the cast of TV Land's original sitcom Retired at 35, beginning in the second season. She acted out the role of Amy, David’s sister, a sharp-tongued, quick-witted successful saleswoman for a pharmaceutical company with a bubbly personality. The character was originated by Casey Wilson in the show's pilot, but made no other Season 1 appearances.

Recording and voice work

Winokur was working on recording a children's music album. Her rendition of the song "Baby Face" was featured on the soundtrack for the film Son of the Mask, and she performed "The Wish Song" on the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars. In 2007, she joined Nikki Blonsky and Ricki Lake in singing "Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now" on the Hairspray soundtrack; in director John Waters's original film, Lake had originated the role that Winokur (on stage) and Blonsky (on screen, in the film version of the musical) had respectively reprised, that of Tracy Turnblad.

Winokur has also lent her voice to several cartoon shows, including American Dad! and King of the Hill.

Dancing with the Stars

Winokur was featured on Season 6 of Dancing With the Stars with professional dancer Tony Dovolani. Marissa scored an 18 for her Cha-Cha-Cha her first week and 21 for her Quickstep in week two giving her a combined total of 39 out of 60. In that week's elimination, Marissa was the last female contestant to be saved before Monica Seles was eliminated. In week three, Marissa scored 19 for her Jive to Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend," placing her last on the leader board, but was saved from elimination by the viewer's votes. In week four, Marissa performed a Paso Doble and was praised for her improvements, scoring 24 out of 30. She scored a second 24 out of 30 for her Samba in week five. In week six, Marissa earned a 26 for a Viennese Waltz, her highest score so far. The following week was another success learning two dances, scoring a 27 for her Tango in the Ballroom round and in the Latin round she received 25 for her Rumba. Marissa came third on the combined total leader board with a score of 52 out of 60, beating Shannon Elizabeth and Mario by one point and Cristian de la Fuente by 6 points. Despite being third, however, Marissa found herself in the bottom two alongside Shannon. The following week Marissa performed a Foxtrot and Mambo scoring 25 for both dances scoring a total of 50 out of 60, placing her last on the leader board, but was again saved by the viewer's votes. During her last week on the show, she earned a 26 for both her Rumba and Quickstep. Winokur was eliminated after the semifinal round.

Personal life

During the early development stages of Hairspray, Winokur was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She underwent treatment for the disease, without revealing her condition to anyone except her immediate family out of fear that she would be replaced in the musical. Ultimately she made a full recovery and remained in the show.

Winokur married Judah Miller, who was a writer on Stacked, on October 7, 2006. In March 2008, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child, a boy to be named Zev, via a surrogate mother and that the pregnancy was five months along. Zev Isaac Miller was born July 22, 2008, weighing in at 8 pounds 7 ounces and measured 21 inches long. Winokur and Miller helped deliver their son.

She is the great-niece of two famous American writers: S. J. Perelman and Nathanael West.


Marissa Jaret Winokur Wikipedia