The Big Bang Theory is one of the most popular sitcoms to ever grace our television screens. The first season only had 8.4 million viewers, but it reached its peak in its 7th season with 20.4 million.
One of its most important assets was its characters, lovably awkward nerds that viewers could relate to. The main men provided its central hook, but the women they interacted with provided its heart.
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Kaley Cuoco’s Secrets
Kaley Cuoco finished her work on Charmed right before joining The Big Bang Theory. The network wanted her to be part of a spinoff, but she declined. She wanted the work-life balance that came with sitcoms, and she eventually found it with her role as Penny.
Kaley had never met Jim Parsons before her audition. She tried to introduce herself to him, but he was struggling to work his new Blackberry. That was the moment she became convinced he’d make a hilarious Sheldon, and she was right.
Her confidence in him didn’t extend to the show itself. She didn’t have a lot of faith in its first season. She even said it sucked in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. Ratings and critical opinion were at their lowest in the beginning, but they eventually shot up.
Kaley loves riding horses but had an accident during a lesson. She fell off her horse and it leaped over her. Her legs were crushed, and one of her feet almost had to be amputated. She was absent from 2 episodes of Season 4 and hid behind the Cheesecake Factory bar when she did appear.
She also has an affinity for another sport; tennis. She played at the regional level and reached #54 in the Girls’ under-14 ranking.
Kaley dated her costar, Johnny Galecki, for about 2 years while their characters also became romantically interested in each other. They kept it secret to avoid affecting the show, but Kaley hated holding it in. They split up in 2010 but remain friends.
Kaley later married tennis player Ryan Sweeting. They met on the court but only stayed together for 2 years. She doesn’t live with her current husband, Karl Cook, but they do have plans to build a house together in the future.
Mayim Bialik’s Secrets
Mayim Bialik has been a force to reckoned with in the sitcom world since she was a child. She played the lead in Molloy and Blossom, 2 major hits of the early 90’s.
The Big Bang Theory referenced her breakout role several times, even before she joined the cast. Raj suggested “the girl who played TV’s Blossom” as a replacement member for their physics bowl team in the first season episode The Bat Jar Conjecture. He knew she’d earned a PhD in neuroscience in 2008 and thought she’d be smart enough to help them win.
Mayim officially began playing Amy Fowler in 2009 after the Season 3 finale. She’d never seen the show before and still hasn’t watched many episodes. Another reference to Blossom appeared in a 6th season episode where Sheldon and Amy decide that Blossom and Joey would be the ideal couples’ Halloween costumes for them.
Mayim almost became a doctor after earning her PHD. Despite her intelligence, her grades were too low to go all the way. She decided to return to acting instead because it also allowed her to spend more time with her children.
Kaley wasn’t the only Big Bang Theory actress to have a hidden injury during the show’s run. Mayim got in a car accident in August of 2012. She had to hide her right hand with a glove in at least 5 episodes of the 6th season and appeared at an award’s ceremony in a bedazzled cast.
She also has a hidden talent. The writers thought that Amy was the type of character who would play the harp, and she learned to do it.
Melissa Rouch’s Secrets
Melissa Rouch was once a waitress like her Big Bang Theory character Bernadette, working at a sports bar in New York. She later earned a BFA in acting and began her entertainment career as a host on the VH1 show Best Week Ever from 2004-2008.
Melissa was already a fan of The Big Bang Theory before joining the cast in 2009. She considers herself a nerd and was glad that the show put underdog characters at the forefront.
Bernadette’s high-pitched voice and New Jersey accent may be memorable, but it’s entirely Melissa’s own creation. She based it on her mother, and it stuck when she brought it out at the audition. She also imitated Mrs. Wolowits on occasion, and she based that impression on her father’s screams.
The voice wasn’t the only thing that Melissa didn’t have in common with her character. She’s a mild-mannered woman and had to be convinced a few times to be more assertive to match Bernadette’s feisty personality. Luckily for viewers, it worked.
Melissa enjoyed her time on the show and admits that she has a few favorite episodes. There was one where the characters went on a scavenger hunt. The cast couldn’t stop laughing the entire time. There’s also one where Bernadette enters a beauty pageant, and she enjoyed having an excuse to puff out her hair.
Melissa also wasn’t shy about her struggles with infertility. She had a miscarriage in 2017 that left her in a state of depression but got pregnant again the same year. She had a son in 2017 and a daughter in 2020.
Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more sitcom details you never knew. Keep watching to learn more of the untold secrets of the women of Big Bang Theory, including how they honored departed castmates, negotiated for better pay, and more.
Carol Ann Susi
Big Bang Theory viewers never saw Howard’s mother, but she was still an essential character. The actress who played her, Carol Ann Susi, passed away in 2014. She was almost replaced by Pamela Adlon, but they decided to write the character off instead.
Howard and Bernadette’s children, Hally and Neil, were also never seen on screen but still heard,. Pamela providing the sound of their cries. Showrunner Molaro and executive producer Steve Holland came up with idea as a way to honor Caro. They were also glad that it removed the potential problems with having babies on set.
One final tribute was so small that even the most eagle-eyed viewers probably missed it. There’s a picture of her on the side of Sheldon and Leonard’s fridge that’s barely visible in several episodes after her death.
The Original Pilot
The women of Big Bang Theory were almost entirely different characters. Fans wouldn’t recognize them if they saw them in the show’s unaired original pilot shown to CBS in 2006 for the women of big bang theory
The character that would eventually become Penny was first named Katie and played by Amanda Walsh. Test audiences disliked her because she seemed too mean, so she was eventually replaced.
Both Raj and Howard weren’t originally supposed to be in the show at all. Instead, there was a female character named Gilda who liked Leonard and had a history with Sheldon.
The original pilot is one of the show’s most closely-guarded secrets, though you can find traces of it on YouTube.
Warner Bros. had to delay production of The Big Bang Theory in 2014 to renegotiate the cast’s contracts. This was also the time when they renewed the series for 3 more seasons.
Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, and Kaley Cuoco all had a salary of $1 million per episode by the end of the negotiations. They accepted the deal and would have had to have their characters written off the show otherwise.
Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch joined the show later than the other main actors, and that meant lower salaries. They only earned $200,000 per episode. This led to conflicts, espsecially between Kaley and Mayim, until a compromise was reached.
The rest of the cast took a pay cut, setting them down to $900,000 per episode. The idea was that the remaining $450,000 could go to their costar’s salaries.
That decision changed the lives of everyone on the set. In 2018, Jim Parsons was the highest-paid actor on TV, earning $26.5 million. Kelly Cucco was the 2nd highest-paid actress behind Sophia Vergara, bringing in $24.5 million. Mayim Bialik also earned an impressive $12 million.
Other Big Bang Theory Secrets
Christine Baranski and Mayim Bialik have earned more Emmy nominations for their work on The Big Bang Theory than any other cast members. Mayim earned 4 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, and Christine earned 4 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Not all of the cast members of The Big Bang Theory are impressed by the work they’ve done and the accolades they’ve received on the show. Laurie Metcalfe, who played Sheldon’s mother Mary, prefers her first job as a secretary and says acting is impractical. Christine Baranski has 15 nominations but has lost 14 times in a row and claims she celebrates every time she doesn’t win.
There was one man who connected many of the women of The Big Bang Theory; Johnny Galecki. He was the ex-boyfriend of Sara and Kaley. He was Mayim’s first kiss when they both worked on Blossom. Sara Gilbert played his girlfriend in Roxanne, and Laurie Metcalfe played her aunt.
Real romantic issues inspired a few of the show’s plotlines. One of the writers’ wives can’t remember his birthday, so he had Penny and Leonard face the same problem.
The show’s writers took care in how they introduced their female characters. The first person they speak to is always their future significant other. This applies to every couple, including Penny and Leonard, Bernadette and Howard, and Amy and Sheldon.
Do you have a favorite female character on The Big Bang Theory? Let us know in the comments below. Like and subscribe to Facts Verse for more on the actresses who joined the best sitcom casts of all time.