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As one of the classic tear-jerking films of all time, "Beaches" has been making us cry for 30 years. But for Mayim Bialik, it has an even greater meaning.
That's because Bialik, 43, whom we're now used to seeing with dark hair and glasses as Amy on "The Big Bang Theory," kick-started her career when she was hired as the red-haired, blue-eyed CC Bloom — the youthful version of the performer Bette Midler would play later in the film.
(Click on the photo to see more pictures.)
"'Beaches' is so special to so many people," she wrote in a post on her website Grok Nation, in honor of the film's anniversary. "It is for me, too, but in a different way. It was this movie that changed my life and catapulted me into working on sitcoms, which determined the course of my career and life."
She was just 12 when she spent four months auditioning to play CC, and was pretty positive she wouldn't get the part of Cecilia Carol Bloom. But as she explained in the blog (and with stunning flashback photos on Instagram and in the post), as long as she changed almost everything, she was perfect.
"The director, Garry Marshall, and Bette had to approve everything about me for the movie," she said. "Bette didn't like how elaborate the initial choreography was of my singing/dancing number; she herself redid it and taught me the moves you see in the final movie."
Midler also gave a shout-out on the film's anniversary, via Twitter:
She wrote that the movie was filmed in Coney Island, and it was hard to spend many hot days shooting in a "very hot and heavy wig." But she got to eat Nathan's hamburgers for lunch, then take naps in her trailer during lunch.
Bialik also revealed that she and her young co-star Marcie Leeds (who played Hilary, a role Barbara Hershey took over for the adult portion of the movie) are still pals. You might even remember how the two of them hilariously re-enacted the girls' meeting scene from the film in 2016! But even more fascinating: Leeds is now a surgeon who helped treat Arizona representative Gabby Giffords after the 2011 assassination attempt on her life.
That said, Bialik also admits that "Beaches" is tough to view for her for reasons that don't have anything to do with its storyline.
"I'm awkward and my voice is annoying to me and that's just the truth," she wrote. "But I am so honored to have been a part of this movie, which has touched so many lives and hearts."
And in any case, "Yes, 'The Wind Beneath My Wings' makes me cry every darn time."