Happy birthday, Mara Wilson! You might recognize her as
the lovable girl-genius Matilda from the 1996 film, but today Mara is an out bisexual
writer and playwright!
In 2016, Mara published an autobiography titled Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame (x).
Mara was born on July 24, 1987 in Burbank, California. Her
father worked in television, which led to her and her older brother Danny
auditioning for child roles in film and television. At first, Mara appeared in
commercials for companies like Texaco, Lunchables, and Marshall’s, but her
first big film role came 1993 with Mrs.
Doubtfire. Her role as the youngest daughter of the Hillard family in Mrs. Doubtfire put her name on the map and by 1995 she had starred in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street, multiple television shows, and
had performed at 67th Academy Awards ceremony. It was that Academy Awards
ceremony where actor and director Danny Devito first noticed Mara and decided
to cast her for the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s iconic book, Matilda.
Matilda was a
resounding success and continues to be a staple of many people’s, specifically
young girl’s, childhoods today! However, Mara’s mother tragically passed away from
breast cancer not long after the filming of Matilda
and the grief sapped away at Mara’s passion for acting. Her last major film
role was in the 2000 film Thomas and the
Magic Railroad and she has also done guest work on series such as Broad City, BoJack Horseman, and Welcome
to Nightvale. In 2013, Mara announced that she was retiring from acting and
has instead began to make a name for herself as a writer; she has since written
articles for the magazine Cracked and
had an original play, Sheeple, premiere at the New York International Fringe
In 2016, Mara came out as bisexual on Twitter. She did so in
a show of solidarity with the LGBT community after the Pulse nightclub
shooting, also saying, “I’m a relatively fortunate cis white lady, there’s very
little risk in me coming out. LGBT minorities are more at risk” and asking her
followers to donate to the GoFundMe page for Pulse survivors. You can follow Mara
on Twitter @MaraWilson!