There are a few important things we’ve learned over the course of our lives. We’ve learned that there really WAS space on the door for both Rose and Jack; we’ve learned that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the coolest people to ever exist; we’ve learned that a Nintendo 64 was one of the best consoles to be made; and we’ve learned the whole universe was in a hot, dense state to start off with. Amazingly, the whole thing then started to expand and the Earth began to cool. Then, wouldn’t you know it, the autotrophs began to drool, the Neanderthals developed tools, we built a few walls and pyramids, and then we started unraveling the many mysteries to discover that it all started with the Big Bang! You know what they say, every day you learn something new.
Of course, we’re not just rambling a load of nonsense here (at least not at present), we’re actually talking about the incredible TV series that is The Big Bang Theory. Created by Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre, The Big Bang Theory first graced our screens in 2007 and is still going strong today. This hilarious sitcom follows a group of friends – Sheldon Cooper, Raj Koothrappali, Leonard Hofstadter, Howard Wolowitz and Penny – as they go about their lives as physicists at Caltech University, with Penny working as a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory. Over time, the show has proven its cast, characters, and storylines are worth watching. From its numerous awards to the record-breaking salaries (the main characters take home a whopping $900,000 per episode!) The Big Bang Theory will truly go down in history as one of the best television series of all time.
Since season 1, The Big Bang Theory has brought in some pivotal characters who have changed the course of the show’s run and made it even better. The expanded cast of The Big Bang Theory may have started off as struggling actors dreaming of a life as an established professional, but with the show becoming so such a success, they finally made it. That said, they weren’t always so famous, and like all of us, their appearance has changed through the years. Have you ever wondered what the cast of The Big Bang Theory looked like when they were younger? Well, check out their childhood photos…
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper
There is one thing we definitely know for sure about Sheldon Cooper, and that is that he’s not crazy because his mother had him tested. However, everything else is a bit of a blur. Sheldon is definitely an enigma, but we wouldn’t have him any other way. Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper (B.S. M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Sc.D) is played by Jim Parsons, and arguably one of the smartest people we’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting (through a television screen). He’s such a lovable guy.
Jim Parsons- childhood
Jim Parsons was born James Joseph Parsons (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?) on March 24, 1973. Parsons is a Texan native and spent most of his life growing up in the Lone Star State. From all the information available, Parsons was just a normal kid at school, with a soft spot for the dramatic arts. After appearing in his school’s production of The Elephant’s Child when he was just 6 years old, Jim knew he wanted to be an actor.
Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler
Amy Farrah Fowler is basically a saint for putting up with Sheldon Cooper. Sure, he’s adorable, but he’s also a pain in the you-know-what. We first welcomed Amy onto our screens in season 3 of The Big Bang Theory, after she matched with Sheldon (well, it was really Howard and Raj pretending to be Sheldon) on an online dating site. The neurobiologist soon fell in love with Sheldon and embarked on an “interesting” relationship with him. Amy is played by Mayim Bialik, who is a neuroscientist in real life! Man, she’s so cool.
Mayim Bialik- childhood
Mayim Chaya Bialik has been making the world a more unique place since December 12, 1975, when she was born into a family of Hungarian, Czechoslovak and Polish descent. Mayik was born and bred in California and raised as a Reform Jew for most of her life. When she was just 13-years-old, Mayim entered the world of professional acting and landed her first role in Pumpkinhead, a creepy horror movie that scarred many a child for life.
Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter
Although we love The Big Bang Theory, we have to admit that some of the characters are utter chaos. Leonard Hofstadter, however, is the voice of reason in a world full of scientifically-fueled chaos, which we totally love about him. This experimental physicist is Sheldon’s (unfortunate) roommate and the on-and-off boyfriend of Penny. After a few years of dating several other women and dealing with his comparatively odd friends, Leonard finally landed Penny, the girl of his dreams, and the two tied the knot. Mazel tov you crazy kids!
Johnny Galecki- childhood
Wasn’t he just the cutest? Johnny Galecki was born on April 30, 1975, to American parents, though he was actually born in Bree, Belgium, as his father was stationed over there as a U.S. Air Force Officer. After a few years across the pond, the Galecki family returned to the States and settled in Illinois, where Galecki went to school and grew up. However, his life changed when he was offered his first acting gig at just 12 years old.
Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz
Portrayed by Simon Helberg, Howard Wolowitz is the glue that holds The Big Bang Theory together. You can argue all you want – but you know it’s true. This Jewish aerospace engineer has always been your typical momma’s boy, who thought he was the bee’s knees around the lay-deeeees, though he never really was. Nevertheless, he eventually achieved his dream of going into space (which end up not being all it’s cracked up to be), as well as settling down with the lovely Bernadette.
Simon Helberg- childhood
Simon Helberg was another December baby and born on December 9, 1980. Helberg was destined for stardom from before he was even born, and there was no chance he wouldn’t be famous with Sandy Helberg as a father and a casting director for a mother. Helberg was raised as a Conservative Jew before becoming increasingly Reform over the course of his life, while also mixing with a crowd of his fellow actors from a young age. Here he is in 1982 with the famous actor, Herve Villechaize!
Kaley Cuoco as Penny Hofstadter
I mean, do we really need to explain who Penny is? The lovable and charming Penny is played by Kaley Cuoco, and is the original beauty to grace The Big Bang Theory with her presence. Penny starts off as a neighbor of Leonard and Sheldon’s. As a struggling actor, Penny works at The Cheesecake Factory and tries to fend off the men’s advances, before eventually having a change of heart and dating Leonard. After an on-and-off relationship, Leonard pops the question – and she says yes!
Kaley Cuoco- childhood
Kaley Cuoco was born on November 30, 1985, in California. When she was just 3-years-old, she picked up the tennis racket and fell in love with the sport. As she got older, her passion and talent shone through on the courts and Kaley became a regionally ranked tennis player. However, she retired her tennis arm when she was 16-years-old to focus on her acting career – which had already begun to take off. Kaley landed her first professional acting gig when she was just 10 years old.
Kunal Nayyar as Rajesh Koothrappali
Dr. Rajesh Ramayan ‘Raj’ Koothrappali is one of the funniest characters on The Big Bang Theory. In addition to being Howard’s best friend (someone had to do it), Raj is an astrophysicist, serial gatecrasher and third wheel. Kunal Nayyar’s character is originally from New Delhi, India, but makes no secret of the fact that he absolutely hates Indian culture and food. With a severe case of social anxiety, Raj is pretty awful with the ladies, but at least he tries his best. We love you, Raj.
Kunal Nayyar- childhood
Well wasn’t he just utterly adorable? Kunal Nayyar was born in London on April 30, 1981. As his parents are originally from New Delhi, India, the family eventually went back to their roots and Kunal spent most of his early life in India. As a child, Kunal had no intentions of becoming an actor. In fact, he moved to the States in 1999 to obtain a degree in finance. However, he found himself drawn to acting a short time after, and the rest is history!
Wil Wheaton as himself
Wil Wheaton is an unusual character in The Big Bang Theory – because he plays himself! That said, there are a few differences between the fictionalized version of Wheaton and the actual person, with The Big Bang Theory’s Wheaton often portrayed as an antagonist of sorts. Wheaton first appeared in season 3 and soon made enemies out of Sheldon (we advise AGAINST that). Thankfully, the pair patch things up later on.
Wil Wheaton – childhood
Richard William Wheaton III (ooh, fancy) was born on July 29, 1972, and grew up with his actor mother and medical specialist father in California. From an early age, Wil had always been interested in acting and performing on stage, and managed to bag himself his first professional acting gig when he was just 9 years old. He took part in The Secrets of NIMH in 1982 and later in the coming of age film Stand By Me and the action drama Toy Soldiers, garnering recognition as a child and adolescent star.
Kate Micucci as Lucy
For many fans, Lucy was the cutest character on The Big Bang Theory, full stop. As a socially awkward nerd (what’s not to like about that?), Lucy first appeared on the show in season 6, when she meets Raj at the singles party at the comic book store. A fellow people-hater, Lucy and Raj got along beautifully, and even started dating for a while – before his intense nature became too much for her. Lucy was played by the equally cute actor and comedian, Kate Micucci.
Kate Micucci- childhood
Okay, we didn’t think she could get any cuter – but appparently she can – or did. Kate Micucci entered the world on March 31, 1980, and was born into a family of Italian descent. She spent much of her early years growing up in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and was soon discovered by casting directors. Like many child stars, Kate first appeared in commercials (like this one), before moving on to bigger and better things, among them her appearance on The Big Bang Theory.
Christine Baranski as Dr. Hofstadter
Played by the iconic Christine Baranski, Dr. Hofstadter is the kind of character we love to hate. On the one hand, she is seemingly excellent good at her job: a neuroscientist, author and psychiatrist, she is widely considered to be one of the best in these fields. However, based on the show, she was also a pretty terrible mother to Leonard. Over the course of her The Big Bang Theory, Dr. Hofstadter has appears in 12 episodes – both in person and Skype, with her clipped, disapproving smile provided to her son via the magic of the internet.
Christine Baranski- childhood
Christine Jane Baranski was born on May 2, 1952, in Buffalo, New York into a family with Polish ancestry. Not falling far from the tree, her grandparents were also famous actors, in their native Poland. For much of her early life, Christine enjoyed a relatively normal life and lived like any typical kid. She went to school, and she dreamt of one day being an actor. Her dream came true in 1974 when she was offered her first professional acting gig.
Eliza Dushku as Angela Page
As an alumnus of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Eliza Dushku is basically one of our favorite people, so we were pretty excited when she appeared in season 4 of The Big Bang Theory. Eliza played Angela Page, an F.B.I Agent who turns up at the apartment to administer a background check to Howard before he can be a part of the Defense Department Laser Equipped Surveillance Satellite Team (try saying that five times fast). Although she has to put up with a lot from the likes of Raj and Sheldon, Angela is pretty calm with the boys in the apartment. What a hero.
Eliza Dushku- childhood
Eliza Dushku was just as cute as a kid as she is now – which makes our obsession with her even more extreme. Dushku was born on December 30, 1980, in Massachusetts to an Albanian father and a Danish-English mother. Dushku was raised in a family of Mormons and lived a relatively sheltered life until she was 10 years old, at which age she was discovered by a casting agent. That same year, she was offered the lead in That Night.
Kevin Sussman as Stuart Bloom
Does anyone else have a crush on Stuart? No? Just us? Okay… As the owner of the comic book store, Stuart is a relatively minor character in The Big Bang Theory, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t make an impact. Played by Kevin Sussman, Stuart Bloom is one of the nicest people you will ever meet (albeit metaphorically). He often works way too hard at the comic book store, which affects his social life and adds to his loneliness. Luckily, he strikes up a friendship with Raj in season 6, which seems like a positive step for the relative recluse.
Kevin Sussman – childhood
Kevin Sussman came into this world on December 4, 1970, and was born and bred in the City of New York. He had a relatively normal childhood: he played baseball (and wore hats that were waaaay too big for him), went to school and did his homework. It wasn’t until he went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts that he really put time and attention into his acting career. In addition toThe Big Bang Theory, he has since made a name for himself in the US remake of Ugly Betty.
Sara Rue as Stephanie Barnett
Many fans of The Big Bang Theory fondly remember the legendary moment when Howard tries to impress a girl by playing with the Mars Rover – but ends up driving it into a ditch instead. The lucky lady to witness the botched attempt was Stephanie Barnett, played by Sara Rue. As a doctor at the Fremont Memorial Hospital, Stephanie meets Howard in season 2, and the two hit it off. However, Howard soon realizes that she actually likes Leonard… which doesn’t end well.
Sara Rue – childhood
We’d love to say Sara has changed a lot since she was a kid, but we would be lying. At least her glasses game has improved, right? Sara Rue was born as Sara Schlackman on January 26, 1979, in New York City. From an early age, Sara watched her parents perform on Broadway and attended numerous plays and musicals. Because of this, she caught the acting bug pretty early on. Luckily, her dream came to life in 1988 when she was offered a chance to play Kevin Spacey’s daughter in Rocket Gibraltar.
Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle
Portrayed by Sara Gilbert, Leslie Winkle kinda freaked us out – because she really was the male version of Leonard. As an experimental physicist at Caltech, Leonard and Leslie had a chance to work together in the same science laboratory and get pretty close. After a while, the pair started dating (which was even weirder) before Sara later moved onto Howard. Following appearances in seasons 1, 2 and 3, Leslie disappears for a little while, before returning in season 9.
Sara Gilbert- childhood
Sara Rebecca Gilbert was born on January 29, 1975, in California, where she spent much of her early years surrounded by television, fame and fortune. In fact, her grandfather was the popular American comedy writer and The Honeymooners creator, Harry Crane, so it should come as no surprise that Sara dreamed of a life in the spotlight. This moment came when she was cast in a Kool-Aid commercial as a youngster, and later in the hugely popular sitcom, Roseanne.
John Ross Bowie as Barry Kripke
Barry Kripke is a character that tends to rub everyone the wrong way. Played by John Ross Bowie, Barry is an absolute nightmare who was incredibly competitive and rude – but he was also downright hilarious. As a Caltech plasma-physicist-turned-string-theorist, Barry knows he is intelligent, and he was always in competition with Sheldon and the gang. Over the course of his Big Bang Theory, he has appeared in every season apart from season 1.
John Ross Bowie – childhood
Thank goodness for puberty. John Ross Bowie was born on May 30, 1971, and like several of his castmates, he grew up in New York City. Bowie was not a child actor, nor did he think he was destined to be an actor or comedian. Instead, he went to school, worked hard and later earned a degree in English from Ithaca College. It wasn’t until 1999 that he truly began to make a name for himself in Hollywood.
Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz
Melissa Rauch plays the incredible Bernadette Rostenkowski. As a microbiologist at a pharmaceutical company, Bernadette is hugely intelligent and successful in her field. Bernadette first appeared in season 3, when she is introduced to Howard through Penny. As time goes on, the couple prove that they are perfect for each other and get married. A few years later, they even have their first child together. In fact, they’re expecting another very soon!
Melissa Rauch- childhood
Rauch was born on June 23, 1980, in New Jersey, where she experienced the ups and downs of a child not surrounded by fame, fortune, or actors: despite not starting out in show business early, Melissa knew she wanted to become a performer when she got older. Her wish eventually came true, and she landed her role as Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory in 2009. We always believed in you, Bernadette, even when – like Penny – you were working as a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory!