Melissa Ivy Rauch (born June 23, 1980) is an American actress and comedian. Rauch is best known for her role as the squeaky-voiced Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory. She is set to play Francine, a high-pitched and squeaky talking ground sloth, in the upcoming Ice Age: Collision Course. Rauch was born in Marlboro Township, New Jersey, to Susan and David Rauch. She and her brother, Ben, were raised in a Jewish household.
She attended Frank Defino Central Elementary School in Marlboro. She developed an interest in acting while attending Marlboro High School.
Rauch attended Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, where she received a BFA degree. While going to school, Melissa performed stand-up comedy around Manhattan, and soon made a name for herself on the NYC comedy scene. Her one-woman show, "The Miss Education of Jenna Bush", in which she portrayed Jenna Bush, the former President's daughter, garnered critical acclaim and played to sold-out audiences (Outstanding Solo Show and TheaterMania's Audience Favorite Award—New York International Fringe Festival/HBO's US Comedy Arts Festival). Some of Rauch's early work was as a regular contributor to VH1's Best Week Ever television show.
Rauch is the second actor from The Big Bang Theory to play a character in an Ice Age movie, the first being Kunal Nayyar.