'Celebrity Big Brother' Winner Marissa J Winokur 'Freaking the Frankie Out'

Marissa Jaret Winokur already has a Tony Award on her resume, but the Broadway actress is still "freaking out" after winning the first U.S. season of Celebrity Big Brother.

"Waaaait.... I just won #BBceleb. freaking the frankie out!!!!!!" the 45-year-old actress wrote on Twitter.

She won after winning the last Head of the Household championship, which gave her the right to evict two of the four remaining houseguests in Sunday night's finale. She picked Ariadna Gutierrez and Mark McGrath to leave the house, making herself and Ross Matthews the last remaining houseguests.

Then, it was up to the other evicted houseguests to vote for the winner. They chose Marissa in a 6-3 vote, but Ross was still named America's Favorite Houseguest.

In a post-finale interview with Entertainment Weekly, Winokur said it was difficult to ask her houseguests to vote for her instead of Ross, since they became close friends during the season. However, they did not know each other before joining the show.

"I wouldn't have been in the final four if not for him," Winokur said. "That felt like the right thing. I know it's Big Brother. I know it's a game. But I'm also a mother. It was the more human thing to do. I said 10 times in the house, it's not worth $250,000 to backstab or hurt my friends. I always said I wasn't going to do that."

Ross, who is a Big Brother superfan, said he was happy with the way the game ended. He thought the houseguests "played with feelings and not strategy," though.

"I stand by everything I did in the game," Ross told Entertainment Weekly. "You don't behave outside of the house, the way you behave inside of the house! This is a game. This how you play it. The rules don't say you don't join more than one alliance, or you can't not tell the truth all the time. I played this game hard. If I didn't, I would have been home sooner. I made it all the way to the final two. I don't apologize for anything I did it in this game."


Before appearing on Big Brother, Winokour was best known for her Tony-winning role as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray. She also participated in Dancing With The Stars and was a co-host on The Talk.

Photo credit: Bill Inoshita / CBS