Tamara Tunie (born March 14, 1959) is an American film, stage, and television actress, director, and producer. She is best known for her portrayal of attorney Jessica Griffin on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns and of medical examiner Melinda Warner on the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. From 2000 to 2017, in 2018, and briefly in 2009 and 2010, she appeared on both series simultaneously (Tunie returned to Law and Order: Special Victims Unit for one episode in 2018). In 2018, she also played the role of Eunice Clayton, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, in Black Earth Rising, a television drama series co-produced by BBC Two and Netflix and which aired in the United States in January 2019. Tunie has also appeared in film, most notably playing the key supporting role of Margaret Thomason in Flight (2012).
Tunie in 2014
|Born||March 14, 1959|
McKeesport, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Other names||Tamara Tunie Boquett|
|Education||Carnegie Mellon University (BFA)|
|Occupation||Actress, producer, director|
Early life and educationEdit
Tunie was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and grew up in Homestead, the daughter of Evelyn (née Hawkins) and James W. Tunie. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.
In addition to her roles on As the World Turns, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, she is known for her recurring roles as Lillian Fancy in NYPD Blue (1994–1997) and Alberta Green in the first season of Fox's 24. Tunie also guest-starred in many television series, including Spenser: For Hire, Tribeca, SeaQuest DSV, New York Undercover, Swift Justice, Feds, Chicago Hope, Sex and the City, and the Law & Order: Trial by Jury episode, "Survivor's Remorse".
Tunie worked twice with Al Pacino; she portrayed his press secretary in the film City Hall (1996) and the possessed wife of a partner in his law firm in the film The Devil's Advocate (1997). Her other film credits include Wall Street (1987), Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989), Rising Sun (1993), Eve's Bayou (1997), and The Peacemaker (1997).
In 2001, she received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Awards for her role in film The Caveman's Valentine, based on George Dawes Green's eponymous novel, opposite Samuel L. Jackson. She won a Tony Award in 2007 for the production of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening; she has also won a Drama Desk Award.
|1989||Bloodhounds of Broadway||Cynthia Harris|
|1993||Rising Sun||Lauren Smith|
|1996||City Hall||Leslie Christos|
|1996||Quentin Carr||Detective||Short film|
|1997||Eve's Bayou||Narrator (voice)|
|1997||The Devil's Advocate||Mrs. Jackie Heath|
|2001||The Caveman's Valentine||Sheila Ledbetter|
|2012||Missed Connections||Felicity Gray|
|2014||The Power of Our Presence||Narrator (voice)||Short film|
|2014||Fall to Rise||Annika|
|2016||Bad Vegan and the Teleportation Machine||Josephine Bodder|
|1986||Spenser: For Hire||Nina||Episode: "Shadowsight"|
|As the World Turns||Jessica Griffin||Contract role|
|1993||Tribeca||Pretoria "Tori" Thomas||Episodes: "The Box", "Honor", "The Rainmaker"|
|1994–1997||NYPD Blue||Lillian Fancy||Recurring role|
|1995||seaQuest DSV||Laura||Episode: "The Siamese Dream"|
|1995||New York Undercover||Janice||Episode: "Bad Girls"|
|1996||Swift Justice||Jessie McKenna||Episode: "Bad Medicine"|
|1996||Law & Order||Caroline Bennett||Episode: "Deadbeat"|
|1996||Rebound: The Legend of Earl "The Goat" Manigault||Miss Marcus||Television film|
|1997||Feds||Martha Kershan||Episode: "Missing Pieces"|
|1997||Chicago Hope||Lennie Gaghan||Episode: "Leggo My Ego"|
|1998||New York Undercover||Lana Brooks||Episode: "Sign o' the Times"|
|1999||Sex and the City||Eileen||Episode: "The Cheating Curve" (Season 2 Episode 6)|
|2000–2018||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Dr. Melinda Warner||Recurring (seasons 2–6 and 13–17) (& season 19) |
Main (seasons 7–12)
|2002||24||Alberta Green||Recurring role (season 1)|
|2003||Nefertiti Resurrected||Narrator||Television documentary|
|2005||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Dr. Melinda Warner||Episode: "Day"|
|2011||Days of Our Lives||Judge Weston||2 episodes|
|2013||The Good Wife||Serafina Norvy||Episode: "Boom De Yah Da"|
|2013||Golden Boy||Mrs. Nevel||Episode: "Scapegoat"|
|2014||Alpha House||Eve Bettencourt / Eve Simone-Lewis||2 episodes|
|2014–2015||The Red Road||Marie Van Der Veen||Main role|
|2015||Captain Blackout||Jessica Winters||Television film|
|2015||Chicago Fire||Dr. Melinda Warner||Episode: "We Called Her Jellybean"|
|2015||Zoo||Brenda Montgomery||Episode: "First Blood"|
|2015||Survivor's Remorse||D.A. Sandra Knowles||Episode: "A Time to Punch"|
|2016||Elementary||Lily Cooper||Episode: "Alma Matters"|
|2016–2018||Blue Bloods||Monica Graham||Recurring role|
|2017–present||Better Call Saul||Anita||3 episodes|
|2018||Dietland||Julia Smith||Main cast|
|2018||Black Earth Rising||Assistant Secretary Eunice Clayton||Main cast|
As a directorEdit
|2010||See you in September||Director, producer|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1995||Soap Opera Digest Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress||As the World Turns||Nominated|
|2002||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Supporting Female||The Caveman's Valentine||Nominated|
|2003||Soap Opera Digest Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress||As the World Turns||Nominated|
|2003||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series||As the World Turns||Nominated|
|2004||NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series||As the World Turns||Nominated|
|2012||SLFCA Award||Special Merit||Flight||Nominated|
|2013||Black Reel Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Flight||Nominated|
|2016||Obie Awards||Distinguished Performance||Familiar||Won|
- Varley, Teresa (2009). "Talking Steelers Football with Tamara Tunie". Steelers Digest. 22 (15): 25.
- "Tamara Tunie Biography (1959-)". film reference.
- "Tamara Tunie - Biography". tamaratunie.com. 2012-02-13.
- "Awards for Tamara Tunie". IMDb.
- "Tamara Tunie: Biography". TV Guide.
- "Tamara Tunie Awards". IMDb. June 2018.
- "2016 Winners". Obie Awards.