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|Born||Stephiane Yvonne Thumbtzen
April 22, 1960
Clearwater, Florida, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, model, dancer, artist|
Tatiana Thumbtzen (born Stephiane Yvonne Thumbtzen in Clearwater, Florida April 22, 1960) is an American actress, model and dancer. She is mostly well known for her role in portraying the love interest of pop star Michael Jackson in the "The Way You Make Me Feel" music video off his seventh studio album, Bad.
Thumbtzen is of black, Cherokee Indian, Cuban and Irish heritage. Tatiana's family name is of German descent. She began to train in ballet at the age of eight, and moved to New York when she was thirteen on a ballet scholarship, where she studied at Juilliard in the school of American Ballet, a training camp for choreographer George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet Company.
She stated in an interview that through dance, she acquired a contract for modeling, and by age nineteen, she had gone to Japan to start her career as a model. Once returning to New York, Thumbtzen began working on a Harry Belafonte Production film, Beat Street, before moving to Los Angeles at the end of 1986 to begin working on commercials and print-work. She claims that one of her first print work jobs was a campaign for Billy Dean Williams for LA Eyewear.
Thumbtzen, applied with few other jobs, landed the job of acting in Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" music video after being picked by him in the audition. Filming began around the end of 1987 to the start of 1988, which was said to be the beginning of Thumbtzen's career.
Thumbtzen later joined Jackson for his Bad Tour, and kissed Jackson on stage in his first kiss in public. She claims she was fired soon after through the encouragement of his "entourage" for taking advantage of the star by kissing him, and was replaced with Sheryl Crow. She described the affair in her 2004 autobiography The Way He Made Me Feel.
Thumbtzen also appeared in the opening credits of the television series "A Different World".
Tatiana attended Michael Jackson's final funeral service on September 3, 2009. Shortly after Jackson's death, she met his manager Frank DiLeo and they settled their differences before Dileo's passing in 2011.
She told her story in Once More With Feeling, a kiss and tell follow-up book to You'll Never Make Love in This Town Again, published by Dove Books in 1996.
- "Michael Jackson Case Latest: Tatiana Thumbtzen Denies Affair With Star". Female First. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- Walls, Jeannette (17 Augustust 2004). "Former Jackson dancer tells all in new book". msnbc.com. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
- "Tatiana Thumbtzen". Makli. 27 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-13.