Amber Tamblyn

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Amber Tamblyn
Amber Tamblyn - DSC 0082 cropped.jpg
Tamblyn in November 2014
Amber Rose Tamblyn

(1983-05-14) May 14, 1983 (age 37)
  • Actress
  • author
  • poet
Years active1995–present
David Cross (m. 2012)
Parent(s)Russ Tamblyn
Bonnie Murray
RelativesEddie Tamblyn (grandfather)

Amber Rose Tamblyn (born May 14, 1983)[1] is an American actress, writer, and director. She first came to national attention in her role on the soap opera General Hospital as Emily Quartermaine, followed by a starring role on the prime-time series Joan of Arcadia, portraying the title character, Joan Girardi, for which she received Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Her feature film work includes roles such as Tibby Rollins from the first two The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films (2005–2008), as well as Katie Embry in The Ring (2002), Aubrey Davis in The Grudge 2 (2006) and Megan McBride in 127 Hours (2010); she had an extended arc as Martha M. Masters in the medical drama series House. She also had a starring role as Jenny on seasons eleven and twelve of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men.

Early life[edit]

Tamblyn was born in Santa Monica, California. Her father, Russ Tamblyn, is an actor, dancer, and singer who starred in the 1961 film West Side Story, the 1954 film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the television series Twin Peaks, and her mother, Bonnie Murray, is a singer, teacher, and artist.[2] Her paternal grandfather, Eddie Tamblyn, was a vaudeville performer. Her uncle is Larry Tamblyn, who is the keyboardist in the 1960s rock band The Standells.[3] She attended the Santa Monica Alternative School House, which, in her words, was "very unorthodox, no letter grades".[4] At the age of ten, she played Pippi Longstocking in a school play; her father's agent, Sharon Debord, was attending as a family friend and ended up convincing her father to allow Tamblyn to go on auditions.[3]



Tamblyn posing in 2004

Tamblyn's first TV role was Emily Bowen (later known as Emily Quartermaine) on the soap opera General Hospital, a role that she played for six years (from 1995 to 2001).[5] She also starred in "Evergreen", the pilot episode of the second The Twilight Zone revival in 2002.[6][7][better source needed] Tamblyn became better known playing Joan Girardi, a teenage girl who receives frequent visits from God, on the CBS drama series Joan of Arcadia.[8] Tamblyn's father made several appearances as God in the form of a dog walker on the show, which ran from 2003 to 2005.

Early guest-starring roles include: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (playing Janice Penshaw, the best friend of Dawn Summers), Boston Public, CSI: Miami, and Punk'd, where Ashton Kutcher and his crew members tricked her into losing someone else's dog. In 2007, Tamblyn starred in the CBS pilot Babylon Fields, an apocalyptic comedic drama about the undead trying to resume their former lives.[9] The CBS network excluded the show from its fall programming lineup, since it would have competed with the network's other undead-themed drama, Moonlight.[10]

In spring 2009, Tamblyn starred in The Unusuals, as NYPD homicide detective Casey Shraeger.[11] The show was canceled after its first season. In the same year, Tamblyn had a recurring role alongside her eventual husband David Cross in the IFC sitcom The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.

From November 2010 until April 2011, Tamblyn starred as medical student Martha M. Masters, during the seventh season of the Fox medical drama series House. She returned for the series finale in 2012.

In August 2013, Tamblyn was cast as Charlie Harper's long-lost (and previously unknown) lesbian daughter, Jenny, on the sitcom Two and a Half Men, opposite Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer. Her first appearance was on the season 11 opener, September 26, 2013.[12]

Tamblyn has appeared on numerous episodes of Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer, including the "Milk Milk Lemonade" sketch which aired in 2015.[13] She has also guest starred on IFC's Portlandia and Comedy Bang! Bang!, as well as numerous shows on Adult Swim, including The Heart, She Holler opposite Patton Oswalt and Metalocalypse.


Tamblyn launched her film career playing bit parts in her father's movies: Rebellious and Johnny Mysto: Boy Wizard. She also appeared in 1995's Live Nude Girls.[3] Her first major film role was in 2005's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as Tibby Rollins, co-starring Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, and Blake Lively. Tamblyn reprised the role in the 2008 sequel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.[3]

Her horror film career began with the opening scene of 2002's The Ring.[3] Tamblyn also appeared in the Japan-set The Grudge 2, a sequel to the horror hit The Grudge. The film, which also stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, was released on October 13, 2006, and debuted in the #1 spot at the North American box office.[3] In August 2010, Tamblyn won the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival for her performance in the title role of Stephanie Daley. The film, which also won an award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, features Tamblyn as a 16-year-old who kills her baby moments after giving birth in the bathroom of a ski resort.[3] She was also nominated for Best Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards. The film also stars Tilda Swinton and Timothy Hutton. She also starred in Blackout in 2008.[14]

In January 2008, Tamblyn appeared in the Hallmark film The Russell Girl, about a woman suffering from disease and mental anguish.[3] Tamblyn appeared in the 2009 film Spring Breakdown, also featuring Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, and Parker Posey.[15] Tamblyn appeared alongside Orlando Bloom, Colin Firth, and Patricia Clarkson in the 2010 film Main Street, a drama set in North Carolina. That year, she also had a role in the drama 127 Hours, with James Franco.[3]

In 2012, Tamblyn starred alongside Wes Bentley and Vincent Piazza in the indie feature 3 Nights in the Desert directed by Gabriel Cowan, written by playwright Adam Chanzit and produced by John Suits.

In 2015, Tamblyn starred opposite Bob Odenkirk in the Netflix original film, Girlfriend's Day.[16]


Tamblyn attended a grade school for the theatrical arts from the age of 5 to 14. She was discovered as an actress at the age of 9 when she starred in Pippi Longstocking.

In 2014 Tamblyn originated the role of Daisy Domergue for the live reading at the Ace Theater in Los Angeles of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. She was hand picked by Tarantino, a long-time friend, along with fellow cast members Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and others.[17] Tamblyn starred in Neil LaBute's Reasons to be pretty at the Geffen Playhouse in 2014, which received critical acclaim.[18]


Tamblyn has self-published two chapbooks of poetry, Of the Dawn and Plenty of Ships, and has participated in poetry readings at various venues, particularly in California. The Loneliest, a poem book inspired by Thelonious Monk and his music, was published in 2005 and contains haiku poetry written by Tamblyn and coupled with collages by George Herms.[19] Only 300 copies of the book were published.

In 2005, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing published Tamblyn's debut book of poems, written between the ages of 11 and 21, entitled Free Stallion. The School Library Journal's review states that, "Free Stallion is a compilation of poetry that amounts to a portrait of the artist as a teenager.... Many of the selections are appropriately self-absorbed but move beyond journalistic catharsis to real insight and stunning language for one so young."[20] Poet Laureate Lawrence Ferlinghetti called the book, "A fine, fruitful gestation of throbbingly nascent sexuality, awakened in young new language."[21] Tamblyn has toured extensively with poet Derrick C. Brown, including the Lazers of Sexcellence tours.[22] In 2008, she was featured in the Write Bloody Publishing anthology, The Last American Valentine: Illustrated Poems to Seduce and Destroy.[23]

Tamblyn appeared in a poetry concert film recorded on August 4, 2002 in Los Angeles, The Drums Inside Your Chest. Premiere date: April 26, 2009 at the Newport Beach Film Festival.[24] A new collection of poetry, Bang Ditto, was published in September 2009 by San Francisco's Manic D Press. Beginning in October 2009, Tamblyn began blogging for the Poetry Foundation's blog, Harriet.[25] Her poem "Bridgette Anderson" was one of the poems featured in Saul Williams' book Chorus, published by MTV Books in September 2011.

In 2007, she co-founded Write Now Poetry Society, dedicated to creating unique and quality poetry programming. The non-profit has a long history with The Getty Museum, curating poetry events in conjunction with art openings, such as 2011's Dark Blushing, featuring new poems commissioned by poets Patricia Smith and NEA fellow Jeffrey McDaniel, based on works of art by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Blake.[26] Since 2011, Tamblyn has reviewed books of poetry by women for iconic feminist magazine, BUST Magazine.[27]

In 2014, Tamblyn sold her third collection of poems, Dark Sparkler, to Harper Collins. The book explores the lives and deaths of child star actresses. Tamblyn was quoted as saying the book's subject matter was very difficult to write and took over 6 years to complete. The book also features portrait art of the women by film director and artist David Lynch and musician and artist Marilyn Manson.[28]


Tamblyn's first novel, Any Man,[29] was released June 2018. Its plot centers on a serial female rapist who preys on men.

Tamblyn's second book, a memoir and feminist manifesto, Era of Ignition,[30] was released in March 2019. The book is a personal exploration of feminism during divisive times.

Personal life[edit]

Tamblyn and actor and comedian David Cross became engaged in August 2011,[31] and married on October 6, 2012.[32] On February 21, 2017, Tamblyn announced that she and Cross had recently had a daughter.[33][34]

She is sometimes said to be the goddaughter of actors Dean Stockwell, musician Neil Young, and the late Dennis Hopper, although in a 2009 interview with Parade, Tamblyn explained that "godfather" was "just a loose term" for Stockwell, Hopper and Young, three famous friends of her father's, who were always around the house when she was growing up, and who were big influences on her life.[35]

Tamblyn supported and campaigned for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 United States presidential election.[36][37]

Tamblyn is one of the founders of the non-profit organization Time's Up, which was created to combat workplace sexual harassment.[38] She is also a feminist.[39]

In a series of September 2017 tweets later reiterated in an open letter published in Teen Vogue, Tamblyn said that actor James Woods tried to seduce her and a friend at a restaurant and offered to take them to Las Vegas when both Tamblyn and her friend were 16.[40][41]


Tamblyn at the MuchMusic Video Awards red carpet, June 17, 2007


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Live Nude Girls Young Jill
1995 Rebellious Deb
1997 Johnny Mysto: Boy Wizard Sprout
2002 The Ring Katie Embry
2002 Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet Kate Segment: "Twelve Miles to Trona"
2005 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Tibby Rollins
2006 Stephanie Daley Stephanie Daley
2006 The Grudge 2 Aubrey Davis
2007 Spiral Amber
2007 Normal Adolescent Behavior Wendy Bergman
2008 One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur Herself Documentary
2008 Blackout Claudia
2008 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Tibby Rollins
2009 Spring Breakdown Ashley
2009 Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Ella Crystal
2010 127 Hours Megan McBride
2010 Main Street Mary Saunders
2012 Django Unchained Daughter of a son of a gunfighter
2014 X/Y Stacey
2014 3 Nights in the Desert Anna
2014 Growing Up and Other Lies Tabatha
2016 Paint It Black Director and co-writer[42]
2017 Girlfriend's Day Jill
2018 Nostalgia Bethany Ashemore


Year Title Role Notes
1995–2001 General Hospital Emily Quartermaine Role held: January 20, 1995 – July 11, 2001
2001 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Janice Penshaw Episode: "All the Way"
2002 Boston Public Melissa Campbell Episode: "Chapter Thirty-Two"
2002 The Twilight Zone Jenna Winslow Episode: "Evergreen"
2002 CSI: Miami Senior Cadet Valerie Barreiro Episode: "Camp Fear"
2003 Without a Trace Clare Metcalfe Episode: "Clare de Lune"
2003–2005 Joan of Arcadia Joan Girardi Lead role (45 episodes)
2007 Babylon Fields Janine Wunch Pilot
2008 The Russell Girl Sarah Russell Movie
2009 The Unusuals Detective Casey Shraeger 10 episodes
2010–2012, 2016 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Stephanie Daley 6 episodes
2010–2012 House Martha M. Masters Seasons 7–8
2012 Portlandia Bookstore intern Episode: "Cat Nap"
2012 Metalocalypse Trindle (voice) Episode: "Fanklok"
2013 The Heart, She Holler Hurlette Headhe Episode: "The Dearranged Marriage"
2013–2016 Inside Amy Schumer Various roles 5 episodes
2013–2015 Two and a Half Men Jenny Seasons 11–12
2014 Community Thought Jacker co-star Episode: "Basic Sandwich"; uncredited[citation needed]
2014 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Amber Tamblyn Wears a Leather Jacket & Black Booties"
2016 Lip Sync Battle Herself Episode: "America Ferrera vs. Amber Tamblyn"
2018 Drunk History Margaret Sanger Episode: "Sex"
2020 Y Mariette Callows [43]

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Ref.
2020 "Eat It (We're All In This Together)" David Cross featuring "Weird Al" Yankovic [44]


  • Bang Ditto San Francisco, Calif., 2009. ISBN 9781933149349, OCLC 489637541
  • Free Stallion: Poems Simon & Schuster Children, 2011. ISBN 9781442430877 OCLC 936344520
  • Dark Sparkler New York : HarperPerennial, 2015. ISBN 9780062348166 OCLC 902669942
  • Any Man New York : Harper Perennial, 2018. ISBN 9780062688927, OCLC 1084609332
  • Era of ignition, New York: Crown Archetype, 2019. ISBN 9781984822987, OCLC 1088661698


Year Album Artist Track Role
2012 Payback[45] Danny! "Evil" Vocals
2013 Event 2 Deltron 3030 "Lawnchair Quarterback Part 1"
"Lawnchair Quarterback Part 2"
Spoken word

Awards and nominations[edit]

Tamblyn's portrayal of Joan Girardi earned her both Golden Globe Award[citation needed] and Primetime Emmy Award nominations in 2004.[46] She was also nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actress in a Television Series in 2004 and 2005. Her role on House ended with her having multiple nominations for her final performance as Martha Masters.

Year Association Category Work Result Refs
1999 YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Daytime TV Program General Hospital Won
2000 YoungStar Awards Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Daytime TV Program General Hospital Won
2004 Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television Joan of Arcadia Won
2004 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Joan of Arcadia Nominated [46]
2004 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Joan of Arcadia Nominated
2004 Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Star – Female Joan of Arcadia Nominated
2004 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Drama/Action Adventure Joan of Arcadia Nominated
2004 Young Artist Awards Best Young Adult Performer in a Teenage Role Joan of Arcadia Nominated [47]
2005 Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television Joan of Arcadia Nominated
2005 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Joan of Arcadia Nominated
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Drama The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Nominated
2006 Locarno International Film Festival Best Actress Stephanie Daley Won
2007 Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Female Stephanie Daley Nominated
2007 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Horror/Thriller The Grudge 2 Nominated


  1. ^ "Amber Tamblyn - About". Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "Amber Tamblyn Biography (1983–)".
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Amber Tamblyn - Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  4. ^ "Amber Tamblyn". Parade Magazine. January 11, 2004.[dead link]
  5. ^ "The 1990s". ABC News. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  6. ^ "Amber Tamblyn in 'The Twilight Zone - Evergreen' part 1/2". Retrieved May 7, 2013 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ "Amber Tamblyn in 'The Twilight Zone - Evergreen' part 2/2". Retrieved May 7, 2013 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ Zasky, Jason. "A Plea to the Television Gods". Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  9. ^ ""Babylon" calls to Tamblyn". Reuters. March 2, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "CBS programming lineup excludes NY pilot". May 16, 2007.
  11. ^ "On ABC this up-coming TV season". New York Daily News. December 18, 2009.
  12. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 7, 2013). "Amber Tamblyn In "Two And A Half Men"". TVLine.
  13. ^ Romano, Nick. "Yes, That's Jemima Kirke & Amber Tamblyn In Amy Schumer's "Milk Milk Lemonade" Sketch — VIDEO". Bustle.
  14. ^ "Amber Tamblyn Goes Up for Blackout". IFMagazine. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved October 16, 2006.
  15. ^ "Vancouver 24 Hours". Tamblyn joins SNL stars. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2006.
  16. ^ Yamato, Jen (September 17, 2013). "Amber Tamblyn To Join Bob Odenkirk In 'Girlfriend's Day'". Deadline Hollywood.
  17. ^ Galloway, Stephen (April 20, 2014). "Inside Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Reading: Director Reveals He's Writing Second Draft, With New Ending". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  18. ^ Purcell, Carey (August 6, 2014). "Reasons to Be Pretty, With Amber Tamblyn, Nick Gehlfuss and More, Opens at Geffen Playhouse Tonight". Playbill.
  19. ^ Tamblyn, Amber (2004). "The Loneliest". Google books. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  20. ^ Tamblyn, Amber (April 18, 2011). Free Stallion: Poems. Amazon. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-1442430877. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  21. ^ "Free Stallion: Amber Tamblyn: Q675160549".
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Illustrated Poems to Seduce and Destroy" (PDF). Write Bloody Publishing. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  24. ^ "The Drums Inside Your Chest Movie Trailer w/Amber Tamblyn" – via YouTube.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ Amber Tamblyn's posts on Harriet, the blog of the Poetry Foundation
  26. ^ "Marilyn Manson, Luminous Poetry, and British Watercolors". September 23, 2011.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved November 2, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Rothman, Lily (March 4, 2014). "Actress Sells Book of Poetry About Dead Actresses". Time.
  29. ^ Tamblyn, Amber (June 26, 2018). Any Man: A Novel. Harper Perennial. ISBN 9780062688927.
  30. ^ Tamblyn, Amber (March 5, 2019). Era of Ignition: Coming of Age in a Time of Rage and Revolution. Crown Archetype. ISBN 9780062688927.
  31. ^ Fisher, Kelly (August 17, 2011). "Amber Tamblyn, David Cross Engaged". Huffington Post.
  32. ^ Fowler, Brandi (October 7, 2012). "Amber Tamblyn and David Cross Tie the Knot!". E!Online.
  33. ^ Hawkes, Rebecca (February 24, 2017). "Amber Tamblyn announces utterly ridiculous baby name - and people aren't quite sure what to think". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Archived from the original on February 25, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  34. ^ Mizoguchi, Karen (March 13, 2017). "Amber Tamblyn Reveals Her Daughter's Name Is Marlow Alice — and the Announcement Involves Hillary Clinton". People. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  35. ^ Tamblyn, Amber. "Amber Tamblyn: Confessions of a Child Star". Interview by Kevin Sessums, August 30, 2009. Parade Publications, Inc. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  36. ^ Yandoli, Krystie Lee (March 5, 2019). "Amber Tamblyn Isn't Voting For Bernie Sanders In The Primary Because She's Excited About The Women Candidates". BuzzFeed News.
  37. ^ "Amber Tamblyn Expecting First Child With Husband David Cross". The Hollywood Reporter. October 26, 2016.
  38. ^ Lang, Brent (March 11, 2019). "Amber Tamblyn on Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and 'Male Grooming' in Politics". Variety.
  39. ^ "Amber Tamblyn writing book of essays". The Associated Press. September 6, 2018.
  40. ^ Lyons, Jarrett (September 13, 2017). "In an open letter, Amber Tamblyn destroys James Woods for hitting on her when she was 16". Salon. San Francisco: Salon Media Group. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  41. ^ "Amber Tamblyn Pens Open Letter to James Woods". Teen Vogue. New York City: Condé Nast. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  42. ^ Saperstein, Pat (December 19, 2014). "Amber Tamblyn Wraps Directing Debut With Punk Rock Tale 'Paint It Black'". Variety. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  43. ^ Petski, Denise (July 18, 2018). "'Y': Amber Tamblyn To Star In FX Drama Pilot Based On 'Y': The Last Man' Comic Book Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  44. ^ Gil Kaufman (May 14, 2020). "Every One of Your Favorite Comedians Covered 'Weird Al' Yankovic's 'Eat It': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  45. ^ "Audio: Danny! "Evil" feat. Gavin Castleton & Amber Rose Tamblyn". Okay Player. September 19, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  46. ^ a b "Amber Tamblyn". Academy of Television Arts & Science. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  47. ^ "25th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016.

External links[edit]