Marla Heasley

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Marla Heasley
Born (1959-09-04) September 4, 1959 (age 58)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1979–1993

Marla Heasley (born September 4, 1959, Hollywood, California) is an American film and TV actress.

The A-Team[edit]

Heasley is best known for her role as Tawnia Baker in the 1980s hit TV series The A-Team. She played a newspaper reporter working with the team. Introduced in season 2 episode 15 "The Battle of Bel-Air", the character was brought in as a replacement for Melinda Culea (Amy Allen), who was abruptly dropped from the series after insisting on being given more to do.

In order to be written out of the series the character was married off in the season 3 two-part episode 2/3 "The Bend in the River". Her character from The A-Team, Tawnia Baker, was named after Tawnia Cannell, the daughter of the creator of the series, Stephen J. Cannell. Some time prior to being cast as Tawnia Baker, Heasley made a guest appearance as a bikini clad co-ed called Cherise in a short-term relationship with Templeton "Faceman" Peck in season 2 episode 4 "Bad Time On The Border".

Other roles[edit]

Prior to the A-Team, Heasley appeared in the very first four episodes of Star Search in the Spokesmodel category. Heasley has made guest appearances on many other TV shows such as, T. J. Hooker, The Love Boat, Riptide, Mike Hammer, The Highwayman, and many more. She played an unnamed Air Force Lieutenant in the Galactica 1980 episode "Spaceball".

Heasley's feature film roles were The Marrying Man in 1991, and Born to Race in 1987 and Amore! in 1993.


Marla grew up in Beverly Hills and went to Beverly Hills Catholic School until the age of 12, when her parents moved the family to Palm Springs. Her father Jack Heasley and uncle Bob Heasley were identical twins and professional ice skaters, known as The Heasley Twins. They skated with Sonia Henie and Dorothy Lewis and skated in their own ice revues as well. They appeared in many films, such as Dr. Seuss's The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953), Ice Capades (1941), Thin Ice (1937), A Chump at Oxford (1940) and many more. They went on to become successful entertainment managers, managing the careers of Audie Murphy, Shelley Winters & more.

Marla never wanted to go into acting, as she was raised in the entertainment business. Marla wanted to go into fashion merchandising, but was modeling on the side while attending Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. Her father introduced her to Norman Brokaw of William Morris Agency as a conduit for her to do commercials. She met an acting coach, Zina Provendie, while on a commercial audition, who invited Marla to audit her class. She attended the class & fell in love with acting & sooner signed with Norman at William Morris. Even though Marla had never acted, Brokaw said that he had a feeling about her. Noeman waited to send Marla out on auditions till she was ready. Marla took her studying seriously by attending acting classes vigorously, joined a repertory theater & moved to New York for a year to study with an acting coach. She started working in commercials & then her first television role was in "Can You Hear the Laughter? The Freddie Prinze Story". She appeared in many guest starring roles, including, "Gallactica 1980", "Micky Spillane's Mike Hammer", "TJ Hooker", "The Love Boat" & more, before becoming a series regular on "The A-Team".

Marla dated & lived with Wayne Newton from 1983 to 1991 & they were engaged from 1987 to 1991.

Marla married international business entrepreneur Christopher Harriman in 2001 after dating since 1992.

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