Tunney in 2013
(m. 1995; div. 2006)
Robin Tunney (born June 19, 1972) is an American actress. She is known for her role as Teresa Lisbon on the television series The Mentalist (2008–15), and her portrayal of Veronica Donovan on the first two seasons of Prison Break (2005–06).
Tunney made her film debut in the 1992 comedy Encino Man. She came to prominence with leading roles in the cult films Empire Records (1995) and The Craft (1996). She received the Volpi Cup for Best Actress, as well as Gotham and Independent Spirit nominations for her performance in Niagara, Niagara (1997). She had leading roles in the action-thriller films End of Days (1999), Supernova and Vertical Limit (both 2000). In 2006, she earned critical acclaim for her portrayal of a victim of sexual assault in the independent drama Open Window. Her other notable film appearances include Cherish, The Secret Lives of Dentists (both 2002), The In-Laws (2003), Hollywoodland (2006), August, The Burning Plain (both 2008), Passenger Side (2009), and Looking Glass (2018).
Tunney was born in Chicago, Illinois, to a car salesman father, Patrick, and a bartender mother, Cathy. Tunney is Irish American; her father was born in Straide, County Mayo, Ireland, while her maternal grandparents were from Clare Island. Tunney grew up in Orland Park, a southwest suburb of Chicago. She was raised Roman Catholic, attended Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park and the Chicago Academy for the Arts in Chicago, and resided in Palos Heights, also in the Chicago area. She is a cousin of Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney.
At the age of 19, Tunney moved to Los Angeles, California, and obtained several recurring television roles on Class of '96, Law & Order, Dream On, and Life Goes On. She gave her breakthrough performance in Encino Man and followed up as a suicidal girl in Empire Records (with a shaved head) and attracted further attention by playing a witch in The Craft.
In 1997, Tunney starred in (her husband at the time) Bob Gosse's Niagara, Niagara with Henry Thomas in a performance which garnered her the Best Actress award Volpi Cup at the 1997 Venice International Film Festival. Tunney also was featured opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1999 supernatural action film End of Days.
She starred in the pilot episode of House as a kindergarten teacher who collapses before her class and descends into aphasia; she was credited as a "special guest star". She portrayed Veronica Donovan on the first season of Prison Break, credited third after two main characters, and left the show after the premiere episode of the second season. She had a minor role in the film August released on July 11, 2008. Tunney also starred opposite Simon Baker in the CBS drama series The Mentalist, playing Teresa Lisbon.
On June 28, 2006, Tunney won her table in the eighth tournament series of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, moving on to the final table. The finale aired on July 5, 2006, where she finished second to Jason Alexander, earning $200,000 for her charity of choice, The Children's Health Fund. In August 2006, Tunney played in the World Series of Poker after having her entrance fee covered by the online cardroom PokerRoom.com.
She is related to Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney.
|1996||The Craft||Sarah Bailey|
|Riders of the Purple Sage||Elizabeth 'Bess' Erne|
|Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Families||Melvina 'Malka' Csizmadi|
|1999||End of Days||Christine York|
|2000||Vertical Limit||Annie Garrett|
|2002||The Secret Lives of Dentists||Laura|
|2003||Abby Singer||Herself (cameo)|
|The In-Laws||Angela Harris|
|Shadow of Fear||Wynn French|
|2005||The Zodiac||Laura Parish|
|The Darwin Awards||Zoe|
|The Burning Plain||Laura|
|The Two Mr. Kissels||Nancy Kissel|
|2012||See Girl Run||Emmie|
|2015||My All American||Gloria Steinmark|
|Monster Party||Roxanne Dawson|
|1992||Perry Mason: The Case of Reckless Romeo||Sandra Turner||Television film|
|1993||JFK: Reckless Youth||Kathleen 'Kick' Kennedy|
|1994||Law & Order||Jill Templeton||Episode: "Mayhem"|
|2003||The Twilight Zone||Edie Durant||Episode: "Developing"|
|2004||House||Rebecca Adler||Pilot episode|
|2005–2006||Prison Break||Veronica Donovan||23 episodes|
|2008–2015||The Mentalist||Teresa Lisbon||151 episodes|
|2016||Love||SLAA Woman||Episode: "The End of the Beginning"|
|2018||Insatiable||Brandylynn Huggens||Episode: "Miss Bareback Buckaroo"|
|2019||The Fix||Maya Travis||Lead role|
Awards and nominations
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|1997||MTV Movie Awards||Best Fight (shared with Fairuza Balk)||The Craft||Won|
|1997||Volpi Cup||Best Actress||Niagara, Niagara||Won|
|1999||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Female Lead||Niagara, Niagara||Nominated|
|2001||Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Actress – Action||Vertical Limit||Nominated|
|2006||Boston Film Festival||Festival Prize||Open Window||Won|
|2009||People's Choice Awards||Best New Series (shared with Simon Baker, Amanda Righetti, Owain Yeoman and Tim Kang)||The Mentalist||Won|
|2015||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Crime Drama TV (shared with Simon Baker, Amanda Righetti, Owain Yeoman and Tim Kang)||The Mentalist||Nominated|
|Favorite TV Crime Drama Actress ||Nominated|
- John Horn (July 16, 2007). "An open window on a filmmaker's trauma". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- "Robin Tunney Biography (1972?-)". Film Reference. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10.
- McGavin, Patrick Z (July 5, 1998). "It's All An Act". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 17, 2011.
- Burgerstein, Jonathan (March 1998). "Fly, Robin Hood, flyperpa". Interview. Archived from the original on 2007-10-12.
- Hughes, Scott (1999-12-05). "Robin Tunney's angst-ridden roles". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
...her compulsion to tackle tough parts range from her Irish-Catholic background...
- "My Irish dad would pretend to be a gay hairdresser!". Independent. March 19, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
- "Robin Tunney:Biography". Movies MSN. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- Crowder, Courtney (2010-09-21). "Palos Heights native wears a smile on CBS' 'Mentalist'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Weiner, Carey (March 22, 1998). "Up and Coming: Robin Tunney; a young best actress takes the plunge in 'Niagara, Niagara'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- Zuckerman, Suzanne (May 2009). "Actress Robin Tunney on How to Speak Your Mind". Women's Health. Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- Morrison, Mark (August 2010). "Robin's Green Shades". In Style Magazine. Archived from the original on November 2, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
- Eggenberger, Nicole (February 5, 2013). "Exclusive: Robin Tunney, the Mentalist star, engaged to Nicky Marmet". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- "Robin Tunney Welcomes Son Oscar Holly". people.com. Archived from the original on 2017-07-18.
- "Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress". People's Choice Awards. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
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