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|
(m. 1988; div. 1991)
(m. 1995; div. 2018)
Tamara Tunie (born March 14, 1959) is an American film, stage, and television actress, director, and producer. She is best known for her roles as attorney Jessica Griffin on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns (1987-1995, 2000-2007, 2009), and as medical examiner Melinda Warner in the NBC police drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2000-2019, briefly later).
Tunie has appeared in a number of movies, including Wall Street (1987), Rising Sun (1993), The Devil's Advocate (1997), and Flight (2012). She received Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female nomination for her performance in the 2001 drama film The Caveman's Valentine. In 2010, she made her directing debut with romantic comedy film See You in September. Tunie also received Tony Award for Best Musical in 2007 for producing Spring Awakening, and Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress in 2016 for Familiar.
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. She was a contestant in the Miss Black Teenage Pageant in Pittsburgh in the early 1970s.
Tunie made her Broadway debut alongside Lena Horne in Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music in 1981. From 1987 to 1995, she starred in the CBS daytime soap opera As the World Turns playing attorney Jessica Griffin. She reprised the role from 2000 to 2007 receiving two NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series in 2003 and 2004. Tunie also guest-starred in number of prime time dramas in 1990s, include Swift Justice', Law & Order, Chicago Hope, New York Undercover and Sex and the City. She also had a recurring role as Lillian Fancy in the ABC police drama NYPD Blue from 1994 to 1997.
Tunie had supporting roles in a number of movies. She made her debut in Sweet Lorraine opposite Maureen Stapleton and later appeared in Wall Street (1987). 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 credits include Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989), Rising Sun (1993), Eve's Bayou (1997), The Peacemaker (1997), and Snake Eyes (1998). 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.
In 2000, Tunie joined the cast of NBC police procedural series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as medical examiner Melinda Warner. She made her debut as Warner in the second season episode titled "Noncompliance", and continued to make recurring appearances until season seven, when she became a regular cast member. She also played this role in Law & Order: Trial by Jury in episode "Day" in 2005, and Chicago Fire episode "We Called Her Jellybean" in 2015. Tunie was regular in SVU from season 7 to 12 and later made recurring appearances to season 17. She later appeared in episodes in 2018 and 2019, total in 223 credited episodes.
In 2002, Tunie played Alberta Green in the first season of Fox thriller series 24. In 2010, she made her directing debut with romantic comedy film See You in September. In 2012, she returned to film, playing Margaret Thomason in the Robert Zemeckis-directed drama Flight starring Denzel Washington. From 2014 to 2015, she was regular cast member in the Sundance TV drama series The Red Road.
Tunie won a Tony Award in 2007 for the production of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening; she has also won a Drama Desk Award. In 2016, she won an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance in Familiar, written by Danai Gurira.
From 2016 to 2018, Tunie had a recurring role as Monica Graham in the CBS police drama series Blue Bloods. In 2018, she was regular cast member in two series, ABC comedy-drama Dietland, and BBC Two/Netflix co-produced drama Black Earth Rising there she played the role of Eunice Clayton, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Her other television credits include The Good Wife, Survivor's Remorse, Better Call Saul and Almost Family. Tunie also played Gugu Mbatha-Raw's mother in the 2018 romantic comedy-drama film Irreplaceable You.
Tunie was married to Greg Bouquett from 1988 to 1991. From 1995 to 2018, she was married to jazz musician Gregory Generet. They separated in 2015.
|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)|
|2000–2019||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Dr. Melinda Warner||Recurring (seasons 2–6, 13–17, 19 and 21) |
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||Better Call Saul||Anita||3 episodes|
|2018||Dietland||Julia Smith||Main cast|
|2018||Black Earth Rising||Assistant Secretary Eunice Clayton||Main cast|
|2019-2020||Almost Family||Genevieve Palmer||Recurring role|
As a director
|2010||See you in September||Director, producer|
Awards and nominations
|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 | TV Guide". TVGuide.com.
- "About the Actors | Tamara Tunie | As The World Turns on Soap Central". soapcentral.com.
- "Tamara Tunie - Biography". tamaratunie.com. 2012-02-13. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13.
- "Awards for Tamara Tunie". IMDb.
- "Tamara Tunie: Biography". TV Guide.
- "Tamara Tunie Awards". IMDb. June 2018.
- "2016 Winners". Obie Awards.
- White, Peter; White, Peter (April 30, 2018). "John Goodman & Michaela Coel To Star In Netflix & BBC Drama 'Black Earth Rising'".
- Wilson, Lori (September 24, 2019). "Brittany Snow, Tamara Tunie's Controversial Series 'Almost Family'".
- O'Malley, Sheila. "Irreplaceable You movie review (2018) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com.
- "Law & Order: SVU's Tamara Tunie Separates From Husband Gregory Generet After 20 Years of Marriage". E! News. February 3, 2015.